India eyes for a lucrative ‘pink economy’ post anti-gay law abolishment

From LGBT nightclubs to “gaycations” and more, a court ruling legalising homosexuality in India is set to unlock one of the world’s largest “pink economies”, according to analysts. The Supreme Court’s historic decision last week to scrap a colonial-era ban on gay sex sparked joy as activists held rainbow-coloured celebrations across the country.

Now the community can expect to see businesses lining up to offer a range of tailored products, in fashion, health and other industries, providing a massive boost to Asia’s third-biggest economy.

“It can bring billions of dollars to the Indian economy if they can activate the spending of gay people in India,” said Keshav Suri, a hotelier and petitioner in the landmark case. “There is business to be done, real estate to be bought and sold, holidays and all the services that go with that.

“The value of the pink economy and the social aspects of the LGBT community are too large now for us to ignore,” added Suri, executive director of the Lalit hotel group.

India is home to more than 55 million LGBT adults, according to Out Now Consulting, a marketing agency that helps businesses target gay and lesbian consumers. Their nominal income is around US$113 billion annually, the firm estimates. LGBT couples have fewer children than other groups and higher-than-average salaries, meaning plenty of disposable cash.

“They represent one of the world’s largest LGBT markets,” said Ian Johnson, the founder of the Australia-based Out Now Consulting. He predicts that drinks brands and travel companies will be the first to target the LGBT community following the scrapping of Section 377, which was introduced 157 years ago.

LGBT bars, clubs and cafes will provide new employment and boost sales in the food and alcohol industries while people will be able to attend holidays designed specifically for the gay market without fear of legal reprisal.

Nakshatra Bagwe, a Mumbai-based entrepreneur, runs The BackPack Travels, a company specialising in organising trips for LGBT tourists. He said it has been profitable since it was set up in October 2016 but he expects to see an increase in revenue following the law change.

“With legality and freedom on our side businesses will invest in the community and opportunities will increase in the coming years,” he said.

Inder Vhatwar, another businessman based in Mumbai, also hoped to profit from the ruling by judges who said members of the gay community deserve an apology for the treatment they have suffered. Shortly after gay sex was briefly decriminalised before by the Delhi High Court in 2009, Vhatwar opened a store called D’Kloset in Mumbai’s trendy neighbourhood of Bandra, where several Bollywood stars live. He sold glitzy clothes, handbags and party masks but after the ban was reinstated in 2013 Vhatwar was evicted by his landlord.

“I faced a lot of challenges due to Section 377 and had to shut down but with this recent judgment I am planning to start the store again,” the 37-year-old said.

Gay sex has long been a taboo subject for many in socially conservative India, with religious groups in particular fiercely opposing any liberalisation of sexual morality. The World Bank said in a 2014 report that homophobic attitudes and a reluctance to hire LGBT people hampered India’s economic growth by up to 1.7 per cent annually.

Research shows that LGBT-friendly policies in the workplace, such as equality training and non-discriminatory hiring practices, can boost profitability. Activists hope the court ruling will help shift attitudes and boost the LGBT community’s economic engagement as the commercial benefits are realised.

“The LGBT community is definitely an untapped market. The business potential is huge and set to grow,” said Parmesh Shahani, who heads up the cultural arm of India’s Godrej conglomerate.

“The verdict will catalyse change and more companies will invest in products and services catering to the community. I hope the judgment creates more jobs and companies vie for LGBTQ talent.”

About author

TnH Global
TnH Global 4035 posts

Our platform is the most comprehensive, current and accurate content destination for tourism that also offers the opportunity to connect and network with quality buyers and sellers.

Name: TnH Global              Email:

You might also like


Jeju Air deepens partnership with Sabre to fuel international growth

Renewed agreement will enable the airline to expand into new markets amid the increasingly competitive low-cost carrier market Sabre Corporation announced a renewed distribution partnership with Jeju Air, the largest low-cost


Sabre Virtual Payments enhances payment security for CTM Singapore

Sabre Corporation has just launched Sabre Virtual Payments for Corporate Travel Management (CTM) Singapore, contributing to improved productivity and optimized revenue by enabling secured transaction channels between travellers and suppliers. Sabre


Sandal Suites, Noida’s Ist Upscale Serviced Suites, now open

Sandal Suites, operated by Lemon Tree Hotels, is the perfect address for all you need. The launch of Sandal Suites, operated by Lemon Tree Hotels, marked the opening of Noida’s


Sabre’s first Asia Pacific Travel Technology Exchange conference kicks off in Beijing

Sabre will showcase the new Sabre Red Workspace – a major merchandising platform launch for 2017 – for the first time in APAC during the conference! Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR),

India teenagers die taking selfies with train

Two teenagers have died while taking selfies on railway tracks in the Indian capital, Delhi. A group of teenagers went to the railway tracks in the east of the city


WelcomHeritage flag-off new property in Nainital

WelcomHeritage added one more property to its existing portfolio – WelcomHeri-tage Ashdale in Nainital, launched recently. This old Manor from the British Era, built by the English as their summer

3-month sale from tomorrow: Air India flights at cost of Rajdhani fares

Sale from tomorrow till April 30; tickets need to be bought at least 20 days before departure date! The Rajdhani Express could find itself faced with stiff competition as Air


Time Design’s Dynamic Package booking engine connects with Sabre’s SynXis Central Reservation System

Hotels are now able to offer travel packages, combining hotel reservations with airline tickets, to global travelers on their official websites Time Design, a Global Dynamic Package Solution company announced


Air India to be sold out by the end of 2018, says Civil Aviation Minister

Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha laid out a timeline for the strategic disinvestment of state-run carrier, Air India. “We have said over and over again that from

UBER now at 20 Indian airports to make travel better

Online cab-hailing firm Uber recently announced that it will focus on improving the airport travel experience for both riders and driver partners in India. “Uber is now available at all


Vistara to launch first island flights

Vistara will launch its first flights beyond the Indian mainland later this year, connecting to the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Effective 30 September 2016, the airline will commence services from


Sabre takes to the cloud and announces collaboration with Amazon Web Services

Global tech leader Sabre takes to the cloud and announces collaboration with Amazon Web Services to deliver new travel solutions Travel technology leader Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR) is taking airline


No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!