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By Ehda M. Dagooc (The Freeman) Updated August 28, 2012 12:00 AM

CEBU,Philippines- Aside from the furniture and furnishings sector, food exporters and gifts manufacturers can also take advantage of the huge market potential inIndia, while the major markets in theUnited StatesandEuropeare still not recovering from financial problems.

To effectively capture the second most populous market in the world—India, food exporters are advised to adjust their food products to the Indian taste buds.

In a report by PhilExport-Cebu, local food exporters including those fromCebuare urged to consider the huge Indian market.

“Ready-to-drink teas and juices were also well received, however, a careful market penetration strategy is needed as the ready-to-drink beverages sector is also growing in India,” this was indicated in the results of the 1st India-ASEAN Business Fair and Conclave recently held at New Delhi India. The Philippines was among the ASEAN countries that participated in the week-long event.

Meanwhile, thePhilippinesfurniture and furnishings sector is also considered to have a strong potential to the Indian market, while there is a growing middle class who is being more willing to invest on housing constructions and on the home.

Also, the gift exporters can find a promising potential market inIndia’s wedding market, the report noted.

“The wedding is the most important life event inIndiawherein families are expected and willing to spend for the celebration,” said the report adding that Indian taste tends to gravitate towards opulent and ornate designs with lots of colors, glitters, and gold.

The report added that apart from these consumer products, tourism is also a growing sector inIndiaowing once again to its rising middle class.

“Areas of interest are beach and retail. However, thePhilippinesis not a popular destination [for Indians] due to lack of awareness and limited promotion inIndia,” the report stressed.

Moreover, the report urged exporters to adopt a “Made for India,” perspective in developing marketing strategies for India, taking into consideration the country’s complex combination of consumer size, per capital income, tradition and culture, and micro-economic set-up.

Based onIndia’s Economic Advisory Council,Indiais poise to be the world’s third largest economy this year, posting an economic growth of 8.2 percent.

In fact, the International Monetary Fund has projected thatIndia’s economy will experience growth to US$3.1 trillion in real terms in the next 10 years.

Meanwhile, in an earlier interview with Indian Ambassador to the Philippines Rajeet Mitter, he said that cebu-based furniture exporters should not discount the Indian market for high-end furniture, as there is now a fast growing community inIndia, which can afford to buy expensive home furnishings.

Out of 1.1 billion population inIndia, a fast growing percentage of which are going up to the middle-end ladder in terms of income. These people he said are looking for quality products, regardless of price, andCebu’s renowned upscale furniture could easily penetrate on this growing market.

Source: The Freeman