Indian Weddings: A billion dollar opportunity?
I am 25. And I know a lot like A LOT of people that are getting married this season. I am guessing, it is the same for you as well, because we have around 32 lakh weddings between Nov 22 - Feb 23. It is estimated that a whopping 3.75 lakh crore would be spent on these weddings.
That is a lot of money. But, that’s how Indian weddings are, right?
Grand. Lavish. Extravagant.
India’s love for grand weddings has made it a billion-dollar industry. As per a report by Economist, Indians spend close to $130 bn annually on weddings and it is India’s fourth-largest industry, just behind energy, banking, and insurance.
The wedding Industry in India is huge and it is only bound to grow in the coming years because of our demographic profile. Around 34% of our population is between the age of 20-39, and close to 10% of our population is between the age of 15-19, which in the next 5 years would move to the marriage-appropriate demographic age. So, all in all, the industry in India is bound to grow.
Indian Weddings: From Plenty to Premium!
Indian weddings have witnessed a paradigm shift post-pandemic. Before the pandemic, people used to have an extensive guest 400-500 people, but the pandemic-induced restrictions introduced Indians to intimate weddings and they seem to love that idea.
Weddings in India have become an intimate affair, people now prefer to have thinner guest lists. The focus has shifted from quantity to quality, people are now preferring to have premium weddings with close ones.
“The big fat Indian wedding has evolved and while people are spending more or less the same amount, the guest list size has significantly come down. From 400-500 guests on an average pre-Covid, it has now come down to 200-250. But the spending has not reduced as couples are focusing on enhancing the guest experience,” quoted Anam Zubair, head of marketing, WeddingWire.
The Indian wedding industry is a marriage between multiple industries, as a lot of industries benefit from marriages, like apparel, events, hospitality, etc. Let’s see, which industries and businesses benefit from them.
Matrimony: The Matchmaker
A survey was conducted in 2018, and according to that close to 93% of the marriages in India are arranged marriages. This implies, that most people rely on their Chaca’s, and Mausa’s to find them a bride/groom or on traditional matchmakers. In India, the matchmaking business is quite diverse, you can find matchmakers operating from rural huts to urban high-rises.
Online Matrimonial sites have also gained traction in the last few years. Matrimony.com, the company that operates Bharat Matrimony in India, clocked a revenue of INR 434 crores in FY22 and is valued at more than INR 1300 crores. They have close to 8,50,000 subscribers and have made close to 1,00,000 matches.
Indian weddings are lavish. The wedding involves a minimum of three events before the actual ceremony, often followed by a reception. The bride and groom shop for close to 7-8 outfits for the wedding. You see, the ongoing social media culture has made couples conscious of their wedding outfits.
The bride and her bridesmaids would need at least 6-7 outfits, on top of that they would require customised t-shirts and pyjamas for the Bachelor’s party. Then they would require intricately handcrafted saris and lehenga’s from top designers such as Tarun Tahiliani and Sabyasachi.
Indians who are affluent are increasingly spending on outfitting family members and guests to impress on Instagram. Increasingly, brides are becoming conscious of how their weddings will be photographed, and to keep the wedding aesthetic, close family members are also choosing the same brands for their wedding attires.
Because everyone today wants an aesthetic and instagramable wedding, no?
Sabyasachi Mukherjee, one of the most prominent designers in India quoted, “Wedding collections are no longer just about the bride,”
The Indian wedding and celebration wear category grew a CAGR of approximately 9.5% from Financial Years 2015 to 2019 driven by weddings, family functions and festivals. According to CRISIL Research, Indian wedding and celebration wear apparel market is estimated to be approximately ₹1,020 billion in Financial Year 2020.
The Indian wedding and celebration wear apparel market to grow at a 15% to 17% CAGR over the Financial Year 2022 to 2025 period, reaching ₹1,325 billion to 1,375 billion by Financial Year 2025, led by the fundamental nature of the industry, higher spending per consumer and the increasing trend of multi-day wedding functions in India.
The growth in the industry would be driven by demand from not just the couples but also their close family members and friends.
In the wedding apparel industry, close to 85% of the market is dominated by unorganized players, while brands and designer labels have a 15% market share. But their market share has increased dramatically in the last few years. The branded Indian wedding and celebration wear grew 27% to 29% from Financial Year 2015 to Financial Year 2020
One listed player operating in this space is Vedant fashion, the company owns brands like Manyavar and Mohey. It is the largest player in the branded wedding apparel market in terms of revenue. In FY 22, its revenue jumped by 84% and stood at INR 1040 crores.
A great wedding is incomplete without a lavish hotel. Indian hotels were beaten down by the pandemic last year, but now as the restrictions have been lifted on the events and weddings have started in full swing, they are witnessing an uptick in revenue.
The India-wide average daily rate (ADR) for the hotel sector in September 2022 was in the range of Rs 5,900-6,100, which is 43-45% higher than the same month last year.
Ferns N Petals, which owns and operates 11 large wedding venues around Delhi NCR, is expecting 100 percent growth this year.
Raffles Udaipur general manager Rajesh Namby said that wedding and leisure segments have been the major contributors to the hotel's revenue this year. He said that the share of the wedding and leisure segments had been 50% and 40%, respectively.
The Bottom Line
Indians take their marriages quite seriously because you live only once right?
They want everything to be perfect from Bride’s lehenga to the wedding decor. Indians' love for a fairytale wedding has made it a million-dollar industry. The industry benefits billions of people from a small wedding card designer to a garland maker to a high-end designer label.
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