When you hear the term “beer cafe” you would normally think of it as being located in a European country or in the U.S.; not in Gurgaon, India. However, you would be mistaken since the number of beer cafes in the region has experienced a considerable level of growth fuelled by their ambiance and the unique appeal of their concept that draws in numerous customers on a daily basis.
Growth of Beer Cafes in Gurgaon
The growing number of beer cafes in Gurgaon is fuelled by a combination of the city’s rapid rate of growth which has resulted in more disposable income for local residents as well as the presence of numerous international companies within the city. As per 2015 findings of Hindustantimes.com; Gurgaon, as India’s leading financial and industrial city, has experienced a considerable increase in consumer spending. It was due to this that local consumers within the city developed increasingly more “cosmopolitan” tastes which makes them seek new types of dining experiences. As a result, a number of local consumers craved foreign restaurants and unique dining experiences. It was due to this that the Anya beer cafe in Gurgaon has drawn in a considerable number of daily consumers (especially at night) due to its ambiance and its open air social setting.
Understanding Indian Consumers
To understand why beer cafes have become so popular in the last few years in Gurgaon, it is important to understand how Indian consumers view the concept of the consumption of food. In a 2014 article, Thediplomat.com released an article detailing the socio-cultural connections of food and eating in groups within India. Unlike in western countries, consumers within India have a strong sense of “fellowship” so to speak where, culturally, the act of consuming food is more than just a means of sating your hunger; rather, it is also a time to socialize and communicate with family and friends.
There are a wide variety of examples of this attitude in Indian culture and showcases the importance that is attached to social events and how the consumption of food is an important factor in them. It is due to this that it is not surprising that beer cafes in Gurgaon have experienced a considerable level of growth since their open settings combined with meals that are meant to be shared among a group of people results in a familiar experience for many Indian consumers.
Foreign Cultures and Indian Consumers
Aside from the familiar setting, there is also the level of fascination that Indian consumers have when it comes to foreign goods and culture. For instance, a 2009 article published by Knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu showed that the desire of local consumers to experience foreign cultures whether in the form of clothes, food or other such aspects is actually a marketable selling point for companies or entrepreneurs looking to establish themselves within the overly saturated Indian market. This is one of the reasons why beer cafes in Gurgaon have experienced a considerable level of popularity since they create an experience for local consumers that differs significantly from what they are used to.
The different types of beer that are available (usually foreign), combined with foreign foods and an ambiance that is distinctly different from what can be described as “Indian” makes the act of being in a beer cafe unique and is a definite selling point. Aside from this, the growth of Gurgaon as a financial and industrial hub has brought in many foreign expats and, as a result, this has increased the amount of consumers that would frequent a beer cafe. Whenever expats go to another country they tend to want to find something familiar or some means of reminding them of home. Beer cafes help to fill this niche by creating an experience where expats can drink familiar beers or eat familiar foods resulting in them being regular patrons at the various beer cafes within Gurgaon.
The Rising Middle Class in Gurgaon
While the concept of greater disposable income has been mentioned already in this paper, it is important to note that beer cafes have slowly established the reputation of “the place to be” when it comes to people from the middle class. Often located in some of the more affluent areas within the city, beer cafes have become synonymous with being either rich or being in the middle class since the price of the products that are being sold are often out of reach of ordinary Indian consumers. This level of exclusivity is actually one of the selling points behind beer cafe patronage.
Overall, the number of beer cafes in Gurgaon is likely to increase in the coming years as the city continues to grow and the affluent continue to want to be seen drinking in one.