In recent years, the Indian wedding business has boomed to about 10 times the Canadian average. Are you missing out on this growing trend?
While the average Canadian might spend $30,000 on a wedding, Indian families routinely invest $300,000 to $400,000 for a days-long affair that includes several events.
The Indian Wedding – a Generous Celebration
Weddings play a central role in any Indian’s life, whether abroad or in their home country. The hope of every Indian parent is to secure a good marriage for their children, and they spare no expense in expressing their joy when it happens. Many parents begin saving for their children’s wedding as soon as they are born, dreaming of a celebration lavish enough to rival any Bollywood movie.
The world of shaadi (the Hindi word for wedding) is the ultimate fantasy, a world away from the Western trend of minimalism and voluntary simplicity.
Indian weddings in North America have become increasingly extravagant in recent years. It would seem that each new wedding outdoes the last in this community that takes great pride in generously celebrating their loved ones’ wedding.
Hundreds of guests are treated to the kind of experience that Westerners associate with red-carpet events usually watched on television from the comfort of their living room. For Indians, however, weddings are no spectator sport ? they want to be part of the action!
While the average Canadian wedding caters to 120 guests, Indian events have seen up to 1,000 guests at a time. Everyone is welcome at an Indian wedding: relatives (often flown in at the family’s expense),
friends, colleagues and even neighbors. Accommodations, transportation, food, entertainment and gifts are expected to be provided for out-of-town guests during their entire stay.
An Indian wedding typically lasts for several days and includes a variety of events, each with its own theme, entertainment, catering, wardrobe and professional photo shoot.
For example, in the event known as baraat, the groom rides towards the wedding venue as part of a procession animated with music and accompanied by his family. Traditionally done on horseback or by elephant, recent trends have also seen grooms arrive by way of Lamborghinis, helicopters or even parachutes!
South Asian Population in Canada ? A Growing Business Opportunity
South Asians are the largest visible minority in Canada and represent 5% of the total population, mostly concentrated in Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Montreal.
Considering the expected growth of the South Asian population, coupled with the fact that their average income ($86,000) is 4% above that of Canadians’, it is not surprising to see how business owners are jumping at the chance to connect with this often-overlooked market.
South Asian culture being family-centered, and not least because those footing the bill are most likely the couple’s parents, business owners who want to connect with them must be ready to deal with individuals who still strongly identify with their homeland and culture.
When US-based Marriott chain of hotels recognized this opportunity to increase their event revenue, they decided to show the Indian community that they indeed meant business. For example, several of their hotels offer an “India 101” crash course to their employees to train them on Indian wedding basics and sales strategy. The result? For one of these establishments, half of their wedding event business (US$ 6.6 million) now comes from Indian weddings.
Why were they so successful? They recognized the importance of getting to know their clients and knew they needed help to achieve their goal.
Get Expert Help to Increase Your Business
What can you do to get your business better exposure to the South Asian community? How can you be sure that you communicate your offer effectively? How can you craft a message that will reach the people who still identify with their home country and culture? At Maple Diversity, we love to use our knowledge to help you communicate better with Canada’s ethnic communities. Contact one of our experts to know more.
 South Asia is a term used to represent Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. According to Marketing Magazine, as of 2014 the proportion of South Asians living in Canada was as follows: Indian 66%, Pakistani 9%, Sri Lanka 9%, Punjabi 5% and others 10%.