The Do-It-Yourself (DIY) market is different in India- no one does DIY!

When a market like India booms in everything from automobiles, roads , buildings including homes and offices and their cleaning and maintenance -it’s interesting to observe that practically no one does any DIY with the stuff they own. There is a cleaning person for the car and home, the former is frequently the driver. Any non-arrival of the cleaning person is treated with a sense of crisis. The automobile and home cleaning product suppliers try to segment the products they offer based on whether the owner might, on crisis occasions, sometimes DIY. In fact, one expat businessperson I talked to was reluctant to buy a Mercedes because the driver would drive it most of the time and was it really worthwhile to invest such a lot for the driver’s benefit? Obviously, Mercedes and luxury car sales are booming and are driven by drivers and the homegrown businessperson has no problems with that. I won’t DIY (or Do it Myself) has interesting business implications:

  •  Most high-powered executives do not read or answer their email on computers but their admins do. If it were not for the Blackberry and its adoption it would be hard to actually reach the executive by email. Happily everyone is accessible by mobile (cell) phone and that helps to reach people by phone or text.
  • No one paints their own house (get a painter obviously) or dreams of fixing anything else. Just imagine how Home Depot or Lowe’s types of businesses have to change.
  • The local grocer, pharmacy and takeout is able to deliver small orders free within minutes of a cell phone order. Huge implications for the Walmart and Walgreen distribution model. The small shop owner has a small army of delivery guys who either walk or deliver on bicycle and do not expect to be tipped.
  • No car owner changes the oil, wipers etc. Matters for auto related organization models like NAPA spares, Pepboys etc.

Aravind Adiga refers to this phenomena in his book.  Important to understand if you are entering the India market or if you are already there and wondering why your numbers are not doing as well as you thought you’d do.

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