New Delhi: An industry body has valued the Valentine's Day (V-Day) market in India at $27 million (Rs.15 billion) based on a survey involving 800 executives in major metros and 1,000 students from 150 educational institutions.
The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) said the size of the market was this large since V-Day was not a single-day fete but was celebrated throughout the week.
It starts with Rose Day (Feb 7), followed by Proposal Day, Chocolate Day, Teddy Day, Promise Day, Kiss Day, Hug Day and Valentine's Day (Feb 14)
It said men spent more than double the amount than women for V-Day.
Youths working in call centres, IT companies and large corporations plan to spend between $20 (Rs.1,000) and $1,000 (Rs.50,000) on gifts while students plan to spend $10-$200 (Rs.500-Rs.10,000), the survey said.
D.S. Rawat, secretary general of Assocham, said spending during V-Day week will be 20 percent higher than last year, which was about $250 million (Rs.12,000 crore).
"Valentine's Day is turning out to be a heavy buying festival with a significant jump over the past four to five years," Rawat said.
He said flowers and jewellery remained the most preferred gifts but demand for something different was growing in the metros.
There are V-Day tour packages on offer -- priced between $100 (Rs.5,000) and $1,000 (Rs.50,000) -- to Kerala, Goa, Nainital, Mount Abu, Dehradun, Musoorie, Shimla and even Bangkok and Singapore, said the study.
But most of the revenue still comes from greeting cards and flowers, chocolates, jewellery, cellphones and other expensive electronic gadgets.
Puneet Bedi, who works in a BPO, told IANS that he had bought a diamond ring for his girlfriend. He would also gift her roses and take her out for dinner.
Flower shops are expected to notch up business worth $4,089-4,647 (Rs.220 to Rs.250 million). The wholesale flower industry last year touched $ 3,347 (Rs.180 million) in sales during V-Day, the survey said.
Renu Sharma, an undergraduate student, told IANS that she planned to buy 40 greeting cards, love bands and pink roses for all her college classmates.
"We are also ordering a chocolate cake. This is our last year in college and we're going to have great V-Day. Expenses of $100 (Rs.5,000) to $95 (Rs.8,000) is not a big deal," she said.
Ahead of V-Day, sales for greeting cards and gift items at Archies Ltd goes up 10 times, said Youhan Aria, head, corporate communications.
"We have 158 new designs of greeting cards for Valentine's Day. We have also introduced around 250 V-Day gifts-- from musical gifts, crystal items, quotation books, photo frames and jewellery," Aria told IANS.
He said people aged 40-50 also shopped for V-Day.
The most preferred gifts for men are silver cufflinks, silk tie, calfskin belt, wallet and key chain while women prefer jewellery, gadgets and garments.