Investing in the Consumer of Tomorrow - Today!

Date:   Wednesday , February 03, 2016

Headquartered in Mumbai, Sixth Sense Ventures is India\'s first domestic consumer centric venture fund. With a typical investment of up to Rs10 crores, the company leverages both its capital and experience to help companies succeed.

India is witnessing a shift from Consumer to Prosumer. People are not only \'consuming\' products, but they are also significantly impacting the success/failure of products and brands, particularly through their involvement on the social web. No longer are businesses completely in control of their products, brands and messages. Today, consumers are in control!

Five Important Consumer Trends of 2016:

• Internet of \'Sharing\' Things:
The propensity to consume and acquire \'status skills\' will drive the internet of \'sharing\' things. Indians innately have a sharing tendency - be it across food, apparels or even jewellery. We see the extension of this inherent sharing culture into organized rental oriented businesses in 2016. The new age consumer will be willing to acquire temporary status skills and indulge into the rental economy. With the sharing economy opening up, we see the opening up of \'consumer to consumer\' businesses across various high frequency consumer verticals.

• Old World to make a Comeback!
Last few years have witnessed the emergence of Unicorns spearheaded by young aggressive teams. Old Consumer Incumbents (like the Tata, Reliance, Birla, and others) seemed to have displayed no intention to participate in the new age consumer territory. We believe 2016 will see the Old World adapt to the new-age consumer and make a strong comeback. With the Indian consumer having adapted to the new ways of commerce, we believe industry stalwarts in the Retail and Consumer space will now make a meaningful entry to target the \'ready to indulge\' consumer.

• Instant Gratification:
After a year, where mobile-powered on-demand startups found favor with consumers, customer service is headed to the next level. We see more consumers converting into the on-demand service culture, especially in the auto, home improvement and maintenance space. We expect perennially time-starved customers to demand accelerated physical service options, especially from brands they extend their loyalty towards. Consumers will show stickiness towards brands/platforms that offer meaningful insights into their consumption patterns, thereby proving valuable \'convenience\'. Businesses forming a part of the value chain, such as logistics players,analytics companies, or any other company will piggy ride the growth and witness a more stronger growth curve.

• Products to come back to Flavour!
Much of the start-up scene in the last 2-3 years has been driven by technology enabled services. While technology will continue to be a key enabler for new age businesses, we believe 2016 will also see a marked focus towards the consumer product space. Product innovations by entrepreneurs\' in large consumer categories will be seen and significant early stage investments in the consumer sector will be in the product domain. With the consumers today displaying an ability to experiment with new products and distribution channels offering more opportunity, we see disruptors like Paperboat and Fogg Deo being created across other consumer categories.

• Healthcare and Education Sectors to see Disruption
The two largest unorganized spaces in the consumer-centric sector remain to be Healthcare and Education. With all the large unorganized spaces within the consumer domain witnessing disruption and moved towards the \'organized\' framework, we believe change is in the coming. While there have been efforts at bringing efficiencies across these industries, the bureaucratic nature of these verticals have kept them fragmented. 2016 will be the year of consolidation for businesses in these verticals, thereby offering the consumer a holistic solution. As consumers see value in new age solutions in healthcare and education, stickiness will be created offering businesses the ability to monetize. We see healthcare and education undergoing a tech enabled transformation in 2016.