About INgene blog : First ever Indian Youth trend Insights blog

About INgene : First ever Indian Youth trend Insights blog:
This blog explores the detailed characteristics of Young-India and explains the finer & crucial differences they have with their global peers. The blog also establishes the theory of “adopted differentiation” (Copyright Kaustav SG,2007) and how the Indian & Inglodian youth are using this as a tool to differentiate themselves from the “aam aadmi” (mass population of India) to establish their new found identity.

The term youth refers to persons who are no longer children and not yet adults. Used colloquially, however the term generally refers to a broader, more ambiguous field of reference- from the physically adolescent to those in their late twenties.
Though superficially the youth all over the world exhibits similar [degree of] attitude, [traits of] interests & [deliverance of] opinion but a detailed observation reveals the finer differential characteristics which are crucial and often ignored while targeting this group as a valued consumer base. India is one of the youngest countries in the world with 60% of its population less then 24 years of age and is charted as the most prospective destination for the retail investment in the A. T. Kearney’s Global Retail Opportunity Report, 2007. With the first ever non-socialistic generation’s thriving aspiration & new found money power combined with steadily growing GDP, bubbling IT industry and increasing list of confident young entrepreneurs, the scenario appears very lucrative for the global and local retailers to target the “Youngisthan” (young-India). But, the secret remains in the understanding of the finer AIOs of this generation. The Indian youth segment roughly estimates close to 250million (between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five) and can be broadly divided (socio-psychologically) into three categories: the Bharatiyas, the Indians & the Inglodians (copyright Kaustav SG 2008). The Bharatiyas estimating 67% of the young population lives in the rural (R1, R2 to R4 SEC) areas with least influence of globalization, high traditional values. They are least economically privileged, most family oriented Bollywood influenced generation. The Indians constitute 31.5% (A, B,C, D & E SEC) and have moderate global influence. They are well aware of the global trends but rooted to the Indian family values, customs and ethos. The Inglodians are basically the creamy layers (A1,A SEC) and marginal (1.5% or roughly three million) in number though they are strongly growing (70% growth rate). Inglodians are affluent and consume most of the trendy & luxury items. They are internet savvy & the believers of global-village (a place where there is no difference between east & west, developing & developed countries etc.), highly influenced by the western music, food, fashion & culture yet Indian at heart.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

beyond city life: Youth trend in India

Today, was reading news at Times Of India which quoted Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Association of India (CREDAI) survey report to note that four tier two cities, Coimbatore, Salem, Trichy and Madurai, will be the emerging hotspots and drivers of Tamil Nadu economy in the coming years. Well, this mirrors with another report published in Economic Times during the month of May 2015 which mentioned that the “top cities are no longer the preferred choice for real estate investment by young professionals, according to a recent survey by property research firm Track2Realty”. The ET report mentioned that “More than half of the respondents, about 57%, say they would prefer to stay in rented apartment in prime cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, Bangalore and Ahmedabad and invest in cities like Lucknow, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Surat, Patna, Ranchi and Bhopal for better appreciation potential. As many as 70% with disposable income find a hill station or holiday home outside metro better to invest than to buying a second home within the city. Better return on investment in tier II and III cities, low rental values in metros and shifting job locations for youth were cited as the major reasons for this growing trend of investments in smaller cities.” The TOI report reflects the Govt’s mood to invest in Tire II cities. “tier II cities have never got their due though they collectively contribute more than 50% to the state economy's growth, said CREDAI Tamil Nadu president Ramesh Bafna. "Each one of the four tier II cities has a potential to attract investments to the tune of Rs 50,000 crore, provided the government, industrial bodies and developers give a collective push," he said. Promotion of tier II cities would help put brakes on migration of villagers to the state capital, said Akshaya MD T Chitty Babu. "All our tier II cities have adequate infrastructure to absorb big time investment. As large tracts of land are available at cheap rates, it makes economic sense to set up manufacturing hubs in these cities," said Babu.” 

Interestingly, another global report published by the Wall Street Journal in mid of January 2015 focuses on a trend which predicts a shift of Millennials from urban life to suburbs in USA.  It states “a survey based on responses from 1,506 people born since 1977, found that most want to live in single-family homes outside of the urban center, even if they now reside in the city.” The survey, which was released at the association’s convention in Las Vegas, found that 66% want to live in the suburbs, 24% want to live in rural areas and 10% want to live in a city center. One of the main reasons people want to relocate from the city center, she said, is that they “want to live in more space than they have now.” The survey showed 81% want three or more bedrooms in their home. Though the report states “The survey results, though, could be skewed because they included only millennials who first answered that they bought a home within the past three years or intended to do so in the next three years. That excluded young people who intend to rent for many more years, which is a large and growing group, in part because of hefty student debt and the tight mortgage-lending standards of recent years.” 

This reminds me of a focus group conversation which we have organized with 30 something young IT professionals in Chennai and Bangalore who had a prevalent dream of “becoming farmers.. soon”. Everybody wanted to have a “home” near to city (say, 2 hours of drive) and many even invested in purchasing lands. Well, they also stated that the ‘dream’ might be only to have a ‘weekend home’ cause the facilities they are habituated with (wifi, malls, AC, smooth roads, good restaurants etc.) might not be available in suburbs. 

In India, the millennials are still rooted with ‘city dream’ but the 30+ wants to “shift”, at-least in weekends.  Though Govt. plans to build better infrastructure but it seems to be far fetched dream cause, a city not only needs the infrastructure but also the ‘mindset’ to become liberal and accept ‘change’. This might be a rare phenomenon in SEC II cities. 


Interpretation matters! Youth surveys in India and misquoted data interpretation

Recently came across a report in Scoopwhoop which states that 41% youth in India thinks women must accept violence! Stunned after reading the title of this report “41% Youth Say Women Must Accept Violence….” I did a deep dive to understand the analysis process. The report quoted The Children's Movement for Civic Awareness (CMCA) who studied 10542 youth and 757 social science teachers across 11 cities to understand attitudes of young Indian students towards ideals like "Rights & Responsibilities, Democratic Governance, Adherence to Civic Rules, Gender Equality, Diversity & Social Justice and Environmental Conservation. " after reading the qualitative survey report which was presented in a chart format I found nowhere it is mentioned that Indian youth says women “must” accept violence! Rather, the survey noted 41% youth agreed that women “have no choice but to accept a certain degree of violence”

Strange, how the same inference was portrayed in a different tone. Having ‘no choise” and ‘must accept’ do have different connotations. Also, I would like to know what the question was and what the options to select were. Also, if it was the open ended question then on which context this question was asked. The main website of the NGO who conducted the survey stated The Yuva Nagarik Meter (YNM) is CMCA’s pioneering national benchmark study to establish a baseline of democratic citizenship values and attitudes of youth in Urban India. Unfortunately the report is not available in the website to examine but it’s scary of how others interpret it with twist! 

Data interpretation indeed is crucial cause media doesn’t bother about survey but the inference. 

You can read the report here: http://www.scoopwhoop.com/news/what-of-the-future/ and here’s the NGO who has conducted the survey : http://www.cmcaindia.org/yuva-nagarik-meter/

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Shame ON! the public shaming of sexual offenders on digital and social media - youth trend

ShameON! ‘shame’ is a very human attribute. Indeed, we have been put on through a system of ‘shame’ and fear to ensure that the social eco system remains very human. From the childhood, the female child is taught to remain self-conscious through continuous preaching about right seating posture, right way to walk, to remain ‘untouched’ from other gender ect. But interestingly, the male child in India is encouraged to be more radical and ‘outspoken’, which depicts the prodigal symbolism of a powerful and aggressive man in making! He is encouraged to compete, fight to go ahead… and nobody preaches them on ‘right seating position’ (other than shaming him for scoring low in exam!).  So, eventually, the child becomes a man and he is not self-conscious about his ‘de-shaped’ appearance or aggressive nature towards female; but he is being aware of other gender’s ‘shame points’.  In a report at TOI (2007) it was observed that over 53% children in India face sexual abuse! Am sure, the number must have been considerably gone up now. Unfortunately, a few years back, proving sexual molestation was a gigantic task cause in many cases evidences were erased and cleansed. But today, the youth in India are equipped with smart technologies which is indeed a boon . They are also quick thinkers, impulsive decision makers and socially connected.

 Two of my Facebook screen captures show how shaming the molesters and sexual offenders in social media can effect the culprits and their social status (if they are well placed or mature enough to understand the implication of being defamed in public).

Also, the video posted online brought in a new way of exposing the molesters:

Also, the viral video showing how the two brave girls beating up molesters became a rage, online:

Recently, Govt. of India declared that it has a plan to create an all India registry for child molesters that will name and shame them. Laudable approach but requires imploration to find its impact. In the year 2013 Delhi Police on put out names of all sexual offenders who have been convicted from 1983 onwards on its website. The list, put up by the crime branch, has over 600 names on it. Well, after that the number of rapes have not gone down anyway! Why, even after public shaming the incidents are taking place?

Though the argue over the facts and figures on whether rape is an urban phenomenon or not, but all the recent incidents which appeared in media seems to be largely focused towards one prominent direction: most of the culprits are from the lower strata of the society (urban or rural). Which means, they might not have much to lose even if their photos and activities appear online (a social class, who are not bothered/ being part of digital revolution)! Neither their parents or partners will ever believe that the offenders indeed were the main culprit (in the case of Delhi Gang rape accused) rather they will strongly argue that the men were ‘framed’ because he belonged to the lower part of the social eco system! According to a blog, the mother of Delhi rape accused stated “No woman, nobody, ever complained to me even in a dream that my son had harassed a woman” she said and started sobbing. The neighbors of the accuse's family stated that “Thora bohot aadmi log ka haath tou lag jaata hain,", As if men’s hands were naturally made to beat women!

Over it, with the paradoxical democracy, that India faces today the political game makers will skew it toward their benefit and divide the people in multiple variants (caste, economy, region and religion). Over it, the human rights activists will jump in to save the culprits citing their family and economic status. 

Indian judiciary is magically slow decision maker. A case, in average takes more than a decade to close if one fights well through the loopholes of judiciary system.   It took 14 years after schoolgirl Hetal Parekh's rape and murder for the man held responsible, Dhananjoy Chatterjee, to be brought to justice. Part of the reason was that the government had apparently forgotten about the case for a decade (the Indian Express report, 2012)! Over it, there are multiple channels to appeal. Till the verdict is announced one is supposed to be considered as ‘not guilty’. Hence, I wonder how many of ‘child molesters’ are actually declared by Indian court as so, to be listed. Meanwhile, the victim and her parents are shamed on due to over-glaring media attention! In case of Hetal Parekh, the parents went underground to avoid media and curious people. The Telegraph in the year 2004 wrote “their flat at Jamuna Mahal, an apartment block in Santa Cruz East where Nagardas Parekh and his wife have lived for 13 years since Hetal’s death, has been off limits for visitors from soon after the verdict. But to avoid the world’s eyes and the media glare, the elderly couple have now fled to an undisclosed destination.” So, who’s Shamed? The victim, their parents or the accused? Why the accused (male gender, mostly) are proud enough to appear in front of camera, pose and talk aloud about their crime and still accuse victim that it was her fault “the girl who roams around at night is not a good girl” (delhi gang rape accused commented in the documentary). The shame of being raped is so deep that many victims go underground or commits suicides. The only case in recent years where a victim was bold enough to appear in front of camera and fight was Suzette Jordan, the ‘park street rape victim’. Her fight was exemplary where even the locally popular female political leader (Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar)  tagged her as prostitute!

The ‘shaming’, if implied in a balanced social eco system works wonder, cause it can curb criminal offences at large (specially sexual offenders from higher social strata), but if, the criminal has ‘nothing to lose’ from humiliation and in turn becomes famous/ infamous with over pouring media attention (which even many terrorist groups look for) with family support (who claims conspiracy for framing the ‘grassroot’) and sluggish judiciary system (which can keep a criminal safely guarded in jail at tax payers expanses for several years) then there is a chance that the same can boomerang and in turn try to deface the victims (who is being taught to ‘be aware of their status in society as a female’) and their immediate family (effecting the parents and other siblings of the victim). The recent whatsapp videos shared by criminals themselves prove that the social shaming do have a gender bias in India (the men clearly showed their faces, smiled at camera and gang-raped the victim.. over it shared the video at whatsapp!

But, digitally putting up photos and videos of the culprits indeed is a good tool to expose the individuals to the society and in turn curb them from further such activities.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

survey report: newly married couple in India and the lost zing

The thought of tying the knot or exchanging marital vows with your loved one might be exciting, but if one goes by a survey, the spark in a relationship dies down gradually after getting married.
On the occasion of World Marriage Day, which falls Feb 8 this year, Bajaj Discover has released findings of a survey titled “Bajaj Discover – IMRB Relationship Survey”.
“We had conducted an in-depth survey across India to understand relationships between married couple pre- and post-marriage, as well as bike usage habits,” Sumeet Narang, vice president, marketing Bajaj Auto Ltd, said in a statement.
“The survey revealed interesting findings on how the zing in relationships goes missing a few years into marriage. It also throws light on bike usage habits and the role it plays in their lives and relationships,” he added.
The survey was conducted with a sample size of 1,000 respondents across cities including Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Indore, Delhi, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kochi, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Bhubaneswar.
It highlights that 94 percent Indian couples experienced lack of spark and zing in their married lives and would want it back.
On quality time being spent with each other, 57 percent couples said that it reduced gradually over the two years of marriage, coupled with a significant decline in planning a surprise for each other by 50 percent.
Attributing long work hours, chasing household commitments, daily commute and more, married couples longed to grab ‘me’ time over long bike rides, which they admitted to enjoy before marriage.
Adding to this insight, 33 percent couples believe that long rides was the most romantic way to spend time with spouse, as compared to watching movies, going for dinner and spending time at home.

Source: http://dailyindiamail.com/?p=28854

youth mindset: a survey

A survey result released in late Jan 2015 again proved that the mindset of most youth in India remains in the categories of Bharatiyas (as per the psychographic mindset segment at Ingene) and yet to be progressed towards other 2 categories (Indians and in’glo’dians).

In the survey while more than half (55%) of the students surveyed believed that women 'provoke' men with the way they dress, close to half of them say women have no choice but to accept violence. This survey of high school and college students from 11 cities has revealed that about half of them would prefer military rule over a democracy. But perhaps what is more is that an astonishing 65 percent 'agree' that boys and girls from different religions should not mingle.

The survey, conducted by Children's Movement for Civic Awareness (CMCA), a Bengaluru-based NGO, covered about 10,000 high-school and college students from 11 cities across the country.
On the question of democracy, 50 per cent of the respondents preferred military rule to democracy. The same number insisted that migrants should go back 'home'.

"The state the country is in, we need an authoritative leader. We need someone who tells us what to do", said Soumitra, a student.

However, there were other who held the opposite point of view. "I am disappointed. We will be the future generation, driving the country in different fields. We have to go to our roots and eliminate these things," said Tejashri, a student at the Welingkar Institute.

The findings of the survey are symptomatic of the times, according to Manjunath Sadashiva, director of CMCA. "This shows that the youth does not have a critical appreciation of the liberties and freedom one enjoys in a democracy. It shows the cynicism and disillusionment with the political scenario, but doesn't justify the preference for an authoritarian government or military rule," he says. 

"Our society is going to be further fragmented. Social tension is going to increase, and not decrease, if these youngsters are not equipped with necessary skills, attitudes and values to live in a multi-culturual democracy," Mr Sadashiva added. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

kiss of love : thinking beyond

Well, why Indian diaspora is trampling over consensual ‘kissing’ when it is even available as the first ‘how to’ option in Google search?

I can remember, the first attempt to promote public kissing took place as early as 90s and I have seen hand written posters in Kolkata’s Esplanade area inviting youth at ‘maidan’ (the infamous ‘assemble and protest’ ground in Kolkata) in a given date to ‘kiss’ in public as a protest and promote ‘free love’ during valentine’s day (and obviously, none of them actually took place). Though, Public kissing ‘behind bushes’ (in most of the states of India) and in the beaches behind umbrella (at Chennai and Mumbai) are common scene but the ‘open’ kissing is a social mind block (even in silver screen, till 90s). 

The movie directors used to find innovative abstracts to visualize love making (which often comprised of two flowers coming closer, doves making love, waterfalls etc.) which sometime were beyond artistic expression and appeared funny! 

India, always adapted global culture at the periphery without allowing them to disturb the overall core values that the fundamentalists and families hold tight in this patriarchal social eco system. For example, during the 60’s flower power hippie movement Indians adapted the hippie ‘look’ (bandanas, tie and die patches, bell bottoms, long hair, bohemian look etc.) but not the values, ideologies and overall concept of youth revolution. Rather, it made movies to exhibit the ‘wrong side’ of hippie subculture (‘dum maro dum’ and the whole negativity).  Hence, when Mr. Richard Gere ‘publicly kissed’ Ms. Shilpa Shetty in the cheek at an AIDS awareness campaign in the year 2007, an Indian court issued the arrest warrant for committing ‘obscene act’ in public! Gere, a devout Buddhist who visits India frequently to meet the Dalai Lama, said the event was a success at the time but blew up later. "Me kissing the girl on the cheek was nothing,'' Gere told cable channel Comedy Central's The Daily Show With Jon Stewart at a New York studio. 

‘kissing a girl in cheek’ indeed is nothing (if its consensual) but in India, though (public) semi nudity/ nudity is allowed in the name of god (ie. Kumbh Mela, public bath) but kissing (In any form) is against the social etiquette!  Chris Gregory (Australian National University and the University of Manchester) in an article on ‘kinship’ mentioned that  “for the Halbi speakers of the Bastar Plateau in East-Central India kinship is defined by touch: juniors greet seniors with tactile gestures of familial respect that are reciprocated by tactile gestures of familial love. On certain ritual occasions these salutes are adorned with colorful flowers, tasty food, purifying water, sweet-smelling incense, nice-sounding words, and heartfelt sentiments. Non-kin, by contrast, are defined by non-tactile gestures of mutual respect. The general implication of this case for the study of kinship as “mutuality of sensible being,”. So, in ‘touching’ (which indeed includes hugging and kissing) as public gesture is even permitted among indigenous tribes but unfortunately not approved by the patriarchal social norms in modern Indian society.  Even, court orders (Delhi High court judgement in the year 2009) dismissed obscenity charges against a couple caught kissing in public. 

At Ingene, I have reported earlier about the sprotests against moral policing such as ‘pink chaddi movement’, ‘slut walk’ etc. and in the same line ‘Kiss of Love’ is another initiative that has swept the urban young demographics of India. As the Wikipedia (and believe me, for youth, Wiki is the new Oxford dictionary) states ‘Kiss of Love protest is a non-violent protest against moral policing which started in Kerala and later spread to other parts of India’ it adds ‘he movement began when a Facebook page called 'Kiss of love' asked the youth across Kerala to participate in a protest against moral policing on November 2, 2014, at Marine Drive, Cochin.’

But, again, why to deliberately ‘kiss on road’ to protest against moral policing? For a generation, who is now used to with ‘kissing’ and learns the ‘art’ digitally rather than natural indulgence is it not normal that the movement could have been more refined (such as ‘kiss of love’ film fest exhibiting movies as such, a photo exhibition, a street drama, book reading, music) and holistically thought provoking rather than giving the unnecessary credibility to the fundamentalists who craves to be in media through any issue? Also, will this movement gain momentum to broader spectrum or will die like any other youth movement in recent decade (including Anti corruption rallies)? Keeping fingers crossed to the fresh air of socialism brought in by the youth through ‘Kiss of Love’, will keep an eye to track the developments. 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

'Fakoconsciousness' and glamorizing assault on women

glamorizing rape / assault on women is 'social awareness'? Well that happens when a fashion photographer craves to become popular by floating over the wave of social emotion. 
In 2009 and 2011 I have reported a macro trend that was sweeping Indian sub-continant as 'Fakoconscionious', a tendency to exhibit oneself as socially conscious but its nothing but faking to appear so.

This photoshoot which gained enough publicity (hence, I am consciously avoiding the name of the photographer with an effort to crub him from getting the desired 'fame'), the photographer stated that it is "just a depiction of the situation of women in our country" and not based on the rape! Funny, cause whoever has little brain left in head knows that this series of photoshoot glamorized the assault with fashionable cloths and luxurious surrounding (obviously photoshopped and touched with finer light effect and mood). Hence, it was not an accident neither an act of emotion but a thought of popularity fetching attempt by him and his studio. He, indeed was successful to gain so, cause BBC wrote an article along with numerous blogs, news papers, magazines who tried to grab a bit of it and in process his name now appears in google search frequently! 

check more here at this BBC report: