top of page

Purple Economy- the 21st Century Cultural Evolution

Cultural aspects play an important role in economics. Multinational corporations often take note of the cultural aspects of the host country while designing marketing strategies; so as to establish a connection with the consumers in the region, and sell their goods and services. This is commonly known as Purple Economy. The principle of Purple Economy takes into account the ethnic, cultural, and sociological aspects of the place they operate in. Concepts such as racial equality, cultural transmission, and economic anthropology are the core tenets of this principle which draws from the ideas of both politics and capitalism. Economists and development experts hail the idea of the Purple Economy as it promotes diverse cultures and acts as a catalyst to globalization.

The term gained currency after it was used for the first time in May 2011 at an event organized by Diversum. The same association organized the 1st International Purple Economy Forum from 11-13 October 2011.


Purple Economy has many stakeholders; most prominent of them are the MNCs and the consumer base. Emphasis on globalization invariably makes it important for these companies to recognize diverse cultural aspects at a transnational level.

Geographical and social aspects of the Purple Economy, needless to say, go hand and hand with cultural components.For instance,The demand for Turkey increases manifold in the US during Thanksgiving, but since the festival isn't a part of Indian culture, by and large, no such phenomenon is observed in India.


Since the idea of Purple Economy involves many stakeholders, its implementation has a number of ripple effects on economics and the socio-political fabric of the country in question.


Glocalization, also known as Cultural Heterogenization, is the practice of carrying out business activities in accordance with the local communities' demands and preferences. The word itself is a portmanteau (combination of two words packed in one) of Globalization and Localization. The enhancement of Purple Economy and the increased participation from corporations worldwide has led to the rise of Glocalisation. In this phenomenon, products and services are made accommodative to local and global considerations.Consumers now have a variety of options to choose from; and MNCs are all too happy to supply those goods to them.


Every coin has two sides. With the rapid adoption of Purple Economy, acculturation is becoming the norm, replacing cultural heterogenization. Acculturation means individuals and communities assimilating themselves to altogether distinct cultures, chiefly the dominant culture. The biggest example of this is the dominance of the American culture. Owing to the soft power of the US, various communities across the world have assimilated themselves in the American culture. The most common example of this is the change in the eating habits of people. As the USA continues to exercise its power as a hegemon to influence behavior and introduce corporations to previously unexplored regions, there has been a substantial rise in the number of people who have incorporated the American culture to their lifestyles.


Purple Economy has garnered traction in the mainstream and invited conflicting opinions as well. The proposition says that it is a good way to enhance integration of distinct cultures as it acts as a catalyst for globalisation; and they also point out that people generally don't leave their own culture and practices. The Opposition however argues that Cultural diversity is a facade put up by capitalists who wish to impose their own culture and hegemonize the world through the optics of culture. They also argue that the increasing amount of people assimilating to dominant cultures pose a threat to the preservation of distinct and unique cultures practiced by traditional and indigenous communities.

There has been an increase in recognition of jobs and professions which enhance the given concept. Jobs related to Humanities, Social sciences, and Research have gained prominence as graduates in these fields have a grasp over cultural and social phenomena.

Emphasis on local knowledge systems and cultures has led to demand for human resources professionals, sales, and research professionals who understand the cultural ethos of the region.


While the concept of the purple economy has helped local cultures in gaining international recognition and presenting consumers with a mind-boggling variety of goods and services to choose from; one cannot discount the fears of the submersion of different cultures under a dominant culture.

The concept has invited conflicting views but stands as a prevalent narrative for corporations as it has given suited them well economically. Moreover, by promoting the cultural potential of goods and services, this concept has favoured the notions of sustainable development. The concept heavily emphasizes culture as an axis for sustainable development. As organizations like the United Nations have established that as one of its principal goals, we may get to know more about the concept and its connectivity with fields such as Economics, Business and Social sciences.


Kshitanjay Sondhi



bottom of page