NRIs Vs Resident Indians


We have heard that there are differences in the preferences of Indians and NRIs/PIOs when it comes to Bollywood.  Well, how many statistics do we have to back up some of our basic assumptions regarding Bollywood and Bollywood’s target audiences?  Now that the results of an international Bollywood research study conducted by Amanda Sodhi, a graduate of Marymount University, are out, we do have some numbers to work with! 

According to the recent Bollywood research study Amanda administered on 93 NRIs/PIOs and 86 Indians, there are some key differences in the preferences and Bollywood consumption habits of these two important target markets.  

Some Key Findings Include:

  • Show Me The Movie: Survey respondents from India watch an average of 3-4 Bollywood films a month, whereas NRIs/PIOs watch an average of 2-3 Bollywood films a month.
  • Take It To The Theater: Indians watch films at theaters more than NRIs/PIOs.   54.7% Indians indicated that they watch Bollywood films at a theater.  However, only 18.3% NRIs and PIOs indicated that they view Bollywood films at a theater.  Instead, NRIs/PIOs mainly view Bollywood films online (38.7%) and on DVD (34.4%).
  • To See Or Not To See?: While 21.5% NRIs/PIOs said they are willing to watch the same Bollywood film at a theater 2-3 times, 47.7% Indians are willing to see the same Bollywood film 2-3 times at a theater. 
  • Bollywood Vs. Hollywood: 38.4% of Indian respondents mentioned that they prefer Hollywood films over Bollywood films (32.6%).  Interestingly enough, 32.3% of NRIs/PIOs indicated that they prefer Bollywood over Hollywood (23.7%)
  • There’s No Business Like Show Business: Bollywood is an industry both Indians and NRIs/PIOs would like to get involved in if given the opportunity.  77.9% Indians mentioned that they would like to get involved in Bollywood—26.9% would like to get involved in direction, 22.4% would like to become actors and 17.9% showed an interest in production.  72% NRIs/PIOs would also like to get involved in Bollywood—32.8% want to become actors, 14.9% want to get involved in direction and 14.9% want to get involved in scriptwriting.  Surprisingly, only 1.5% NRIs/PIOs showed interest in music direction and 4.5% showed interest in singing—likewise, only 1.5% Indians showed interest in music direction and 3% showed interest in becoming a singer. 
  • Make Me Laugh: Comedy is the favorite film genre for both Indians (37.2%) and NRIs/PIOs (43%), followed by romance (19.4% for NRIs/PIOs; 20.9% for Indians).
  • Song-and-Dance: While 59.9% of Indian survey respondents expressed a desire that Bollywood films should have fewer song-and-dance numbers, 58.1% NRIs/PIOs stated that they do not wish Bollywood films have fewer song-and-dance numbers. 
  • Tell Me About It: NRIs/PIOs like to learn about Bollywood films through Web site reviews (73.7%), recommendations from friends and family (60%) and reviews in newspapers (38.9%).  Indians like to learn about Bollywood films through TV advertisements (62.1%), reviews in newspapers (52.9%) and reviews on Web sites (54%).   
  • Media Champions: NRIs/PIOs consult The Times of India (41.1%), Rediff.com (37.9%) and IndiaFM.com.  Indians also consult The Times of India (77%) and Rediff.com (40.2%) in addition to PassionForCinema.com (32.2%) on a regular basis.
  • Show Me the Money: The majority of NRIs/PIOs (43%) spend less than $10 each month on Bollywood movies.  It’s not much better in India, either—24.4% Indians spend between Rs. 100-Rs. 250 and 24.4% spend between Rs. 250 and Rs. 500 on Bollywood films each month.
  • Free Music: 64% of Indians indicated they download mp3s for free online, and 65.5% NRIs/PIOs do the same.  41.9% NRIs/PIOs mentioned they spend nothing on Bollywood music each month, and 31.2% said they spend less than $10. 
  • It’s Aamir Vs. SRK Vs. Amitabh Again!: Aamir Khan (30.2%), Shahrukh Khan (19.8%) and Amitabh Bachchan (11.6%) are the favorite actors of survey respondents from India.  For the NRI/PIO audience segment, Aamir Khan (28%), Shahrukh Khan (16.1%) and Hrithik Roshan (10.8%) are the favorite actors.  11.6% of Indian respondents selected Rani Mukherjee as their favorite actress and 8.1% Indians selected Kajol and Tabu as their favorite actresses.  19.3% NRIs/PIOs selected Kajol as their favorite actress, 15% selected Rani Mukherjee and 11.8% selected Madhuri Dixit-Nene.
  • Favorite Music Directors and Singers:  A. R. Rahman is without a doubt the favorite music director for both Indians (57%) and NRIs/PIOs (57%).  The second favorite music director of Indians is Vishal Bharadwaj (10.5%) and for NRIs/PIOs it is the Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy trio (7.5%).  Sonu Niigaam is the favorite male singer for Indians (28%) and NRIs/PIOs (31.2%), while KK got 10.5% of the India votes and Shaan got 10.8% of the NRI/PIO votes.  Shreya Ghoshal is the favorite female singer for Indians (27.9%) followed by Sunidhi Chauhan (11.6%).  For NRIs/PIOs, Shreya is also the favorite singer (16.1%) followed by Asha Bhosle (18.3%).

 “Given my background in PR and marketing, I’ve always wanted to learn more about the differences and similarities among NRI/PIO and Indian audiences when it comes to Bollywood,” says Amanda Sodhi.  “As I was conducting research, I realized that there are no Bollywood research studies available to the general public.  Therefore, I decided to conduct my own research study, consisting of approximately 40 questions.  As I had expected, the results of the research study reveal that there are some significant differences among the preferences of NRIs/PIOs and Indians when it comes to Bollywood.  It is essential that Bollywood PR and marketing practitioners and businesspersons take this information into account—after all, research and audience analysis is the first step to any successful campaign.”   

Amanda further adds, “As the research study indicates, the Bollywood film industry and music industry are facing some serious issues.  The Bollywood music industry seems to be in trouble since many people are downloading mp3s for free on the Internet.  As far as the Bollywood film industry is concerned, encouraging the audience to view the same film multiple times at a theater is a goal the industry needs to work towards achieving.”