Religion, faith or belief no matter what you call it, is an intrinsic part of human life. Most of us are born with it, some of us subscribe to it as we grow and others adopt it as and when realization dawns. Following a certain religion or faith is linked with certain lifestyle choices prescribed by it. As a believer one must use certain products and services and abstain from others.
This is why different religious beliefs have led to the establishment of businesses that supply people with certain products and services which are linked with the lifestyles that they lead. In a run up to my writings on the different types of businesses that have sprung up to serve people adhering to different faiths let me begin by telling you where the opportunities lie…
People who follow different faiths eat differently and I’m starting off with that because food is something that divides and sometimes unites people. Vegetarianism, non-vegetarianism, abstaining from the consumption of alcohol and certain kinds of meat are some diktats that religion gives us and we follow.
The type of food eaten on certain occasions and festivals also differs from place to place and in some cases from season to season. In India for instance festivities are often linked with change of season and certain food products are in greater demand around then.
Thus, food in religion opens up a plethora of opportunities for business.
Clothes maketh a man and very often what people wear or don’t wear is on account of their line of faith. Businesses that cater to people who dress according to religious diktats are a niche catering to a specific target group.
Apparel to be worn on certain occasions is also a big market opportunity. The biggest example of this is the wedding gown…pristine, elegant and pure…every bride in the West needs a wedding gown on her marriage just like every Indian bride looks for a traditional Indian outfit depending on which part of India she comes from.
Rituals and ceremonies demand the use of certain products and services. One needs somebody to conduct the service or perform the ceremony (a priest, rabbi, pundit or mullah depending on what faith one belongs to), ceremonial attire, incense sticks, sandalwood, candles, clarified butter, flowers, sweets and the like all go in to this.
Supplying these requirements under one roof makes the store a one stop source for all such needs.
Festivities are a big part of social life everywhere in the world. Be it Turkey for Thanksgiving or cake for Christmas, everyone wants one on the day. This is true in any faith and in some instances certain festivals have become Universal in their appeal, scale and celebration.
India is known as the Land of Festivals and this calls for colors for Holi, lamps and lanterns for Diwali, purchase of gold on Akshay Tritiya and buying something new on Padwa. All festive occasions giving rise to demand for different goods and reasons to spend.
Consumerism takes on a festive hue!
Going on pilgrimage is part of religion too and tour companies and travel agents who cater to the spiritual traveler have done well to identify this need.
Helping people fulfill their religious obligations, seek peace and tranquility is a burgeoning business opportunity that will always have takers.
Having said that, my upcoming posts will highlight different businesses inspired by religion; I hope it will be an “enlightening” experience for all my readers!