The Indian woman is at peace with the paradoxes that are her life. She has embraced diverse ways to indulge herself and her loved ones. The Indian woman of today is, in equal parts, Lalitaji and Lolita.
Lalitaji is the samajhdari part of her and Lolita is the suave part of her, with a discerning eye for style.
Lalitaji is hard to fool, Lolita is that much harder to please.
And that’s the evolutionary truth that marketers have to grasp very quickly of the urban woman consumer of today.
Where Lalitaji is all about respecting traditions and discharging duty, Lolita isn’t afraid to indulge her individual self, without cost or damage to others around her. She’s fine-tuning her balancing act into an art that few of her contemporaries around the world can match.
Lolita takes the traditional and contemporises it.
Lalitaji takes the new into the pallu of her sari easily. She’s able to do this because of a few unique things about her generation. She’s the first to grow up without the baggage of the Raj era. She’s grown up grooming the internet generation, and has seen all the advances first hand along the way. And she’s grown up without bottling up her own aspirations.
Most importantly, whether she’s elite class or by-and-large mass class, there’s a unifying mindset. Call her the “Affluential Indian Woman”. She will not settle for anything less than the best that her money and time can get her. And she populates her home and her life with not just one or two but multiple things along the spectrum from traditional to contemporary.
From classy Kanjeevarams and Benarasi silks and the ubiquitous salwar kameez to the casually chic jeans and t-shirt, her wardrobe straddles her myriad moods and roles. From hair oils to conditioners, henna to streaks, chandan and haldi to moisturisers, she grooms and preens as the occasion demands.
From whipping up dosa batter to serving up steaming pancakes with maple syrup; from navratan korma to fettucini alfredo; kitchen shelves where sambar powder and garam masala rub shoulders with oregano and vinegar; from crafting exotic dishes at home to being at home in new restaurants around town, nowhere is reverse-McDonaldisation more visible.
From upholding traditions to celebrating new ones, she has embraced diverse ways to indulge herself and the ones she loves.
And as much as non-urban women are taking to “Western” products like shampoos and fairness creams, urban women are discovering the joys of going back to the basics with organics. India’s woman consumer of today is completely at peace with the many paradoxes that are her life. Lalitaji and Lolita both reside in the same person. Happily.
The writer is Chief Marketing Officer, Max New York Life