India – Where Diversity Meets Dynamic Growth

February 19 2024

Faces and Markets of PRGN is a new series of blog posts in 2024 that puts PRGN member agencies and their markets in the spotlight.

Each week, expect to read about a market from an economic, business and communications point of view, brought to you by the very people living and working on the ground in that country, state or region.

The blog pieces illustrate the vast amount of in-depth knowledge of business, media, communications and marketing PRGN brings together having presence in more than 40 countries and 70 cities on six continents through its member agencies globally.

In this week’s blog post, Sunil Puri, managing director of Mileage Communications India in New Delhi, describes the business and communications environment in India and offers advice on navigating his home market.

Public Relations in India’s Diverse Market

India is fast becoming a crucial market for public relations. This is fueled by its fast-growing economy, diverse workforce, and dynamic consumer base, driven by a young population. Furthermore, the country’s diverse regions sometimes necessitate a hyper-local communications approach, sensitive to each region’s languages and ethnic requirements. Cultural, geopolitical, demographic, and social distinctions all play major roles. Also, as businesses globalize and PR practices undergo significant changes, companies in India face the issue of balancing local strategies while building a comprehensive global narrative. This transformative phase calls for a blend of localized insights and global thinking, reshaping brand perception within India and across borders.

New Delhi India
New Delhi, India | Photo by Laurentiu Morariu on Unsplash

The Communications Landscape in India

India’s diverse and dynamic market landscape offers multiple opportunities for public relations strategists. With a broad consumer base, PR plans require strategically tailored campaigns to resonate with regional needs and nuances. Additionally, the extensive digital reach of India’s population is an asset in amplifying PR efforts, leveraging social media and online platforms as crucial tools, especially when engaging with India’s tech-savvy youth. The vast array of diverse media channels allows PR campaigns to geo-target and communicate at multiple levels. However, despite growing digital literacy, print media has bounced back after Covid-19, especially in Tier 2 and 3 cities. This highlights the multifaceted nature of India’s information consumption landscape and the dynamic interplay of digital and traditional channels, further highlighting the multidimensional approach needed for successful PR campaigns in India.

Key expertise of Mileage Communications India

  • Pan-Indian media relations, media partnership programs, and influencer marketing
  • Content strategy and digital PR
  • Industry verticals: Tourism and Aviation, Automotive, Lifestyle and Retail, Technology and Crisis Communication

Global companies navigating the PR landscape in India

As global decoupling intensifies in 2024, a new and rapidly changing approach in public relations becomes essential, especially for companies with an international footprint. This necessitates a hyper-local approach to communication, with due sensitivity to each region’s cultural, geopolitical, and social nuances, while simultaneously maintaining its global narrative. Crafting communication strategies that suit India’s cultural fabric and local needs, languages, and customs are pivotal. Additionally, by adopting predictive analytics, global organizations can anticipate and address potential issues before they become full-blown crises. 

The diverse ensemble of media channels significantly shapes the communication landscape in India. Consumer communication is now disseminated via multiple channels, incorporating platforms like social media (mainly Facebook, Instagram, and X for consumers, and LinkedIn for business), television and radio, podcasts, email, online reviews and ratings, print media, and out-of-home.

Most influential media for consumer communications in India

  • OTT, Connected TV and Linear TV
  • Social and Digital Media
  • Print and Radio

Most influential media for corporate communications in India

  • Business and News Media Platforms and Channels
  • Professional Networking platforms – like LinkedIn
  • Print Media

Most popular social media channels in India

YouTube: 462 million users

Instagram: 359 million users

Facebook: 315 million users

Snapchat: 182 million users

LinkedIn: 117 million users

X: 24 million users

The single most important event in India in 2024

Federal Government Elections (End of April / Early May)

India in Numbers

Population 1.4 billion
Languages spoken Hindi, English
Religions (% of population) Hinduism (79.8%), Islam (14.2%), Christianity (2.3%), and Sikhism (1.7%)*
GDP per capita (USD) $9,183 (PPP, 2023 est.)
(Real) GDP growth rate 6.5% (2023)
Inflation rate 5.46% (2023)
Unemployment rate 8% (2023)
Key sectors and industries (% of GDP) agriculture (15.4%), industry (23%), and services (61.5%)*
Mobile penetration (per 100 people) 82 (2021 est.)*
Internet users (% of population) 46% (2021 est.)*
Corporate profit tax 30%
Consumer tax on VAT 18% (general)
Sunil Puri
Managing Director, Mileage Communications India

Sunil is an industry veteran with almost three decades of experience in finance, marketing and the tourism sectors and has successfully led various large-scale promotions and events for many international clients. He has been the driving force behind Mileage Communications India since its inception and is well known across India. His strengths include sales and marketing, marketing & brand communications, finance and PR strategies.

Mileage Communications (India) Private Limited is a strategic Marketing and Public Relations organization. With offices in Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai, and representatives in other major cities, Mileage India is a joint venture with Mileage Communications Singapore, which has a presence in nine countries and 15 cities across Asia.

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