38 Lakh Marriages and the Economic Symphony of Weddings

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  • 14 Dec 2023
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Kotak Insights | Date 15/12/2023

It is the fourth largest industry in India.

Most of us have participated in it in some or the other way.

And it holds a special place in our hearts for it brings people together.

We’re talking about the Indian Wedding Industry!

The reason we’re talking about it? - The Indian wedding season is in full swing!

Data from the Confederation of All Indian Traders (CAIT) shows about a massive expenditure of Rs 4.74 lakh crore in this wedding season which is likely to see almost 38 lakh marriages from November 23 to December 15.

You read that right! Rs 4.74 lakh crore is a lot of money for 23 days.

But that’s how Indian weddings roll, right?

Let us unravel the dynamics of this industry and know how savvy investors can benefit from this trend in the markets.

Let’s start with the industry first.

India’s penchant for grand weddings has transformed this industry into a billion-dollar affair.

As per data from 2022, Indian spends close to $130 billion annually on weddings. Thanks to this, it makes it the fourth-largest industry in the nation, just behind energy, banking, and insurance.

The wedding industry is huge and it is only bound to grow in the coming years because of India’s demographic profile.

India is home to a fifth of the world’s youth demographic and it is experiencing a demographic window of opportunity, a “youth bulge”.

As per MoSPI, around 34% of the country’s population is between the age of 20-39. Close to 10% of the population is between the age of 15-19, which in the next 5 years would move to the marriage-appropriate demographic age.

This ensures a sustained and growing interest in weddings for years to come and growth for the wedding industry in coming years.

Here’s how the industry is currently evolving:

Let’s talk about the recent past.

Indian weddings witnessed a paradigm shift post-pandemic.

Before the pandemic, people used to have an extensive guest list. However, the pandemic-induced restrictions introduced Indians to intimate weddings and people preferred to have thinner guest lists.

The trend also stayed post lockdown. However, Indians are spending more or less the same amount of money with the trimmed guest list.

The expenditures related to wedding purchases and procurement of various services by consumers this season are almost Rs 1 lakh crore more than the year-ago period.

CAIT national president B C Bhartia and secretary general Praveen Khandelwal recently noted that the weddings about to garner the abovementioned Rs 4.74 lakh crore could be divided into five different expenditure categories as following:

• Around 6 lakh weddings will have an estimated expenditure of Rs 3 lakh per wedding • 1 million weddings will have expenditure around Rs 6 lakh per wedding • 1.2 million weddings are expected to incur expenses of about Rs 10 lakh / wedding • 600,000 weddings are estimated to cost Rs 25 lakh / wedding • 50,000 weddings will have a budget of Rs 50 lakh / wedding • 50,000 weddings will involve expenditures of Rs 1 crore or more per wedding

Let’s see, which industries and businesses and benefitting from this splurge.

Now, traders across the country have made extensive preparations to cater to the above bustling wedding season.

Approximately 20% of the total marriage expenditure is allocated to the bride's and groom's side, while 80% goes to various third-party agencies involved in organising the ceremonies.

Businesses like house repairs, jewellery, readymade garments, footwear, groceries and sweets, decoration items, electronics, and gift items are expected to thrive.

Banquet halls, hotels, open lawns, public parks, and farmhouses are ready to host these weddings.

Additionally, various services, including decorations, catering, travel services, photography, music and lighting, and event management, are expected to see significant demand, contributing to the bustling business activity.

Hospitality:

Weddings emerge not only as a time of celebration but also a crucial revenue stream for the hospitality industry. Hotels equipped with wedding halls or open spaces can orchestrate multiple weddings in a single day, a practice enhanced by hosting both preceding and following customary ceremonies at the same location.

The elaborate ceremonies can last for days which can translate into confirmed Food & Beverage (F&B) and room revenues. Over the years, weddings have evolved into a substantial contributor to the total revenues generated by the hotel industry.

Take the global hospitality major Hilton in India, for instance. A remarkable 12-40% of the room share stems from weddings. In the case of Marriott, their properties across India witnessed a staggering 5,000 weddings in 2022 alone, with 12% of their revenues attributed to wedding-related events.

One of the listed players from this sector is Indian Hotels Company Ltd.

Apparels and Other Retail:

Another sector that revels in the wedding business is retail, anticipating a surge in demand for Indian ethnic wear and accessories. As the wedding season aligns with festive celebrations, brands in fashion, jewellery, and footwear are poised for growth.

According to Bector, brands in fashion, jewellery and footwear are expecting double-digit growth, possibly up to 20% in the third quarter.

Some listed players from this space are Titan Company Ltd., Trent, Vedant Fashions Ltd.

Jewellery:

Indian weddings and festivals remain the most important demand drivers of gold jewellery. Bridal jewellery alone accounts for at least half of the market share in India, the world’s second-largest consumer of gold jewellery, as per a report by the World Gold Council.

Moreover, lab-grown diamonds are emerging as a lucrative alternative, gaining traction due to sustainability and pricing dynamics.

Some listed players from this space are Titan, Kalyan Jewellers India, etc.

Consumer Electronics:

For consumer electronics, the wedding season commands attention. Traditionally kicking off with festivals like Onam and Durga Puja, extending through Diwali, which contributes around one-third of this industry's overall annual sales value, the festive sales momentum continues further into the wedding season, stretching up to March.

Electronic items such as air conditioners, televisions, refrigerators, etc., become popular purchases by the bride and groom or as a gift given by family and friends.

Two-Wheelers:

Motorcycle manufacturing companies eagerly await the wedding season, a significant driver of their sales and annual performance. Notably, over 40% of the two-wheeler market resides in rural and semi-urban areas. It's a common tradition for grooms to either purchase or be gifted commuter bikes, considering it a luxury in these regions.

The ongoing wedding season is set to make waves in various Indian sectors. The enthusiasm is expected to resonate into 2024 when the next wedding season commences.

Looking at stocks from the sectors like the above can be an exciting bet for some investors and traders. They could offer the potential for quick returns during this celebratory time of the year. It’s a thematic play – wherein a theme brings in a rally for certain sector and stocks.

However, it's essential to approach wedding stocks with caution. Investors and traders should align their return expectations with business fundamentals, financial health, and valuations.

The wedding industry's thematic play can be enticing, but a discerning eye and strategic approach can ensure a harmonious investment experience.

Which wedding stock are you tracking? Let us know in the comments section below.

Until next time…

Stay Tuned!


Sources: Kotak Securities, CAIT, PTI, MoSPI, Economic Times

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute financial advice. Investors should conduct their own research and consult with financial professionals before making any investment decisions. Read the full disclaimer here.


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