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There are people whose job it is to research needs, wants and desires. What do people need? What might they want? What should they desire? These people work in marketing, and the result of their work can be found worldwide.

Marketing provides an access point into minds and cultures. Advertising here in north west India focusses largely on two, perhaps three things: building materials; hygiene products; and the occasional pair of luxury undies.
Building materials are needed because there is constant expansion. Both in city and country, roads reach outwards and buildings climb upwards. Pace is strongly favoured over quality, but this meets the need of industry, infrastructure and accommodation.

Hygiene seems to have reached the level of want, but simple advice is evident enough in public life to show that it is not yet a standard need. At Agra station (a location we know well after a four hour delay), announcements advise the spitting is both unhygienic and unpleasant, and that spittoons are provided for public use. Happy families on tv are those with bright White tiles, shining with new antibacterial spray. Hygiene is certainly wanted.

Desired luxuries also feature. Adverts for underwear are a hilariously blatant example, with models differing vastly in appearance from anybody seen on the streets. The image being sold is not one that seems attainable here quite yet, but remains a desire for the future.

Marketing signals india as a country a few stages behind the uk, but also points ahead to the upcoming developments of this vast and fast paced nation.

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