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Non-metro markets to propel India’s recovery: EY

Health, hygiene and online services will continue to grow.

EY

NEW DELHI: In the face of unprecedented economic disruption caused by the COVID2019 pandemic, non-metro markets are likely to recover faster than metro markets, an EY survey found. 

The EY report ‘Will non-metro markets propel India's recovery’, revealed a higher percentage of respondents from non-metro markets expect to spend more than before on several categories compared to metro markets indicating that when the lockdown ends, green shoots of recovery would probably sprout faster from the non-metro markets.

The survey covered a varied demographic mix of more than 4,000 respondents (2,000 each from metro and non-metro markets) to understand the potential impact of the pandemic from the consumer sentiment perspective. It covered key aspects linked to the current and expected attitudes, behaviors and spending trends of consumers as they adapt to the new reality. 

EY India partner and media & entertainment leader Ashish Pherwani said, “The COVID2019 pandemic has radically shifted our way of life. However, despite uncertain and challenging conditions, our research shows that non-metros express a higher degree of resiliency and a resolve to bounce back quicker compared to metros. We may see long-term and even permanent changes in consumption patterns”. 

The survey results reveal that the pandemic and the ensuing social distancing measures put in place have led to fundamental changes in how Indians are consuming media, necessities, luxury products education and travel. 

Some of the key insights from the survey are:

Health, hygiene and online services will continue to grow

While COVID2019 has impacted overall consumption, categories like heath products, household products, hygiene products, vitamins and supplements and online services (gaming, home entertainment, online education, online banking) are expected to benefit.

Non-metro market recovery is excepted to be faster than metro recovery

Categories like consumer goods, travel, entertainment, automobiles and white goods are all expected to see increased and faster recovery of demand from non-metro markets post the lockdowns. 

Increase in digital adoption

Digital trials increased significantly during the lockdown period.  However adoption was higher for metros vis-à-vis non-metros.  Some of the obstacles stated by non-metro respondents included lack of technological knowledge, absence of smart phones and fewer language interfaces.

Newspapers remain the most trusted medium

The impact of the SarsCoV2 has unfolded at a dynamic rate, causing a sense of urgency to absorb information, increasing the consumption of news coverage at unprecedented levels. Newspapers continue to remain the most trusted news source. 42 per cent respondents in non-metro markets spend more than 20 mins in reading a newspaper compared to 36 per cent in metros.

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