India and China’s swelling middle class is what advertisers, marketers and investors have counted on for a bigger return on investment, higher profits and soaring sales. Its her growing population with a rising income, fattening consumption levels and ballooning aspirations that have lead companies to the hungry navel of the sweet and sour neighbours.
Yet, a recent PEW study shows that while both China and India have succeeded in pulling 356 million Chinese and 133 million Indians out of poverty between 2001 and 1011, China has managed to move a majority up the value scale – from poor to middle income. Whereas, India has just about managed to make her poor join the leagues of low income people, keeping their standard of living, access of opportunities and consumption rates dismally low at current purchasing power parity.
This means that while China was able to increase the standard of living of her people dramatically, India only marginally managed to improve the lives of her people. The lost opportunity, takes significantly away from India’s demographic dividend which investors have been counting on to spur sales. Analysts pose the consequences to India’s slow governance, corruption and general apathy. Economically, it means that while China’s population will be older than India’s by 2010, it will also be much richer as a whole, leaving people happier and companies richer.
According to the report, from 2001 to 2011, the poverty rate in China fell from 41 percent to 12 percent and the poverty rate in India dropped from 35 percent to 20 percent.