Will Tablet sales in India push the sales of Murse, men purse?

I will get to the actual topic of Murse (read: man-purse) a bit later. Let us go over the background of mobile, tablet usage in India.

The reducing cost of smartphones, tablets has been helping the internet trickle down to the masses, but we all wait to see the hockey stick effect in internet penetration in India. When most of the mobile users will “always” be on broadband (2G or 3G or wifi – whatever) we can see the landscape of consumption on internet changing drastically.

According to Boston Consulting Group India will have 237 million internet users by 2015 (how does one arrive at some odd numbers? Usually we say 250m, 300m!). BCG says in 2011 20 million users were accessing the internet from mobile handsets which will surge to 100 million by 2015. But Google says there are over 100 million mobile internet users already in India and the next 200-300 million users will come from mobiles. Not sure which figures to believe.

According to MAIT, in 2010-11 (ending March 2011) 9.3 million PCs (6 million), laptops (3 million), netbooks (330,000), Tablets (100,000) were sold.

Tablets in India

Tablets are expected to grow exponentially in India. Many companies in India are bringing out Android tablets for Rs 10,000 and telcos like Reliance (Mukesh Ambani) is planning on releasing an Android tablet for Rs 3,000. Hardware vendors are convinced about the demand for entry level tablets as Rs 2,500 Aakash tablet got 1.4 million bookings in a short span of time.

Tablets and sub-Rs 4,000 smartphones is expected to trigger mass adoption of Internet in India. Customers look for internet feature in a phone before they buy these days in India.

Smartphones, Tablets – Global Numbers

For the year 2011 (Jan-Dec), 472 million smart phones were sold across the globe. Globally of 2 billion internet users, 1.5 billion access it via smart phones (source: Economic Times, Dec 15 2011). Kindle Fire has already surpassed the sales of #2 seller Samsung in the tablet market.

Now, what is Murse?

Jan 29, 2012 (Sunday) issue of Economic Times had some interesting numbers of “The Handbag Economy” in India (research by Technopak).

  • Bag market size in India: Rs 2,000 crore (2010), Rs 4,000 crore (2015). Majority of this sector is not organized.
  • Handbags are for fun: 56% casual bags, 27% formal bags, 17% clutches bags. For every one formal bag, an Indian woman has TWO-THREE casual bags (let us not even think of getting into their footwear!)
  • 20-35 years buy 4-5 bags a year, those above 35 years buy 304 bags a year (what do they do with the “old bags”? Again best not to stop on their toes)
  • Spending power on bags: 20-35 years spend Rs 10-15,000 per year, above 35 years spend Rs 20-25,000 per year
Murse from ebags.com

Murse from ebags.com

I was introduced to the word ‘mens purse’ by a friend few years ago. He told me many men in the US had started using iPad as their primary computer. They needed something to carry it which led to men buying ‘purses’. One of the most popular items is ‘Newsboy Bag’.

With mobile phones becoming bigger (Samsung Galaxy Note being one of them) which don’t fit in your pockets, you do need a bag or rather a purse to carry the ubiquitous phone with you. I haven’t seen any ecom sites in India selling good men purses.

So will men in India soon say “Honey, let us go bag shopping?”

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