Consumer Behaviour Report Of Bisht Doab Cultural Studies Essay

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Few countries in the world have as diverse, varied and ancient culture as India's. Stretching by an unbroken sweep over 5000 years, India's culture has been enriched by successive and continuous waves of migration which were absorbed and assimilated into the Indian way of life. The diversity and variety have always been the hallmark of india. Underneath this diversity lies the continuity of Indian civilization and social structure from the oldest times until today. There is diversity in everything. Starting from the language that is been spoken in the regions, the clothes the people wear in the region, the way the people talk, their customs, rituals, symbols all are way different from each other. Each state is different from each other in terrain, climate and also tradition and lifestyle. Indian religions, festivals, rituals, artifacts, monuments, costumes, music, dance, language and literature all change at small distances. Punjab in this sense is no different. we as a team made a small effort of discovering and understanding the culture of Punjab by covering one of its diverse parts 'Bisht Doab'.

Punjab also called as panjab is a combination of two indo Iranian words- panj- meaning five and ab- meaning water. Thus Punjab means land of 5 rivers. The 5 rivers that form an integral part of Punjab are ravi, beas, Chenab, Jhelum and Sutlej. Punjab is surrounded by Pakistan on one side and Haryana and himachal on the other. There is also a Punjab in Pakistan. All these three Punjab in Pakistan, Haryana and himachal Pradesh were a part of Punjab pre independence. It is after after Pakistan was made that Punjab was divided and a large chunk of it went to Pakistan. After this two more states called himachal Pradesh and Haryana were made out of Punjab to simplify administration. Punjab is divided into three regions on the basis of the 5 rivers. The three regions are- the majha, the malwa and the doaba. The majha starts from the right bank of beas river and stretches till wagha in Amritsar which is the border between inda and Pakistan. the main cities in the majha region are Amritsar and gurdaspur. The malwa region is the entire area on the south of river Sutlej. Malwa is the largest part of Punjab. It has 12 districts. Some of the important districts in the malwa region are Patiala, Ludhiana, moga, ferozepur, muktsar, roopnagar etc. last part of Punjab is the doaba or the bisht doab. The doab region is the area between the south of river Sutlej and north of river beas. This region includes Chandigarh, jallandhar, gurdaspur etc. we in this assignment of consumer behaviour have done a study of the doab or bisht doab region of Punjab.

Bisht Doab

Doaba is the region of Indian Punjab surrounded by the rivers Beas and Sutlej. The name "Doaba" literally translates to "land of two rivers" ("Do" two, "Ab" river;). It is one of the most fertile regions of the world, and was the centre of the Green Revolution in India. Schedule Castes form more than 35% of the population in Doaba. This area is also called the NRI (Non Resident Indians )Hub of the Punjab as most people from this region reside outside India.The biggest cities in Doaba are Jalandhar, Chandigarh, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala, Nawanshahr, Phagwara & Nakodar.


Sir Norman Borlaug brought about the green revolution keeping Punjab's prosperity in mind. He worked with the farmers of Punjab to make in happen. Bisht doab enjoys wonderful climate, abundant water supply and fertile soil. There is a little surprise that the main occupation in doab is agriculture. Wheat is the main crop produced. The region is the main supplier of this crop to the entire country and also for export, In bisht doab region, the farmers are more prosperous than anywhere in Punjab because they are mainly not marginal and subsistence farmers unlike the ither regions of Punjab where 70 percent farmers are marginal and subsistence farmers meaning they consume what they produce. This is mainly because of the new corporate agricultural programmes started by the big corporate in the region. In jallandhar area pepsico has started a programme of direct procurement of potatoes from the farmers. This gives them the exact amount and the chunk of their earnings is not eaten up by the middlemen. This also has one more benefit that the produce doesn't get spoilt in the godowns which is the main problem of this country. This programme has encouraged the farmers to leave the age old cycle of wheat rice and to start go into horticulture and other things which are much more desirable. Reliance also started its farm to fork project in this region with a lot of vigour but that plan is still in papers. Adani group has also started a programme to encourage farmers to grow oranges.


Bisht doab is also very rich in industry. Cities like jallandhar are very famous for textiles and sports manufacturing units. The sporting equipment produced in jallandhar is of top quality and is used across india. Some of it is also exported. The region also has a lot of agro based industries. This is because of its richness in agriculture. Regions like mohali have Special Economic Zones which are very important for overall economic development of any region. The region follows a policy of CLU( Change in Land Use), where the farmers are asked to set a price for their own land and besides that they are also paid heavy compensation amount for giving their land. This follows the problem of displacement and in return betters the economic condition of the farmers. This policy was first adopted in a place near Chandigarh and now other regions across the country are going in for CLU( Change in Land Use) following its example.


Punjab is ranked seventh in terms of education amongst the states. The Higher Education Department, Government of Punjab provides education from Inter to Postgraduate level in various disciplines through approximately 361 Colleges functioning in the eight divisions under the supervision and guidance of the Secretary Education, Government of the Punjab. The total includes around 76 Inter, almost 218 Degree and 67 Postgraduate Institutions. The region lacks in premier educational institutions. There are not many educational institutions to boast about. However Indian School Of Business has been set up in mohali and it will start inviting applications from year 2012. Also the region has the best university of the state Punjab university and the best hospital and medical college of the entire north after delhi in Chandigarh called PGI. A university named Lovely Professional University started by famous sweet shop owners of the same name and the two wheeler manufacturers of the same name is the largest university of the country. The name might sound funny and amusing but a lot of research papers are being submitted by the professors and the students of lovely professional university which has not been done even by the professors and students of punjab university. The region also has Punjab Engineering College(PEC) one of the premier educational institutions of the country. Engineering colleges like Jallandhar NIT and PTU(Punjab Technical University) also are a part of this region. In case of school level education also a lot of work needs to be done. The standard of govt. Schools in the region is very low and they don't have adequate staff. The number of school dropouts is also very high.

Political framework-

British invasion in the country had political, cultural, philosophical and literary effects in the state of Punjab. The opening of a new system of education introduced a new spirit in the life of the Punjabis. More people realised the greatness of Punjabi culture. During the freedom movement of the country, Punjab played a role worthy of its name. Many heroes emerged from the land of Punjab such as Lala Lajpat Rai, Ajit Singh, Bhagat Singh, Uddham Singh, Bhai Parmanand and a host of others. Since independence, life in Punjab proves to be tragic and traumatic. The partition resulted in riots and terror, which tore up millions of homes and destroyed many lives. The massive migration resulting from the newly formed state of Pakistan created problems of uncontrollable size. The disappointed people set to work with no self-pity to plough fresh fields. They built new industries and became well known in sports. Punjab attained an important place in cultural, aesthetic, and literary work, and revived folk art, song, dance and drama. All of this has created a sense of pride and climate of involvement in the heritage of the Punjab. SGPC (Srimoni Gurudwara Prabandhak Prabandhak Committee) is the main body responsible for the administration in the region. Chandigarh, the capital of the state comes is a part of this region and has all the govt. Headquarters and legislative offices. Akali dal is the political party in power in Punjab headed by Mr. Prakash Singh Badal. The party is the most important party in the region. Though the region is quite peaceful but there were some anti social instances during the 1980s when the Khalistan movement was in full flow. But because the initiator of the issue Mr. Bhindrawale was from Amritsar, this region wasn't affected much with this insurgency.


Enterprise and effort, these two words represent the essential spirit of the people of Punjab. Since Independence, the state has earned its nickname `Granary of India` through the enterprising spirit, and tireless labour of its people. Its average growth rate of 10 percent is amongst the highest in the country, clearly reflecting the progressive economy of the state. Punjab has 58 percent literacy rate and the highest per capita income in India. Through the folk expressions of the state, one can get a brief glance of the lives and culture of the people of Punjab. There is a great range of music, right from the time of birth to death, of love and separation of dance and celebration, of marriage and fulfillment. The people of this region are very ostentatious. They spend a lot of money on their outer appearance meaning their clothes, shoes other accessories. People spend a lot of money buying cars. Skoda is the most popular brand of cars amongst the people here. People are also very fond of SUVs( Sports Utility Vehicles) like endeavour, fortuner, scorpio etc. The foreign automobile companies like BMW, Diamler etc. see Punjab mainly Ludhiana and doaba region as the target market. People love to spend. The United Colours of Benetton store in Chandigarh sector 17 is the largest store of UCB in the entire world. The marriages in the region are also a very good example of spending power of Punjabis. The marriages are a full week long phenomena and all the minor rituals are celebrated with full zeal and vigour. People are very outgoing, social and fun loving. They love to dance and sing. Bhangra, gidda are the main dance forms of the region. main religion is not Sikhism of this region to everybody's surprise. The population of hindus is more compared to the Sikhs in this region. But these two religions are the predominant religions of the region. people are very pious and god fearing and as a result there are a lot of gurudwaras and temples in the region. people celebrate every festival with all vigour and full mood. Diwali, lohri, baisakhi, holi and basant panchmi are the main festivals of this region. Punjabi is the language used for conversation. The language and the Gurumukhi script are even a part of the curriculum in schools and colleges. The region has 35 percent of the scheduled tribes of the state. The phappas form a major part of the population in this region. the region is also referred to as the NRI hub of the state and almost on an average one person per family has gone abroad mainly to UK and Canada. People in the region have a lot of ego and self esteem. On one instance while we were interviewing a farmer, we called him "bhaiya" and he got very offended which in other states and regions of the country is considered to be used to address someone with respect. Punjab has low literacy rate , it needs to improve that and also very low sex ratio. The number of females to males is very low which is not a good sign. Though when we were interviewing females we got to know that they are treated with equality and they have complete freedom to do what they desire.


Food is a gourmet's delight in Punjab, and people are very crazy about good food. Lassi, Sarso da saag de makki di roti are one of the favourite foods of Punjabis. Punjabis are generally very sentimental about their food. They love to eat non vegetarian food. The food is very rich in ghee and fats. This is the reason why Punjabis have highest heart attack incidents in the country. People are not at all compromise on their taste and are very particular about it. Sweet shops, halwais,restaurants, fine dining places, street food, you name it and you'll find everything here. Butter Chicken with butter naan, dal makhani, gajar ka halwa , chole bhature,rajmah chawal are the staple foods of the region.

Goverment programmes and initiatives-

The Government of Punjab has embarked upon a number of initiatives that aim to reduce

poverty, improve social sector indicators and create a functional model of good governance. Under the umbrella policy framework of the PRSP the Government has committed to achieving the MDGs and improve services for the poor. The legal and institutional framework that has come in to being as a result of the Devolution Plan and the promulgation of the Punjab Local Government Ordinance 2001, offers a number of opportunities for delivering better quality, more affordable and efficient services to the public. There is thus a need to develop, sustain and communicate to stakeholders---clearly and consistently-- the efforts and the policy directions of the Government of Punjab in relation to its political commitment for improving social sector indicators. This form of development communication can not only serve to keep stakeholder informed but can help shape positive perceptions about the kind of clarity, commitment, innovation and relentless resolve to herald change that the Government of Punjab has shown. When government of Punjab was doing a lot of great work for the state it realizes that doing great work is not enough, it should be told to people as well what tis the work the government is doing and how it is making impact in the lifes of the people. So they decide that they should launch the strategy of communicating keeping the people of Punjab. For example what are the things which are easily accessible to the people of Punjab and what are the things that Punjabis are happy to use. So, they created following platforms:-

a. Annual Reports

b. PDSSP Corporate Newsletters

c. Performance Fact Sheets and Social Sector Updates

d. Participation /Sponsorship of Community Events, School Health/Environmental

Education Programs and Competitions

e. Media Briefings and press releases

f. Radio and TV Programs

g. PDSSP Website

h. Call Centre

i. Print and Electronic media advertising

j. Workshops/Seminars/Conferences

k. Targeted research and analysis

Similarly while devising communication strategy all the points need to be considered. The communication should appeal to the people of Punjab. They should be able to connect with it. If one sees the ad, he/she should instantly know that this ad is made for the people of Punjab. If an emotional connect be there then people would definitely buy the product. A good comparison can be if an advertisement be shown in which South Indians are eating/using the particular product in one of the states in North India, say Punjab, then the consumers would not be able to make a connect and hence would not buy the product surely. Punjab should have advertisements potraying the major parts of Punjab. It is like the Coke advertisement in which Aamir Khan was a farmer and was working in his farm. When 3 beautiful girls come to him and ask if he has something "Thanda". Aamir Khan, who was dressed in typical Punjabi flirted with the girls in a more subtle friendly way, as most Punjabi man do. After which he open up coke which he takes from the well. The friendly tone, the humorous voice and the great music all resulted in great deal of passion for the consumers to relate themselves with the ad. So the communication strategy needs to be made in Punjab keeping all these things in mind. When the same coke ad was shown in Bihar it has different connotation. It was talking about chota 5 Rs ka coke and Aamir was dresses in a conductor uniform. But the way he was talking truly showed that he is potraying a character from Bihar.


Culture is considered as one of the external influences that affect the consumer; it basically refers to those influences which are inflicted by people around him and his environment.

Culture is a problematic issue for many marketers since it is i nebulous and tough to comprehend.  One may violate the cultural norms of another country without being informed of this, and people might feel uncomfortable with a brand without actually knowing why (because of conflict with inherent culture)

We have till now dwelled deeply in the culture of Punjab which has been elucidated by the video as well. It now becomes essential for us to now derive inferences from these and establish a connection with consumer behavior. Let's bifurcate culture into various domains and study the influence on behavior from each of these separately.

Culture, as a "complex whole," is a system of interdependent components. If you consider Punjab, although there are many characteristics that exist throughout, but still as we move from rural to urban and from one district to another, we can easily observe cultural differentiation. Hence it is impossible to focus down to a generalized relationship between culture and behavior. It hence becomes essential to choose factors that you think matter the most and narrow down the scope.

Knowledge and beliefs are important parts.  In Punjab, the belief that a man should be honest, practical and no nonsense. The focus is always on doing things in a grand way. There are seldom any half measures taken. They strongly believe in preaching's of the Guru Granth Sahib and the tradition of "Amrit" is mandatory for every Sikh and they are all bound to the following the Granth and its saying's after the ceremony. All these greatly influence their thinking and hence should be considered when analyzing consumer behaviour.

Other issues are relevant.  Art, for example, in the "Phulkari" which is a style of embroidery, the types of turbans that are in use.  Morality may be another important consideration. It is necessary to dwell into the moral sytem that is accepted in the region under the whole legal setup which is common to all. It is important to mention here that people in Punjab are very self respecting, self reliance and near absence of self pity. Ego is another essential angle because in general the ego levels in the region are higher than the rest of the country. Another important factor is the position of women. Women in Punjab are empowered and influential in decisions. The culture is relatively open and they enjoy more independence than their counterparts in other parts of the country.

Now that we've stated it becomes very important to mention certain characteristics of culture which could be applied to these findings

(1) Culture is comprehensive. 

(2)  Culture is learned rather than being something we are born with. 

(3)  Culture is manifested within boundaries of acceptable behavior. 

(4)  Conscious awareness of cultural standards is limited. 

(5)  Cultures fall somewhere on a continuum between static and dynamic depending on how quickly they accept change. 

Language:  Language is an important element of culture. Punjabi is the predominant language which is derived from the "Gurmukhi" script followed by Hindi and then English. It should be realized that regional differences may be subtle.   Within the context of language:

There could be variations in Punjabi from one part of Punjab to another. The various dialects of Punjabi in use are stated here:











 --Baar di Boli




Idioms involve "figures of speech" that may not be used, literally translated, in other languages. 

Slang exists within most languages.  Again, regional variations are common and not all people in a region where slang is used will necessarily understand this. Generation gaps exist in the use of language and slang.

Different perspectives exist in different cultures on several issues; e.g.:

Punjab is majorly Monochronic cultures where emphasis is laid on doing on thing at a time and hence planning a scheduling becomes important. 

Space is perceived differently. Punjabi's like to stay close together with family and friends which could in many cases be large group of people but at the same time, the expanse of space, houses and workplaces is large explaining the grandeur.

Symbols differ in meaning.  For example, while white symbols purity in the U.S., it is a symbol of death in China.  Colors that are considered masculine and feminine also differ by culture.

Punjabi's have very deep friends and take the meaning of the relationship very close to their heart. The level of sacrifice in this relationship is huge and few things can stop them from helping out a friend in need.

In Punjab, agreements are typically rather vague and verbal in nature. There is a greater tendency to settle issues as they come up.  As a result, building a relationship of trust is more important in Punjab, since you must be able to count on your partner being reasonable.

An inner strength, combined with fearlessness and a phenomenal capacity for hard work, has made Punjabis among the most enterprising and successful people in the world. Adventurous by nature, Punjabis are scattered all over the globe and have prospered everywhere.


Demographics are clearly tied to subculture and segmentation. Here, however, we shift our focus from analyzing specific subcultures to trying to understand the implications for an entire population of its makeup.

The issues that would be pertinent to discuss here is the gradual shift of youth from rural to urban and in many parts of the state, migration to other countries and lastly the imbalances sex ratio in the state.

The last decade has seen a majority of families migrating to other countries like UK, Canada and Australia. Many students take the easier option of selling land and settling in Australia because of favorable government policies and reducing produce of land. Several issues are useful in the structure of a population. Punjab has one of the most imbalances sex ratios in the country. While the reasons could be many, it is a very important factor that should be taken into consideration while analyzing consumer perspective and behavior.

Social class is a somewhat nebulous subject that involves stratifying people into groups with various amounts of prestige, power, and privilege. It is closely inter woven with caste and hence it becomes important to peep into the caste system prevalent in the state. While the Sikhs are predominantly Jat Sikhs, among them are different sects like Nirankaris, Namdharis or Kukas, and Sehajdharis. The Sikhs as a whole do not have faith in any living god and revere Holy Book, Guru Granth Sahib as their Guru; but Nirankaris and the Namdharis have their living spiritual heads. While the Sikhs are predominantly Jat Sikhs, among them are different sects like Nirankaris, Namdharis or Kukas, and Sehajdharis. The Sikhs as a whole do not have faith in any living god and revere Holy Book, Guru Granth Sahib as their Guru; but Nirankaris and the Namdharis have their living spiritual heads. Dalits in Punjab are also divided into different castes. They are found amongst Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and even Buddhists; they have their own Gurdwaras or temples. A clear divide in cast is seen in the occupational structure of the state. While Jat Sikhs comprise of the Land Lords and many influential positions in the state, the trade is dominated by the Arora Hindus and Sikhs who have their roots in Pakistan. Although the caste system in India is now illegal, it still maintains a tremendous influence on the society.

Warning about stereotyping:  Generalizing of traits beyond a certain point should be avoided when observing a culture.  If an imminent "grain of truth" is perceived, the tendency to over-generalize is strong. It must be noted that there are often significant differences within a culture.

Cultural lessons: We have considered several cultural aspects and how each of them affects behavior. The important thing here is to keep the bigger picture in mind. For example if we portray something in an Ad that violates the norms set by the Guru Granth Sahib, it can only prove counter-productive.

Packaging, which is seen as a reflection of the quality of the "real" product, as compared to the actual contents of the product. Level of formality is low the communication is direct, clear and to the point.