Market experts forecast that the aggregate increase across pay, allowances, and pensions on implementation of the 7th Pay Commission recommendations will result in significant increase in sales of CE, HA, and ACs over the next six months. An initial disbursement of Rs.45,000 crore to 30 lakh central government employees and pensioners between August and September 2016, followed by a Rs.34,000 crore likely to be disbursed for allowances post submission and acceptance of the report of the Finance Ministry Committee in January-February 2017 are no small amounts of money.

A report by Tata Strategic Management Group predicts that demand is unlikely to be uniform across cities and states. The five states of Delhi, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, and Andhra Pradesh are likely to account for about 50 percent of the disbursement between August and September 2016. Among cities in the country, Dehradun, Lucknow, Nagpur, Jabalpur, and Allahabad make it to the top 10 cities, ahead of metros of Bangalore and Ahmedabad. While some may be outright purchases, the remaining can be made possible with EMIs, due to monthly disbursements from October 2016. The marketers must identify these pockets of demand and pitch specific employee bands, and ensure that this one-time discretionary consumer spend takes place. 

Will this set of consumers loosen their purse strings and prove the experts right? Or will they be cautious and wait and watch, remains to be seen. 

There is a flurry of activity with the upcoming festive season. The industry is putting in place advertising and promotion campaigns, and working out detailed sales targets and incentives of each dealer. Retail showrooms are being spruced up, and the retailer additionally arranging finance options and other freebies at his end. 

IFA at Berlin comes to a close, with an expected order book of 4.5 billion euros. A multitude of exciting innovations led to this very positive response. From the smart kitchen to the connected car, virtual realities, and the Internet of Things, technology drives the digital evolution and revolution. It will be interesting to see how the Indian consumer warms up to these developments!