The alchemy of desire

Betting on aspiration is betting on the human nature, which becomes highly predictable once the bare necessities of life have been fulfilled

The alchemy of desire

The word 'aspiration' means a strong desire to have or do something. In our free time, we tend to search the internet for the things which we desperately want to own. We may not be able to get them right away, so we plan to get them at some point in time.

The alchemy of desireWhen we have our basic needs fulfilled, the next thing we aspire to own is what gives us pleasure. Its worth is not measured by just its intrinsic value but by the aspirational needs it can fulfil. Aspiration can take many forms. We want to look good; we want to have fun; we want to spend quality time; we want to impress others; and so on. Demand for such aspirational products is surely going to increase as achhe din become a reality for more and more Indian consumers in the coming times. Following are companies which are a great play on the aspiration theme.

Aditya Birla Fashion & Retail
Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail came into being in May 2015, when Aditya Birla Nuvo's Madura Fashion & Lifestyle and the retail business of Madura merged with Pantaloon Retail, thus creating one of the largest fashion and retail companies in India, with more than 6,000 points of sale in 200 cities. Some of the popular brands which it owns in India are Louis Philippe, Van Heusen, Allen Solly and Peter England. Louis Philippe and Van Heusen are the top two largest-selling brands in India. Pantaloons owns one of the largest retail spaces, thus creating a high synergy. Aditya Birla Fashion is poised to do well, as the aspiration theme plays out.

Eicher makes two-wheeler bike Royal Enfield, which contributes almost 92 per cent of its revenue. Royal Enfield's bikes are not ordinary bikes, which one buys for day-to-day commuting. People buy them for the brand. The Royal Enfield rider takes pride in riding the bike. Many young people aspire to own one. This is the reason why the Enfield has been selling like hot cake for the past six to seven years.

Mahindra Holidays & Resorts
With 44 resorts, Mahindra Holidays & Resorts is a leading player in the leisure and hospitality sector. Its flagship brands are Club Mahindra Holidays, Club Mahindra Fundays and Club Mahindra Traveland. The company offers vacation ownership to its customers for an upfront amount. This allows them to stay in the company's resorts for as many as 25 years or as per the plan they opt for. For the astute holiday traveller, this option works well because it shields him from the increasing cost of holidaying. Since the company gets the money upfront, it doesn't depend on debt for running its operations and for expansion.

Titan was founded 30 years ago as a watch-maker. However, now it sells more jewellery than watches and hence is known as a jewellery company. Its brand Tanishq has established itself as a premium brand, which gives high aspirational value to its products and thus more margins. One of the biggest strengths of the company is its management, which has managed to shift its focus strategically as per the changing scenario, from a pure watch company to a jewellery company. It is now venturing into lifestyle products with brands like Fastrack and Titan Eye Plus.

Titan is truly flying, thanks to its aspirational products, and should continue to do so.

Here you can read about the other articles in this series

  1. Introduction
  2. Foods
  3. Personal care
  4. Housing
  5. Transportation

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