A Perspective on Economy of Agartala

Since liberalization in the early nineties the economy of India has seen tremendous growth which was not stalled even by the dot com bubble burst in 2000 and the recession of 2009. But the economy of Agartala has not been developing in tandem with the economy of the country. The development has been quite slow; though lot of consumer brands in telecom and retail have entered Tripura but that would be mainly because the markets in tier 1 and tier 2 cities have saturated and they are looking for new territories to expand their business.
Entry of MNCs and the rise of Indian giants have provided the perennially cash starved middle class with higher disposable income, but Agartala seems to have not benefited much from it. There are handful of private companies in the state so majority of the people have govt. jobs which until recently was not very high paying. So the population with high disposable income is very low in the state.
The young population between the age group of 23 – 40 are major spend thrifts; they also constitute the major part of the Indian population. In Tripura major chunk of the young population leaves the state for higher education and they never return. Those who stay back to study in NIT, Tripura medical college etc can’t spend much as they are students and when they graduate, a major chunk again leaves for job in the big metros of India. This large scale migration of educated and talented people has not helped the economy much. One might argue that the expatriates send money back home for their parents, but the parents being from the pre-liberalisation era don’t spend more than what’s necessary.
We all know that the economy develops when the spending of the population increases, this was the reason behind the booming of American, Japanese or Korean economy. Even the Indian cities like Mohali, Surat, Coimbatore etc sees high consumer spending and are doing good.
The buying pattern of the consumers of Agartala haven’t evolved much; the major buying takes place once a year during Durga puja while the rest of the year buying takes place only for occasions like marriage, birthday etc. The buying is pre-decided and the instances of impulse buying are very low. The retail space of Agartala is such that it doesn’t encourage much of impulse buying. The shopping malls are major places of hang out for both young and old, lot of people of who go to malls to do window shopping and pass some time end up buying something. The city centre at Agartala is a poor substitute for a mall, to me it resembles more like Battala super market.
So does it mean that the retail brands don’t have much hope in Agartala? I would say No, I don’t see a reason why mass brands like Reebok, John Player, Lee will not do good here. The people of Agartala have high aspiration the reflection of which we can see in the buying pattern of cell phones and 2- wheelers. The retail brands have to just educate the consumer about themselves; they have to incentivize them to spend more than the planned shoppings. I believe discount stores like Loot, Brand Factory will have good prospect in Agartala.

Reply to comment | The Tripura Foundation

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Enlightening. The exodus of

Enlightening. The exodus of young generation is impacting a lot. A movie multiples is supposed to come up. I wonder how successful that will be. May give us a good measure. Agartali-tes are starved for a great movie experience for decades.

Reply to comment | The Tripura Foundation

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