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“The Indian baby care market has substantially grown during the past few years and caught the attention of many international players”

Pearl D’Souza, Project Director at Children-Baby-Maternity Expo India (CBME India)


India, with 1,258 million people, is the second most populous country in the world, just after China. More than 127 million children under 4 years, along with its nearly 27 million annual births and a fertility rate of 2.54 children per woman, make India an attractive market for the baby care industry. Between 11 and 13 April 2013 Bombay, one of the Indian most populated cities, will welcome the first edition of baby care trade fair Children-Baby-Maternity Expo India ( CBME India), organized by UBM, company which is responsible of the CBME trade fair in Shanghai.

Why is UBM working to organize a babycare trade fair in India?
Manufacturing and trading of quality baby and child care products and services is becoming increasingly important for a wide range of companies in India and globally. India’s children and baby product industry is at US$11.12 billion (EUR. 8.52 billion). However, there is a lack of organized trade platform for the baby and child care product industry in India. UBM India has stepped in to provide an organised platform in South Asia to facilitate trade for the children, baby and maternity care products industry.

What is the approximately business volume generated by the childcare industry in the country?
According to the statistics from the RNCOS March 2012 report, the Indian baby and child care market has substantially grown during the past few years and caught the attention of many international players. Estimated to be US$11.12 billion and growing with a CAGR of 17%, Indian baby and children products market is expected to reach US$ 21 billion (€16 billion) by the end of 2015.

The continuing healthy birth rate, coupled with growing awareness, surging income levels, aggressive marketing strategies, shifts in consumer behaviour and the acceptance of premium products is set to maintain the growth momentum of the country’s children, baby, and maternity products market.

What are the most commonly purchased childcare articles in India?
Products like baby cosmetics, infant food, apparels, feeding accessories, diaper and toys are found to be high in demand and hence easily available in small and medium retail outlets which are part of the large unorganized market segment.

And the least purchased ones?
Baby and Children accessories, baby and children basics, infant furniture, fashion accessories, gifts and novelties, publishing, stationery, school merchandize, sports merchandize, toilet merchandize, educational kits, activity kits, etc.

The amount of money that families spend on childcare articles, is increasing or decreasing?
The amount of money spent on childcare articles is increasing as income levels increase. The baby and children care products market is growing fast in line with the retail industry. The culture of shopping malls has provided a platform to the companies to launch and position their offerings to India’s affluent consumer base. Educated and vigilant parents have acknowledged the importance of baby and children products and are fast accepting them.

Which are the strengths of the childcare market in the country?
The Indian baby care market is a largely untapped market currently dominated by unorganised players and that has a high growth rate which is attributable to surging income levels in India, growing brand awareness and shifts in consumer behaviour.

And its weaknesses?
The Indian baby and children care market is highly fragmented and unorganized with more than 90% small and medium independent retailers serving the Indian consumers. Besides, the traditional fairs, weekly street markets and the likes give big boost to these local retailers who cater to multitude needs of customers at their doorsteps. This convenience and affordability has given a domineering stance to the unorganized retail.

How will the childcare market evolve in the country?
Currently baby and children care products are majorly sold through provision stores, supermarkets, hypermarkets, general stores, chemists shops, cosmetics stores etc. Moreover, companies are targeting middle class Indian consumers by expanding their outlets in Tier II and Tier III cities. In addition, investors are also focusing on e-retail platform to increase their presence and to occupy a major share of this fast growing market, and with the Foreign Direct Investment entering with large retail presence, will bring in an organized way of retail and showcase of global brands.

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