Is Diwali the Most Expensive Festival?

Revisiting the tales of Ravana, discussing safety and distributing sweets are few things that we do every year during Diwali. This time around, let us explore how Diwali has grown into a contemporary festival at the global level and the impact it has on the Indian economy.

Lights, Action and Selfies – Diwali has arrived!

Diwali is India’s most elegant and cosmopolitan festival –thanks to the irresistible sweets, the evolving fashion and the innovatively designed crackers. While Diwali has a strong cultural background and stands as a strong proof that good always wins over evil, the festival has clearly picked hues of style and sophistication over the years.

With Diwali comes multiple environmental, social and psychological changes that together cause a major impact on the overall economy of the country. To start with, Diwali sets the entire country in a festive mood and the joy of Diwali spreads like a ripple effect throughout the Indian economy.

The “corporate-styled” Diwali

In the recent years, the Indian IT sector has taken to celebrating Diwali in a grand manner. With millions of hardworking, brilliant youngsters finding solace in their jobs, it is only fair that companies take up the effort and time to celebrate with their employees.

Grand decor adorned the office building and special lunch was served to all employees. E-commerce giants like Flipkart and Jabong celebrated their grand festive season sales by commemorating the loyal employees during the Diwali celebration. Other companies like Ernst and Young, Google, Interface, Freecharge,  Snapdeal, Times of India, GiftXOXO and Interface where among the top most companies that celebrate Diwali in an extravagant manner. IT industry body Nasscom estimates the Indian ecommerce market was $33 billion in 2017-18 and reached $38.5 billion during 2018-19. Amazon and Flipkart comprise the bulk of the online retail market.

Diwali goes global!

Just when you thought, Diwali celebrations have reached until the doors of the corporate; Singapore –Known to be the second home for Indian Tamils, Singapore has always been a pioneer in embracing Indian festivals. This year, the country moved one step ahead of the usual and established this remarkable feat.

Amidst all this grandeur came a ray of hope when Pakistani forces and the Indian Army exchanged sweets at selected border stations. The ceremonial exchange of sweets made the troops as well as the people of both countries feel warm in spite of the many years of strained relationship.

Important business trends for Diwali 2019

  • E-commerce websites that offer fashion, electrical appliances and furniture have shown a tremendous increase in sales. While brick-and-mortar firms have always reported increased sales during the Diwali season, trade through digital media is quickly catching up.
  • Six new cars have been launched during this festival sale. They are Maruti Suzuki S-Presso, Hyundai Elantra Facelift, Maruti Suzuki XL5, Renault Kwid Facelift, Tata Altroz, and Tata Tiago Facelift
  • Many banks are also giving coupons and 10 to 15% discounts on the purchases made with their debit or credit card.
  • While gold prices go up the radar due to high demand around Diwali time, this year has been an exception. A strong US dollar and the probability of rate hike from the Federal reserve of the United States has caused immense pressure on the gold price.
  • The market for idols made from luxurious metals and precious stones seems to be on the rise. Different models of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi with price ranging between few thousands and few lakhs are growing in demand among the elite group.

Diwali and the Indian Economy

Amazon reported record sales of about Rs. 750 crore ($7.07 million) in 36 hours in the premium smartphone brands category during the festive season (Great Indian Festival). In fact, OnePlus clocked in a record ₹500 crore revenue on the second day of Amazon Great Indian Festival. This year online sales are expected to rise from 60-100% comparing last year sales. Flipkart notched up a market share of 73% during the six-day sale period, according to Kalyan Krishnamurthy, the Indian marketplace’s group CEO. In general, almost every industry in India showcased a positive growth through the Diwali season and those who adeptly took advantage of the opportunity expanded their market share considerably.

More money is sent in and out of India during Diwali and imports reach a new high every year.  The overall business growth is propelled and movement starts with the mind and attitude of every single consumer. “The consumers will spend 40% more on this ongoing festival sale compared to last year” , says ASSOCHAN survey. An averagely upper middle class family spend around Rs.15000 to RS.25000 during the Diwali season.

A few final words…

Diwali is the time of the year when the entire country moves into a shopping spree and the overall economy of the country is on a high. Government launches eco-friendly crackers to fight air pollution caused by the excessive use of crackers (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) labs have been successful in developing various environment-friendly fireworks). With a strong sense of safety and environmental-friendliness, Diwali can turn out to be the best time for economic growth and personal glory for the Indian population.

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