India's burgeoning middle class has long been touted as a consumer gold mine but hasn't always lived up to the hype.
"Over the past decade, India's consumer market has generated plenty of interest among investors, most notably the size of the population, prospects for rapid growth in real incomes and better provision of financial services," Shilan Shah, an India economist for Capital Economics, said in a recent note.
Those factors drove a private consumption surge from 2004-2011, but consumption growth has since slumped and consumer goods import growth is slowing, he said.
At least one analyst says the disappointment may be due, at least in part, to grossly overestimating the size of India's middle class. Analysts have estimated that anywhere from 100 million to 300 million people out of its around 1.2 billion total population can be considered middle class.
But that's just plain wrong, Dheeraj Sinha, author of India Reloaded: Inside India's Resurgent Consumer Market, told CNBC.