The theme from my trip to India was how quickly they are modernizing certain parts of their society.  Here are a few trends I see in the next few years, based on observations in Delhi:

  • Reverse migration. When the recent recession started, many American engineers responded to layoffs by returning to India.  This reflects some of the economic successes there in the last decade, and where the economy stands now .
  • Housing. From my understanding, India is in a real estate boom/bubble in many markets: this is only increased by the reverse immigration of educated citizens.  Though they don’t flip houses as much as Americans, expect the equity pulls to artificially prop the economy, and with it an eventual readjustment.
  • SUVs. The roads are filled with a mix of compact cars, bicycles, auto rickshaws, dogs, goats, pedestrians, and camels.  A few companies are beginning to sell SUVs, and in a city this noisy and bumpy they will be well regarded for safety.  Provided the prices drop (2x US prices right now), the roads could quickly be more impacted by SUVs.
  • Tuner cars. No one seemed to have their cars customized, and the auto shops only sold stereos and seat covers.  One easy sell: louder exhausts would make drivers feel more powerful in a crowded street.  Expect to see more of this.
  • Coffee. In two weeks, I went to at least seven cafes, but none offered drip coffee.  Starbucks has been trying to enter the market since 2007: I expect their status will encourage more drip coffee consumption, because its easier to make.
  • 3G internet. There were a lot of smartphones, but no one seemed to be using 3G.  This will be a market to watch for truly social mobile apps.

Possible Trends in India