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.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Youth Icons…

How many “icons” or “trend leaders” we have in India whom we can actually call “youth icons”? ahh…almost zero…neither by age nor attitude (other than Sania)...an youth icon should not only be in the same age bracket but should have the same mentality…be experimental…should always be in “talk”..in the “black list” of fundamentalists…rebel by attitude…even when Sachin was so called teen icon he use to behave like a full grown (more of... umm…midget)…measured talk…no scandles…polished look..hah…do u call that a teen? NOH...

Hence Indian teens are following their uncles…uncle SRK, uncle AK47, aunt Ash, aunt Kajol…grand mom Madhuri….

Deepika is now the hotcake among young bloods…but do u feel she deserves it? No rebellion attitude…not even a single scandal!...so how long this good boys and gals will be in top list? And the teen tribes will resort to be inspired by the “non-desi icons” whom our uncles and aunts will try to copy... how long SRK will hide his gray hairs?

Being in BLACK…

Black seems to be one of the strongest color mode now a days among the younger generations in India…this classic color was earlier pop among the matured consumer category (30+)…but the recent shift of otherwise “bright and colorful” youth segment is to be noticed…I am tracing this shift for last 1.5 years…everywhere…Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai… mainly among the urban affluent youth segment…the colleges, hangout places and the nightclubs are flooded with the hues and mixes of black (in night club the fav combi is black with silver / gold graphics over the tee)…the grey family (mainly the bluish grays), and dark chocos… the accent colors can be red families: crimson red, purple, pink hues…interestingly, now blck is not considered as “classic” but “cool" & trendy…

The below photos are taken in different NIFT campuses…the shift of color by the end of winter 07/08 shows towards the fluorescents & fresh tones with an accent…

The movies are also depicting darker hues & blacks…remember Black, Waqt, Race, Krish, Don...

the bright colors are creeping in...and denim..the most pop teen bottomwear..with sneakers...

ahh..open toe slipons / flipflops...another fav footwear...

NIFT Delhi...winter 07/08

Mumbai NIFT...

winter o6/07

movies with frames dominating black tones...


movies inspiring black color...

smart patriotism...

The meaning of patriotism is getting reinvented… not to “shout” and take out processions…but in milder ways… being smarter…check the color mix of Indian flag in her attire at the morn of Independence Day’07…Rang De Basanti was another wave...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Indian youth --- trendy…but we do respect traditions

We know how to mix... mix the tradition with the trend...check the kadas (traditional metal bangles) and red threads...how well it's being merged with the denim and wrist bands...that’s what is "Indian essence"...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Shoe trends - sneakers

The most pop shoes are the sneakers... yah its comfortable...and u don't need to care
for the maintainence...also the canvas shoes are creeping in...will show some photos next time...
photos shooted by the nift chennai F&A students

youth inspiration - Goth...and "the news"!

The gothic inspiration is very evident now a days... may not be the actual subculture but as a superficial "look"...or style statement...the typical nature of "mixed elements" can be seen...the traditional beads and red threads in wrist...
Location : NIFT Chennai
photograph by nift students


Indian youth 'indulging in Satanic acts'

GUWAHATI, India, -- Church leaders in the Christian-dominated Indian state of Mizoram voiced concern yesterday at a growing trend among young people for indulging in Satanic rituals.

"Small groups, numbering about ten youths, converge in the middle of the night in cemeteries and start invoking Satan by placing a monkey skull in between them with the words God is Satan inscribed," said a church official, who did not want to be named.

"After that they fall into a hypnotic state and start slashing their wrists with the blood as offerings for the devil." -- Sapa-AFP

Source: http://www.dispatch.co.za/2000/06/24/foreign/WACKY.HTM

Ernst & young - Invest in Indian youth for retail profits

Invest in Indian youth for retail profits: E&Y
New Delhi, June 08: Identifying Indian youth as engine for growth of retail sector, global professional services firm Ernst & Young on Friday said they offered a huge consuming audience for lifestyle and luxury products. "By targeting the youth population in India, retailers will be investing in the future as they will be able to influence and create loyalty from the start," Ernst & Young director retail industry Ashok Rajgopal said while releasing a report 'Yousumerism, youth in India-opportunity knocks'. The high growth in the retail sector in India is primarily driven by the impact of rising incomes, increasing urbanisation, greater brand competition and most importantly, a youth-driven culture, he added. Analysing the potential of Indian youth market for retailers Rajgopal said: "Retailing in India is well past the stage of infancy with rapidly evolving Indian consumers who are seeking out modern formats." Favourable demographic and psychographic changes in India's youth, its rising affluence levels and international exposure have fuelled the demand for luxury & lifestyle products, the report said. "The Indian youth is more aware today than ever before, they are brand conscious and demand good product experiences," Rajgopal added. The report classified Indian youth into three segments Dabblers (13-21 years), Aspirers (22-28 years) and Thrivers (29 -35 years) and said India with the world's largest youth population is indeed a resplendent market and a priority market for international retailers. Rajgopal said availability of quality retail spaces and brand communication were also inviting investments from retailers in Europe and the US.
Bureau Report : http://www.zeenews.com/articles.asp?aid=375960&sid=BUS&ssid=50

Attitude and Lifestyle- Youth segment- Delhi

1.youth today r not at all patient...........they want quick results......they aspire to earn a lot so that they can raise their standard of living.

2. idols keep on changing it has become more of a trend..........like in looks they really crave for cool n fashionable style......thinking.........these days they really idolize mahatma Gandhi or someone like aamir of taare zamin par because youth today r quite emotional n when it coms to attitude its more like ''DONT GIVE A DAMN TO PEOPLE N LIVE THE WAY U R'' .

3. Again it comes to flaunting ur style like they say they like sports like BOWLING, POLO, POOL, BILLIARDS even when they don’t know anything about the game........but CRICKET still remains everyone's favorite.

4.A section of people prefer buying branded stuffs but few of them still go for flea markets..........they can spend around 5 grands for clothes if they really think the stuff worthy...........n regarding the design, youth prefer comfort over fashion like girls go cool in kurtas n loose t-shirts in summers or simple cotton capris.........for guys they go for simple t-shirt n denim.......but they make sure they wear ethnic while attending any function or festival at their place.

5. They go for natural fibers like cotton n khaadi which is both comfortable n trendy........n Gandhi n khaadi both will b in during this summer because it’s damn hot in Delhi.

6. Depends on weather n figure.........mostly body hugging because they think when they have it they should flaunt it........but at times they can’t compromise on comfort specially scorching summers.

7. They prefer subtle colors like white cream light blue but go for dark colors in winters n BLACK is always IN as THE COLOUR. 8. Undoubtedly BIKES because then they can showoff clothes sport good hairstyles n of course GIRLS

Copy right @ INgene
Kaustav SenGupta & Ragini Sinha

"look" & lifestyle catagories of girls in Delhi University- Observation by Ragini Sinha

was telling u 'bout ladies in DU
1. BEHENJIs- girls who are quite girly girly girls.......typical girls who wear flashy dresses n talk like grown up ladies
*dressing-wear dresses with matching accessories n footwear ….if they wear pink they make it a point to wear pink headband pink bracelet so on n so forth
*attitude-they have quite typical attitude towards life they r hardworking but r not too much career oriented.....they take things easily n they LOVE WATCHING DAILY SOAPS N SERIALS....
very fond of getting married soon n show that they r quite emotional..........
*girls who wear indian attire r often mistook as behenji
but its nothing as such atleast in my point of view
because style doesn't always mean wearing latest trendy western outfit
there r many who wear levis n still think friendship with opposite sex is crime
and one trait is their pretention they think they r too smart which by no means they r.

2.BTMs(or behenji turned mods)-they r girls coming from small towns or areas where they were kept like prisoners(this is wat they say no addition on my own) n when they come to places like delhi n get a good exposure to life n fashion their happiness knows no boundary n tend to do things which land up like a disaster......
*dressing-they try wearing ultra fashionable n gleamy clothes which is not at all fashionable rather its a mistake they sometimes r laughing stock for others(n thats really bad)
they go for wearing big earrings so called which r in these days(according to them)
*attitude-they r people with helping attitude till the time they r not hampered in anyways.....hope u r geting something out of my disorganized observation
they come here with a motive of studying but end up doing everything except for studies
one thing really bad on their part is that they tend to copy fashion blindly without judging wats good or bad for them
they think being friends with guys is quite fashionable (dont know for wat good reason)...

3.FASHIONABLE-girls who to an extent fulfill the criteria of being called as fashionable
they wear designer wears n carry them nicely as in they do justice with the designer.

Copyright @ INgene
Ragini Sinha & Kaustav SenGupta

part of gmail discussion on the lifestyle of youth segment in bangalore - observation by ravishankar sinha

Sent at 3:26 PM on Thursday
ravishankarsinhain: well, food seems to be something which bangloreans cant go wothout
ravishankarsinhain: young married couples still date out and romance and look out for theme restraunts
i thot, once married, they ll be home stuck !!!
chennaikaustav: humm...
ravishankarsinhain: but, majority of these married couple, go out for trekking in nearby areas and adventure sports
and people invest heavily in stocks !!!
chennaikaustav: young married couple. is statistically the stronger ones to spend in households..
ravishankarsinhain: as soon as they r out of the college !!!
chennaikaustav: thts a good observation
i have heard trekking is hot as sports...
stocks...thts good
ravishankarsinhain: very much sir
it gives them chance to build in, so-called team spirits
,romance in woods !!!!!!!!
young guys are also trying out their hands in cooking !!!
i have seen quite a lot of cooking classes where the trend is to offer discount to couples instead of a single person
thats also a way out to bring closeness
chennaikaustav: ohh grt...
and whr they hangs out?
ravishankarsinhain: b'lore is second in the country after mumbai in terms of divorce rates
sir, frankly, college goers are a very few (owing to majority of engg colleges where there are strictness in hostel and all) and college crowd like delhi univ is also not thr (as not many famous degree colgs are not thr)..
chennaikaustav: okey...
ravishankarsinhain: they only spending comes from young guys who earn !!!
chennaikaustav: grt....and if couple then both of them earns i blv
ravishankarsinhain: b'lore's latest scam is a giggolo rackets (male prostitutes)
very much !!
and sometimes, thats the cause of marital failure
chennaikaustav: humm...and the AIDS is very high in bangalore city...just after mumbai...mainly gays...todays hindu news
ravishankarsinhain: thats because people are not conscious towards safe sex.. for 'em, its just another fun !!!
.. couple (both husband and wife ) working..
chennaikaustav: humm...good observation
and i blv they dont has time to understand each other..
ravishankarsinhain: because of their habitual expenditure, a lot of income is required, for which there is always a stress to perform very high and this involves time.. and thats why, the compatibility between husband and wives has gone down
chennaikaustav: wht are their daily activities?
ravishankarsinhain: and this has also lead to extra-marital affair
chennaikaustav: wht they likes to wear? outside. and at home
ravishankarsinhain: weekdays, 8am-10am work.. dinner.. sex.. and sleep..
chennaikaustav: humm....what they thinks importent criteria to impress opposite sex?
by dressing and attitude...
ravishankarsinhain: weekends.., getting up at 12 or even late, eating lunch out, going with gfs somehwere out and then partying and boozing late nite.. thats what they call it... METROPOLITAN CULTURE
chennaikaustav: metropolitan culture...
ravishankarsinhain: the only way to allure opposite sex is SHOW-OFF
chennaikaustav: show-off...interesting...
ravishankarsinhain: most of 'em,... and they dont work in hardcore software development.. just BPOs and cAll centres
ravishankarsinhain: and they all hate traffic
like anything !!!
ravishankarsinhain: women, particularly, wear dark make-up and wudnt mind changing guys like clothes..
chennaikaustav: okey...
ravishankarsinhain: i have been to one place for hukka and one pub
ravishankarsinhain: and men, are more metrosexual..
ravishankarsinhain: trying heavily to woo babes by their make - up too
off shoulder and skirts are classic among this crowd
chennaikaustav: humm...wht men prefs to wear?
ravishankarsinhain: and for guys, white tees with denims
chennaikaustav: humm...glittering dresses or subdued?
ravishankarsinhain: blazing sir !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
to set the floor on fire
chennaikaustav: humm...
chennaikaustav: is tht bright color?
ravishankarsinhain: and guys prefer criss-crop
that means short hair
red and black !!!
girls wear mostly boots and guys prefer expensive canvas
i haven't seen people with tatoos or piercing majorly
ravishankarsinhain: sir, i belive, tatoos is not very common because, mostly they work in companies and ocorporates
chennaikaustav: okey
ravishankarsinhain: so, all that i a litle out of the way
chennaikaustav: they gos to gym?
ravishankarsinhainnopt gyming
but aerobics and spa
and same evening they go for hooka
chennaikaustav: humm...that means easy goers..
hooka bar?
ravishankarsinhain: life is in smokes …so many....

Copyright @ INgene
Ravishankar Sinha & Kaustav SenGupta

Saturday, March 15, 2008

mutating language among Indian youth (and aother news)

After surveying the social networking sites found the new wordings among Indian youths…

Tym Bro, Nu, D, Surfin, Hez, Coz, Bt, Lyk, Goin, Lolz, Nd, Nyway, Hw, Frndz, Bout, Da, Ppl, Lyf, Nu, Shez, Vry, Senti, V = we, Wid = with, Plz, Gr8, I c = I see, Luv ya / u = love you, Dis, Singl 2gethr, Lettin’, Fav / fev, Fk u / fuk u, G2g, Watvr, Mwwahh / muuah, Evn, Wzzup, Herez, Wid, Ma = my, Evn, Muzik, Gal, N = and, Wid = with, Jk = joke, V = we, Cud = could, Breaking alphabetic orders like : PrIyAnKa …nExT, Coll = college, 2 b contd = to be continued , Yap /yeh, Nup / nops, Gud = good, K = ok, Tk cr / TC = take care, In2 = into

BRB / brb = Be right back, 4got.....

and this list will continue...
(a detailed report can be requested to Mr. Kaustav SenGupta: kaustavsengupta@yahoo.com)



danah boyd shares what she means when she says "email is dead" in reference to teens. "Now, let's talk about youth. They have email accounts. They get homework assignments sent there. Xanga tells them that their friends have updated their pages. Attachments (a.k.a. digital Netflix/Amazon packages) get sent there. Companies try to spam them there (a.k.a. junk mail). Sifting through the crap, they might get a neat penpal letter or a friend might have sent them something to read but, by and large, there's not a lot of emotional investment over email.

That said, take away their AIM or MySpace or SMS or whatever their primary form of asynchronous messaging with their friends is and they will start twitching and moan about how you've ruined their life. And you have. Because you've taken away their access to their friends, their access to the thing that matters most to them. It's like me taking away your access to blogs and email and being forced to stay at the office just because you showed up late for work.

I'm part of the generation caught between email and IM where IM feels more natural but most of the folks just a little older than me refuse to use IM so i'm stuck dealing with email. Today's teens are stuck between IM, MySpace/Facebook, and SMS. There's another transition going on which is why there's no clean one place. IM replaced email for quite a few years but now things are in flux again. Still, no matter what, email is not regaining beloved ground."

Mobile Youth Trends - some excerpts from an interview with Nick Wright, a Research Associate at the Wireless World Forum, who is a co-author of the mobileYouth 2006 report : "The relationship between youth and their mobiles is not necessarily based on being �fun, cool, or entertaining�. It�s a key social tool employed in the dynamics of the peer group. Youth consume mobile products - as they do others - to make statements about themselves and their relationship with their peers.

Self-expression is such a key aspect of young people's lives that they would rarely choose a non-branded alternative over an identifiable brand. 98% of teens for example would choose a brand/logo designed T-shirt over a plain one.

Mobile is most importantly a symbol of belonging to a group, both as a physical product (you must own a phone to be part of our group) and its communicative possibilities: texting is essential to youth not because of the content (very limited) of the texts themselves but because each text is a reaffirmation and a reminder that "I'm with you".

"However, overall it is fueling the more extrovert and allowing shyer teens to communicate more easily. One of the more interesting findings is that mobiles have come to take the place in youth culture traditionally held by cigarettes. They provide or allow private communication, the activity is carried out largely unsupervised and they effectively create a rare private space for youth to interact in."

Businessworld has a special issue on What India's Youth Wants. No surprises there. Needs simple registration to access the article. From the opening essay: "What makes India's youth worth studying is evident; one of the world's hottest economies, a billion people, roughly half of them between the ages of 15 and 29 years, and rising purchasing power. It is a demographic gold mine for marketers and a case-study-in-progress of democratic capitalism. There is much happening to make us a happier, more chilled-out country. Why, then, are our young turning into somewhat moralistic people with limited ambitions?
You could argue, of course, that we are jumping to conclusions based on some interviews and a survey. No survey, especially in a terrifically heterogeneous country like India, can fully capture the complexities and nuances of an entire generation. You could also argue that there is no harm in being anti-smoking, anti-drinking or traditional. That it is to the credit of their parents that this generation is less rebellious and bonds better with its elders.

And maybe that is true. Maybe this, then, is this generation's way of rebelling. The fact is that in spite of the malls, media and the positive cheer surrounding us, India remains a poor, half-illiterate, difficult-to-live-in country. Getting the basics, a home in an area with decent electricity, clean surroundings, water supply, schools and so on, in any city is still a difficult and expensive business. Earlier generations spent decades trying to get just these. The young see no virtue in huffing and puffing over what they think are hygiene factors. They want to get them out of the way before they deal with some of life's more interesting pleasures - foreign holidays or alternative careers. So, they are alright doing a boring job (how interesting can call centres be?), not working too hard (over one-third do not think hard work is essential for success), and making money.

This is a self-centred, goal-fixated generation that will, with full comprehension and at any price, secure its future. The sacrifices and martyrdom for a cause is not for them, unless it means signing an online petition or holding some candles (though 30 per cent of them are keen on a career in politics). No rough backpacking or exploring the world for them. This generation seems happier achieving the status quo their parents did, only faster. Their enthusiasm for life seems very rooted to the here and now, and the immediately achievable."

Source: http://radio.weblogs.com/0121664/2006/11/08.html

Latest trend in body piercing jewelry


Summary: Except having a cultural significant and a traditional values in many countries, body piercing jewelry is a fashion statement nowadays. Various kinds of body piercing jewelry are very popular among American teens.
It is difficult to find out a person in this World, who is not fascinated with jewelry. Sometimes people are ready to ignore their pain for the fascination of body piercing jewelry. Body piercing jewelry comes in various forms and it is becoming a sensation among the young generation all over the World.
Actually the style of body piercing comes from the tribal society at the beginning. We can find various kinds of body piercing in the tribes all over the world. Tribes of many small islands in the Pacific have many facials piercing, like ears, nose, cheeks and even throat piercing. In India, ear and nose piercing is a year old tradition. It is also a tradition in Middle East also.

In some communities people get pierced when they leave home and get married. Nose studs are signs of marriage for women in Muslim community. Piercing signify a near and dear person's death in many communities.
Except having a cultural significant and a traditional values in many countries, body piercing jewelry is a fashion statement nowadays. Various kinds of body piercing jewelry are very popular among American teens. Not only America, whole World are getting fascinated with body piercing jewelry. Usually people punch a hole in their body, skin or cartilage to wear body-piercing jewelry. These jewelries give shape and enhance the beauty of nose, ears and other parts of body.

Most common pierced body parts are ear lobes. Nose piercing is also common in many countries. But today's teens are getting more adventurous. They loved to do experiment. Eyebrow piercing, tongue piercing, navel piercing, lip piercing etc are very popular among "generation-y".

Hi girls, now forget the style of use only an earring in the earlobe. Using of many earrings is latest trend among the women, even in men. Film actresses to tennis player, all are the followers of this trend. The number of earrings can vary from two to ten. Use of earrings in one earlobe is a popular style among the boys.

Year old nose studs and nose rings are coming back with a new look and style. Hollywood actresses are also getting weak with diamond sparkling nose studs. Because of this, it finds a place in the western World with Eastern World. On the other hand, nose rings are very popular among teens. Diamond nose ring of Sania Mirza, a tennis player became the talk of the tinsel town in India. Now her style becomes the trend of Indian youth. There are various types of nose studs and nose rings in the Market.
One of the latest entries in body piercing jewelry is navel ornaments. There are many kinds of navel ornaments, like-belly rings, belly buttons, bent barbells, dangling navel rings etc. All these can be finding with colored beads, which is very popular among the women youth. Navel ornaments with bare mid drifts and crop tops create a stunning, sexy looks, which has an erotic effect also. This style is a craze from film stars to common people in new age. Navel ornaments with blinking, color-changing flashers are hot favorite now.

Tongue rings and lip rings are becoming trendy among other body piercing jewelry. A tongue ring is visible when a person talks to other. It can make exotic, adorable impression with your words. Person with a lip ring can easily indicate the person's adventurous nature. Today's generation is ready to accept all the challenge to be adventurous about any fashion trend.

But the most popular facial piercing is eyebrow piercing, especially among the men. Eyebrow ring and eyebrow studs are eyebrow-piercing jewelry. These are very popular and setting a trend in young male. We can find eyebrow piercing among films and TV characters, even in real characters. Not only the boys, are girls also getting weak with this trendy jewelry.
Latest addition in body piercing jewelry, which also a surprising item is eyeball jewelry. Yes, it is true! The Dutch eye surgeons of an ophthalmic surgery research and development institute in Rotterdam, invented a cosmetic surgical process to implant minute pieces of jewelry made with special material called "jewel eye" in the mucous membrane of the eyes. The wide of the jewelry piece is 0.13 inch and the shape includes a half moon or a heart. The process patented by the institute. Though the process is little expensive, but it creates a new fashion trend among Dutch youth.

Usual body piercing jewelry can be made with any material. It may be silver, gold, platinum or any cheap metal. The ornaments are set with color beads, diamonds, colored gemstones or semi-precious stones. But it is advised that all the material should be sterilized because it is worn through the skin.

Source: http://jewelinfo4u.com/Latest_trend_in_body_piercing_jewelry.aspx
u can check this thread of discussion what am having with ted polhemus (www.tedpolhemus.com) about our views of eastern and western fashion:


Credit card trends, Mega trends in India & other reports

Credit Card Trends in India

Credit cards are the current trend. Everyone likes more purchasing power. Purchasing power does not only mean cash. You can purchase on credit too. This is the idea behind credit cards.

Credit Cards In India - More Purchasing Power

The requirements of youth have increased significantly in the past few years. You can find them shopping for textbooks. You can find them escaping to trips. You can catch them having fun at the local pub. More friends mean more expenses. But they do not compromise on money.

So where do they find financial support? Banks, of course! Credit cards let you bypass any financial restrictions that you may have. But more than a necessity, you find Indian youth using the credit cards as an object of desire.

Credit Cards In Youth - Social Glamour

Coming back to the trend, Indian youth loves to swipe the credit cards. Not only do they improve your purchasing power, you can also impress your friends with a line of credit cards. The more cards you have, the more wanted you are. Be it petrol, dinner, beer, or a beachside party, you can see the glitter of credit cards.

Credit Cards Simplify Life

Credit cards are simpler to use as compared to cash. You need to count money when you use notes, but not when you pay with a card. In this age of speed, who will like to count the notes? You can just put your card forward and your payment is made.

Credit cards also mean that you do not have to wait. Once you see something interesting, you cannot wait to get it. Now, you do not actually wait until you arrange the money. You can purchase it as soon as they see it. This is yet another reason why credit cards are more famous among the Indian youth.

Credit Cards In India - An Analysis

It is not difficult to obtain a credit card. It is, in fact, a type of unsecured credit for your needs. You can apply online and the banks will themselves come to your doorstep. If you have a credit card with good ratings, it is even easier for you to get more cards. This helps youth in procuring more purchasing power.

The year 2002 saw some 20 million credit cards being used in India. The figure doubled by 2007. The fiscal year 2006-07 saw approximately 100 per cent more transactions than the fiscal year 2003-2004. This means that the rate of transactions is increasing at a steady pace of 33 per cent each year.

Credit Cards and Indian Youth - Stay Free

As different consumer products are offering more and offers, people tend to go for them. Few years back, you had to consider the finance, but now as you have the credit card, you can straightaway purchase the item. This is often projected as financial freedom by the credit card companies.

If you take a deeper look at the business, you are actually taking a very small loan to finance your purchases. You have to pay interest on long term dues. You have to pay processing fee too, in most cases. Credit cards are financial freedom only if you use them sensibly. Stay free. Use credit cards sensibly!

Arun M Kumar
#103, Siricon, Near Ayapa Temple, ECIL X RDS,HYD-64
Source: http://www.calcuttaglobalchat.net/2008/06/26/credit-card-trends-in-india/

Six mega-trends that define India's future

T N Ninan

January 06, 2007

Writing a year ago, I looked at sharply rising (and indeed, record) oil prices and forecast the safe thing: an economic slowdown in 2006, after three years of rapid growth. An unkind colleague mailed me that article the other day, to underline human fallibility.

As far as I know, only one person forecast anything like what the Sensex achieved: something like a 50 per cent gain in the past year, starting from the already high levels of December 2005.

In fact, the member of Sebi (the stock market regulator) who daringly forecast the Sensex hitting 16,000 was hooted out by most commentators.

Despite this failure last year to tell the good news before it happened, the safe forecast this year too would be to stay with the thought that the business cycle has not been abolished, and that a slowdown has to appear on the horizon before too long -- especially since interest rates have been climbing, loans for cars and housing have become costlier, and the United States (the world's "consumer of last resort") is slowing down.

But the nagging worry is that, in choosing what looks like the safe forecast, we may simply be suffering from a fear of heights.

Commentators like Larry Summers and Ajay Shah, both writing on Business Standard's editorial page in recent days, have said in essence that there is reason to worry because there seems to be no reason to worry!

In other words, that this is just too good to last, and it could therefore be the calm before some as yet unseen storm. Since that is the kind of forecasting that no one can deal with or prepare for, what about staying with the assumption that the economy will continue to soar, without meeting Icarus's fate?

What would that mean? Four more quarters of handsome corporate results, and the Sensex at 20,000 a year from now? Another year of 20 per cent pay hikes? And hiring in the tens of thousands by a dozen and more firms that are burning the rubber in many different sectors? More foreigners telling us nice things about ourselves?

Like Goran Ivanisevic sending down one service ace after another, permanent good times can sound monotonous and almost boring. Except that China has been sending down those aces for a quarter of a century, and the story of its dramatic rise is anything but boring.

Still, better than attempting risky forecasts, it may be more productive to understand mega-trends. "Mega" because they cannot easily be reversed, have large ripple effects, and which therefore will define the future. I can think of half a dozen such.

MEGA-TREND #1 is the acquiring of scale. The Indian economy, Indian companies and Indian markets were mostly small or tiny. Remember that the Ambani family wealth seven years ago was about Rs 5,000 crore (Rs 50 billion) -- the same as Jignesh Shah's today. Don't know about him? He is a first-generation entrepreneur who is not yet 40.

The telecom market was 5 million connections 15 years ago; now it is over 180 million, and the fastest growing in the world. The fourth-largest phone company in India is now being valued at $20 billion. Or take commercial space: all of India's cities used to have office space totalling 40 million square feet. Now we are adding that much as new commercial space every year.

The total Indian car market was half a million vehicles in 2000; by 2010, a single company will be turning out twice that number, and India will be a small car manufacturing hub for the world. Companies, when they hired, used to do so in the hundreds; now the big ones do it in the tens of thousands.

On a visit to India some years ago, the chairman of General Electric (Jeff Immelt) said that whenever his company had bet on the Indian market, it had failed them; but whenever they had bet on the Indian people (Indian skills, that is), the bet had paid off. But by his last visit to Delhi, Immelt had changed his view: now the market is working too.

MEGA-TREND #2 is the spread of connectivity and awareness. In John Naisbitt's original identification of mega-trends, back in 1982, he called it networking.

Imagine the difference between a country that has 5 million phones and another with 180 million; between a country with 10 million TV sets and one with 120 million; between a country whose trucks move at 25 km per hour on the highways (counting the time taken for stops), and 50 km per hour.

Think of the consequences as Country No. 1 morphs into Country No. 2: better supply chain management, just in time delivery, and therefore scale of production if you can start at dawn and give delivery 500 km away by dusk (tomorrow it may be 800 km).

Think different awareness levels and therefore a different quality of decision-making; and think speed of response because you can reach someone on a mobile phone anytime anywhere. In short, think productivity gains -- which is what the growth story is all about.

MEGA-TREND #3 is the growth of the middle class -- talked about and anticipated for 20 years, but finally acquiring true scale. In 2001-02, there were 61 million Indians belonging to families that earned more than Rs 2 lakh (Rs 200,000) a year; by last year (2005-06), that number had crossed 100 million.

In 2009-10, the National Council for Applied Economic Research forecasts it will be 173 million. Marry that with growing urbanisation, and it is a safe guess that well over a third of all Lok Sabha constituencies will have a sizeable middle class and urban voter base. Think, then, of the many changes this might bring about. The obvious point is about growth of consumption, but we can go beyond that.

For instance, could it lead to a different type of politics and politician, because the urban voter is usually not thinking caste? The middle-class will expect (and increasingly demand) reliable power, clean water, comfortable mass transport systems. . .

Look at the pressures on the government in Delhi in recent years, to provide clean air, uninterrupted power, fast traffic, and responsive government-and you can see what could happen elsewhere in the coming years.

MEGA-TREND #4 has to do with the growing problems of growth. There is the environment: the increasing pollution of air (all those additional cars), the dropping of the groundwater table, and the failure to renew resources (like forests).

There is the energy question: do we really think the world oil market will not go haywire if we treble our consumption? The fact is that we are locked into a pattern of increasingly energy-intensive, resource-gobbling production and consumption from which there is probably no escape any more because everyone wants the western middle-class dream.

As surely as night follows day, then, there will be consequences. As someone said, other than weapons of mass destruction, the only thing that can extinguish human life is environmental change.

The third problem of growth is disparity, which is almost certain to increase (think all the way from executive jets and Bentleys to luxury watches and multi-crore apartments). How will this play in a democratic system, if others don't have food to eat and are committing suicide?

Consider then how politicians are trying to mediate the tensions: reservations of seats and jobs, cesses of various kinds to finance big spending programmes. . . If the rich have thought they can secede into gated residential communities and offices in corporate parks, hang on because outside reality will intrude.

Two statements were made at a conference I attended last year. One said: "Globalisation is a market efficiency project, but badly prepared to handle its political fall-out." The other said: "The issues are emotional. The solutions are technical. The decisions are political."

I interpret that to mean the issues will not go away.

MEGA-TREND #5 has to do with India's increasing openness to the world. The number of US visas issued in India doubled in 2006, to over 800,000 -- more than in any other country, barring Mexico. More Indian students are studying in other countries than those of any other nationality, barring perhaps China. Neither of these was remotely true 15 years ago.

The foreign trade component of India's GDP (if you include trade in both goods and services, like software) is now about 55 per cent -- nearly three times what it used to be. Foreign institutional investors own about 25 per cent of India's listed stock. And Indian firms were buying three overseas companies a week, through 2006.

A country that is open to the world reacts in fundamentally different ways from a closed system (of the kind that India used to be).

There is greater self-confidence, faster acceptance of new influences and ideas, a willingness to accept global benchmarking, and a speedier response to changing circumstance. It is simply a more adaptive and therefore a more efficient system. Translate that to mean more productivity growth.

MEGA-TREND #6 the continuing dominance of youth. Something like half of India is under 25, and it will remain that way for some time. This is usually spun around into the economic fact that a higher percentage of people will be in the working age till the mid-twenty-first century, but that is only one facet.

Youngsters are different from oldies in a hundred ways, and anyone can make a long list of the differences. How this will affect Indian society cannot really be predicted, except to say that it will be more mobile (think more migrants), and more volatile (stronger responses to frustrations-- one manifestation being the spread of extremist Left ideology in some 60 districts).

It will adapt faster to new trends, and marketers will be encouraged to focus on low-cost products and services because youngsters usually have less money. It will probably mean that the two-parent home (for nurturing children) will remain the predominant norm for long, and that there will be a strong saving habit because families will be planning (among other things) for their children's educational future.

Four of these six mega-trends have almost entirely positive implications; one is clearly negative, and the last can cut both ways. There could be other negative trends too, like the steady collapse of governance and the country's politics shooting off the tracks.

The first is (one hopes) more easily reversible than these six and therefore does not affect quality; and the second is more a risk than a trend.

If, therefore, you were to outline a medium-term future for the country, you would paint a mostly upbeat picture. After that, whether GDP growth is 8 per cent or 9 per cent is really a matter of detail.

January 26, 2006

Lad Culture, India Style
by Guy Brighton

India is surely becoming one of our most talked about countries - there’s so much interesting stuff going on there. How about this: Brit lad mag Maxim has launched an Indian issue aimed at twenty something Indian men in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and
Hyderabad. Yep, they’re targeting the metrosexual Indian lad! The BBC describes him:

"A call centre employee who is earning more
in his mid-20s than his father was being paid in his mid-40s; a young
man with small-town roots but big-city ambitions. A social climber keen to sample the best food, wine,
clothes, movies and machines; an image-conscious trend-follower with
enough disposable income to afford the latest gizmos and gadgets; a guy
with his finger closely on the pulse and the latest mobile phone in his
palm. It is the personification of the new, metro-centric India."


I’m Loving It: Indian Youth And SMS
by Piers Fawkes

Over a billion text messages are sent every month by India’s 56 million mobile phone subscribers. SMS is especially popular with young people for whom the mobile phone is a welcome and private channel of communication with members of the opposite sex. Especially important in a country where ‘dating’ still does not enjoy widespread parental sanction.

The soaring popularity of SMS has inspired 52 year old musician Remo Fernandes to compose a pop track: ‘Love on SMS’ in his new album. In the video, Remo plays a Pied Piper kind of character who helps a young boy fumbling to declare his love for a girl. Remo hands him a cellphone and tells him "SMS is the way to do it."

The video is being premiered - where else - but on a mobile phone.

Contributed by Rashmi Bansal
Source: http://www.psfk.com/2005/07/im_loving_it_in.html


Young we are...

India is one of the world´s youngest countries, with an average age of only 24. Sixty percent of the population is under the age of 30, and young India has an affinity for modern shopping. (Business Week, April 4 2005.)

While the majority of India´s growing middle class is largely risk-averse, the country´s high-potential target market of high-earning youth, who are able to take bigger risks, are the kind of people who keep up-to-date with trends. Aged between 25 and 35 they have no responsibilities, high disposable incomes and are very consumer-oriented. (Ashit Mallick, market researcher, WGSN interview, March 2005)

The IT and outsourcing boom is responsible for the rise of a new luxury class – those moving from middle class to upper-middle class. The extreme wealth of a new breed of young, high-tech yuppies is challenging traditional gender roles and social values: it´s acceptable now to own a Mercedes, to have money, and to spend it. In the past, being wealthy was something you had to hide. At least half a dozen new luxury cars – ranging from the Bentley Arnage to the Audi A6 – have rolled out on Indian roads in as many months. Some of the major new launches in the near future include a Rolls Royce Phantom, with a price tag of Rs.35million, and the Aston Martin V8 Vantage costing Rs.11million. (The Times of India May 1 2005.)
"There's also a move from Hindu 'self-denial' to indulgence. And the indulgent customer has a very different mindset." (Arvind Singhal, managing director of management consultancy firm, KSA Technopak, speaking at the DSYN tradeshow, Delhi, April 07 2004) “Whether it is the consumerist tone of middle-class weddings or the obsession with imported brand labels, sanctimony towards money has been replaced by ostentation.” (Financial Times, March 22 2005)Results of the MasterIndex of Consumer Confidence for the first half of 2005 have revealed that Indian consumers continue to have an optimistic outlook for the next six months. Consumer sentiments in the country have significantly improved compared to the first and second waves of MasterIndex 2004, with India´s MasterIndex rating rising from 58.0 in the preceding period to 72.0 in February this year. (India Infoline.com, May 25 2005.)
Indians aren´t feeling poor anymore. Foreign aid to India after December 2004´s tsunami roused considerable anger in the country, which is committed to taking care of its own. A lot of the relief supplies were expired or unusable, with developed countries being accused of using India as a dumping ground for unwanted goods. After the first wave of relief supplies, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sparked national pride when he refused aid offered by the US and other countries. That refusal boosted the relief effort from within India – a psychological shift marked by Indians deciding to take charge of their own destiny. It also united the huge divides between rich and poor, bringing together Indians of all backgrounds to help each other. India´s rising middle classes know that if they don´t include the poor in their agenda of economic growth, their own efforts will be negated. (Business Week, January 11 2005.)Indian workers have gained the highest pay rises in Asia, thanks to the growing strength of its call-centre and information technology sectors. A 2004 survey, by global human resources firm Hewitt Associates, says Indian workers gained an average salary increase of 14.5% in 2004 – up .5% from the previous year. The well educated, English-speaking Indian call-centre workers continue to win big UK contracts for their sector. Survey respondents projected greater salary increases for 2005. (Hewitt News & Information November 8 2004.)
Global outlookOther countries have retreated from the idea that globalisation is universally a good thing. The opposite is true of India, as the country gains new self-confidence in its role in the world market. “India is learning from the world at a rate I would not have believed possible,” says Anupam Puri, special advisor to General Atlantic Partners, a private equity firm focused on IT and outsourcing. “The incorporation of best practices has been very rapid. India is preparing to enter a new phase of innovation. The country as a whole is experiencing a new level of entrepreneurialism and a new will to compete and win in the global market… There´s also a new dynamic in India. More people are taking things into their own hands. Villagers, for example, have seen the value of education and are paying to send their children to the best schools available.”(India Business Conference, Harvard Business School, April 4 2004.)

Market research builds confidence to take on the west: Taj Mahal: An Eternal Love Story, an epic film documenting the history of the Taj Mahal, was initially set for release only to India and the Middle East until market research revealed that Western audiences too would enjoy a dose of Indian culture while learning an important history lesson. Celebrations of the 350th anniversary of the completion of the Taj Mahal, a soundtrack composed by a legendary Indian composer and the fact that Bollywood stars have already appeared on Oprah all contributed to the increased confidence of producer Feroz Khan to show the film to Hollywood executives and release it first in the US, before targeting markets closer to home. (Business Week, May 10 2005.)
Media influenceNearly 35 Indian cities have a population of more than a million, and a proliferation of shopping malls caters to the rapidly growing consumer class. With satellite television and the internet now ubiquitous in smaller cities, Vatsala Misra, a consultant with retail research firm, KSA Technopak, says: “People are increasingly exposed to how the other half lives, and the aspirational distinctions are blurring.” (International Herald Tribune) January 4, 2005. India´s seven communication satellites, the biggest civilian system in the Asia-Pacific region, now reaches some of the remotest corners of the country, providing television coverage to 90% of the population. The system is also being used to extend remote healthcare services and education to the rural poor. (New Scientist February 19 2005.)


Indian youth looking locally to go international: YMF

Indiantelevision.com Team

(21 May 2004 4:00 pm)

MUMBAI: There is a "certain" limit that Indian youth will go to and not beyond, when emulating trends that are prevalent in the West. Moreover, Western trends don't necessarily catch up in India very fast. This more or less summed up the sixth MTV Youth Marketing Forum (YMF) held in Mumbai yesterday.

Speaking on how trends in India are caught on and leveraged by Bollywood; filmmaker and actor Nagesh Kukunoor, Brit Asian singer Rishi Rich and fashion designer Wendell Rodricks were of the opinion that with the Internet and modern media brimming over, Indian youth were more clued in to what was happening worldwide than ever before. But the last word remains that Indian youth has a mentality of wanting to 'blend in' and not 'stand out'.

Another interesting point that came forth during the discussion was that in India we have our own needs and psychological patterns that we follow and more often than not, these don't necessarily comply with the trends in the US. Said Rodricks, "The next trend that India is catching up with is the constant crossover which we try to maintain with the West and East. But the thing to be kept in mind here is that if Christian Dior expects to sell gowns in India, it won't be very successful because we Indians are very price conscious." He further added that branded accessories could still do well but not the very expensive kinds.

Indians are also majorly affected by what is shown in the media via music, films, television and sports. Also, the Indian film industry is directing the trend in the country as the youth in the country is no longer looking beyond their idols, opined Rodricks.

On the other hand, Kukunoor said, "In this game there are no rules, you just make them along the way. There has to be some sense of risk taking and it's high time we learn from our own mistakes rather than others'."

Rich, an emerging Indi-pop star in Britain and India spoke passionately about the forces that have shaped British Asian music over the decades from the times of Gurdas Mann and Malkit Singh. Rich has sung with artistes like Britney Spears, Ricky Martin and Craig David, and is one of the driving forces behind taking bhangra and Asian sounds to a mainstream audience.

Rich also spoke about the Indian club culture in UK which was also exploding with the Safri Boys and Bally Sagoo remixes. "With these new forms of club music, the club scene exploded in the UK and DJ culture too. A milestone for Asian youth was achieved when DJ Hanif, Marky Mark, Hustlas and DJ Ritu organised the first Asian night in London's Westend," said Rich. Rich on his behalf was at the time, sowing seeds for a new style of music to come through.

All in all, the consensus at the end of the session was that Indians are looking locally to go international and the Indian youth is one who, in this global community wants to stand out as an Indian, albeit internationally!

Source: http://www.indiantelevision.com/mam/headlines/y2k4/may/maymam85.htm


Youth trends - a global picture?

International music channel MTV has released the results of its Wellbeing survey into global culture and how young people feel about their lives.

The research reveals that the country where young people had the greatest perceived sense of ‘wellbeing’ was India, followed by Sweden with the USA coming third.

The full list runs in the following order: 1) India, 2) Sweden, 3) USA, 4) Denmark 5) France 6) UK 7) Argentina Indonesia 9) Germany 10) Japan 11) South Africa 12) Mexico and 13) Brazil (China was not included in the Index as not all questions were able to be asked).

Children in developing countries were also found to be happier than those in developed nations. A majority of 16-34 year-olds in developing nations expected their lives to be more enjoyable in the future, led by China with 84%. More 8-15 year-olds in developing nations expected to have more fun in the future than 8-15 year-olds in developed countries. 83% of Chinese, 69% of South African and 68% of Mexican 8-15 year-olds expected their lives to be more fun, compared to 51% of American, 42% of French and just 30% of German kids.

Globally, only 43% of 16-34 year-olds asked said they were happy with the way things were. Younger children aged 8-15 were happier, but surprisingly not much more so: 57% on average. More than 70% of 16-34 year-olds, and 80% of 8-15 year-olds said they were happy in Argentina and Mexico, versus fewer than 30% of 16-34 year-olds and under 50% of 8-15 year-olds in the US and the UK.

One consistent finding across ages and in every country was the pressure on youth to succeed. Kids and young people are stressing about the same things as adults. More than half of 8-15 year-olds worry about getting a job. By comparison, only 34% were concerned about fitting in at school and only 25% worried about looking cool.

Source: http://brandstrategy.wordpress.com/2006/11/20/youth-trends-a-global-picture/



Source: http://www.multidimensions-india.com/youth.html

Have you played the G STRING today?

Poster at Mood I


FTV a favourite channel..
"Its for the see-thrus' that I watch FTV "-

Guys Internet is 'learnt'
- to surf 'unmentionable' sites

Romance - running around the trees is passé
"Lip to lip kiss - no big deal"- Gals

"All those movies with guys jumping off cliffs if love fails is meaningless"

Make the best of the world, that is, rather than set the world to rights

"Try to marry the same girl. If not possible, let go and go on with life"

Lack of gaucherie with the opposite Sex - Interaction within Guys-Girls - not called 'dating' even when one-to-one

"Tell him lets go for a coffee" Chennai

with both genders steering clear of the 'intense' sentimental types- those who want commitment

"No room for sentees please" Bhopal

"Why tolerate bullshit"

Tackle information overload by selective avoidance and retention.

Omnipresent technology juggled with ease by multitasking
- Satellite
- Internet / PC
- Cell / technology

Tech-savvyness worn on their sleeve 'Comp. Animated Graphics' 'Downloads MP3' 'Digital'


"Live shows give me a high - a feeling of being there"

"Songs by artists - Phil Collins or whoever - has video clips from the film. That's best"

'Stress' a reality - yet continue to pack busy schedules… more to do in 24 hrs.

Diet, Exercise - always on their minds [Visiting the gym / 'long walks' / Aerobics aspired to]

Consciousness high, even if not follow themselves...
"Soft drinks quench thirst but have zero (nutritional) value"

Some usage occasions of Soft Drinks replaced by Tropicanas of the world
"Wholesome. Good for complexion"

Craving for a 'Return to Purity & Nature' via brands and products.




Reticent, inner driven,

Think different, Analytical

Safety of groups not sought

Confident but unspokenly so

Love to go against the current

Re: Gym

"Other things important than merely having a good body"

Re: Pub / Disc

"I prefer to play bridge"

Re: Drinks

" Can you get me a glass of milk / water"

Not moved by fads - 'what I wear is fashion' [come to gps dressed in apple green shirt / pathan suits... is making a statement]
Loved by the Girls - more 'caring' partners, with 'sense of humour',
Value 'Open mindedness' , 'Seriousness', 'Experimentation'
->Of the segments, highest of the low attention spans
->Nuances noticed [ Axe Train bf's puzzled expression]


'Haves' of the generation... material comforts taken for granted... digital dairy / mobile / PCs/ Cars

Make the most of 'looks'

Brand conscious but not 'to show' 'Not Nike / Adidas à Saucony' - Leaning to Western music / films/ fashion

Active pastimes: gyms, tennis, dating, pubs

Physique: indication of self discipline & control over indulgence -> Sign of mental stability.

non smoker

good posture

not self conscious

Attracted to 'risk' behaviour (bungee jumping) even if not directly participating

Value freedom, experimentation, liberal mindedness

Arrogance inbuilt - quick snap decisions (Active / Noisy participants in gps)

Loved by the girls for the stereotypical aspects


Hairy chest!
-> Lowest attention spans (fascinated when communication layered)


"Co-ed friendships are 'saaf' friendships"

'Mixed' gender peer groups - 'common' and 'usual'

"Friends who are boys - not bf as such"
Chivalry' is out.
At peace with parents - supportive atmosphere at home : open & frank [No angst]
Animated & Articulate - well able to verbalise even discomforts
Low attention spans (representing the times) and any 'waiting' is nerve racking…yet wear out low in spite of 'long' sessions.
Quite 'easy' to locate (unlike Bohemians & E. Adopters) - suggesting the burgeoning representation of 'Fusionists' in TG in India.
As widespread in B Sec as in A Sec; in smaller towns as in metros.


Sense of belonging to peer group important…often seek the security of a crowd.
'Bravado' evident in dealing with opposite sex

"I can talk to my father about my girlfriend"

"Now 18 yrs - free to smoke & booze"
'Likes' : Identifiable storylines… such as Just desserts (Axe Pied Piper); Guy gets gal; 'Fantasy' (Girl goes after guy)
Afternoons at home - girls; Guys tend to spend as much time as possible outside home.


The `coolest' trends

Menka Shivadasani

Vada pav and `cutting' chai -- what do you know, they are supposed to be the coolest things going when it comes to Indian youth. Not burgers, not liquor, and mercifully, not drugs. In fact, vada pav and cutting chai -- those quintessentially Indian items -- are such symbols of cool that they were even served during the tea break at the swish hotel in Mumbai where the MTV-Brand Equity Youth Marketing Forum was being held. What an irony -- all those VJs trying to set trends and then the trendiest thing of all turns out to be exactly what the average Indian has been doing for decades!

MTV and Pepsi's newest study, `Tuning into the Indian Youth Part 3', was unveiled during the Forum and while many of the findings were no more than common sense, there were some surprising revelations. Atal Bihari Vajpayee -- the dignified and elderly dh oti-clad statesman -- was the coolest politician; KBC and Kyunki Saas Bhi ... the coolest TV shows, way above MTV Bakra and MTV Loveline; and studying turned out to be the coolest thing to do, even more than listening to music. At least that's what the survey, conducted by Indian Market Research Bureau, says.

I guess when it comes down to it -- being cool really means being yourself, not some pale imitation of a Western culture, and being fully in control of what you are and what you do. Still, it's interesting to hear what the experts have to say, and even m ore interesting to know that they must admit that they don't have a clue as to what they are talking about -- after all, the youth market is an ever-changing, fickle thing. ``There is no simple formula to look at that audience,'' acknowledged Alex Kuruvi lla, MTV India Managing Director. And the booklet they brought out on the occasion echoes the words: ``Get over the idea that you'll ever have a crystal clear picture of where we are and where we're going; this neatly outlined picture exists only in hind sight,'' it concludes.

Well, the experts are certainly trying. There's a lot of money to be made out there, especially since the youth market is supposed to form 60 per cent of the Indian population. ``Coupled with growing incomes, today the niche is THE market,'' the study sa ys. ``Little wonder, then, that every marketer today needs to be a youth marketer.'' These days, it isn't just manufacturers of jeans and sports shoes that are targeting the young: automobiles, durables and financial services are trying to reach out to t hem too. MTV's own advertisers -- more than 270 of them -- include such companies as Intel, Shell, Tata Sierra, Castrol, Cipla and Cadila.

The thing about young people is that they do not form a homogeneous group. Simon Williams, Chairman, Sterling Group, a New York-based brand consultancy, speaks of the three categories of youngsters -- the pre-15-year-olds, who are just awakening to trend s; the 15-24-year-olds who form the core of a trend, and the 25 plus age group which still has a youthful mindset, but which is recognising that life comes first and trends are only incidental.

These are not cut and dry categories, of course there is more than enough diversity even within these groups to make the marketers' lives a little difficult. Nor does it help that what's `cool' is in a state of flux today, and much more subtle than it us ed to be. ``Traditionally,'' Williams said, ``being cool simply meant who you knew and what you wore; today, it's a much more multi-faceted thing involving knowledge, attitude, behaviour and visual cues -- `experiential cool', in the marketers' jargon.''

The Indian youth audiences aren't homogeneous either; the IMRB study divides them into the homebodies (16 per cent); the two-faced -- inwardly traditional, outwardly modern (16 per cent); the wannabes -- materialistic show-offs (25 per cent); the rebels (23 per cent) and the cool guys -- the influencers (20 per cent).

Youth today are supposed to be far more aggressive and independent, highly competitive, and while they might still respect their parents and not talk back, they wouldn't think there was anything wrong in placing their parents in an old age home. Apparent ly, even the homebodies agree with this.

Success is also gauged purely in money terms, and to them, life is all about having fun. (Of course, this doesn't quite gel with the finding that studying is the coolest thing to do, but never mind.) Thirty-nine percent of them also say that it is perfec tly all right to live together, though pre-marital sex is still considered taboo (``We predict a rise in chess-playing,'' commented Vikram Raizada, Director (Marketing), MTV India, tongue firmly in cheek.)

There's lots more in the study that marketers will find useful as they try to target your kids through all the TV channels that beam down on us today. Of course, since no generalisations are really possible -- however hard the marketers might try -- ther e's no quick formula when it comes to reaching out to youngsters. What counts then is not talking to them as marketers talking down to an audience, as Dan Wieden, the star speaker and the man behind the Nike (`Just do it') ads pointed out; what mattered was passion, being honest and building relationships.

It's an attitude that MTV has in its programming as well. As Kuruvilla said, ``We view the tried and tested with suspicion. We celebrate the irreverent, the offbeat, and the sound of surprise.'' No wonder then -- how could the study have said anything el se -- MTV was viewed as the coolest TV channel. Interestingly, its supposedly closest rival, Channel [V], came way after Sony (which was second), Star Plus, and even B4U!

The author can be contacted at menkashivdasani@ftnetwork.com

survey on indian youth- 15/3/08

India, a country with faster economical growth fuelled by the aspiring younger generation (below 30 years) tops in A. T. Kearney’s Global Retail Investment Report 2007 among 30 emerging markets. Though, 57% of fashion retailers are targeting youth to sell their product there is no specialized marketing & trend forecasting agency to cater this segment. Without prior survey and understanding the retailers are blindly following the trends of USA or Europe and expecting that the Indian youth will embrace the same without even blinking their eyes. The results are disastrous, which can be seen in the immature death and burial of homegrown & International brands each year. In India, the climate, customs, idols, psychology and attitude of youth are not the same as their peers abroad (though superficially in a broader scale they “appears” same).
Mr. Kaustav senGupta, Asst. Professor and Centre Coordinator of Department of Fashion & Lifestyle Accessories, NIFT Chennai has done a survey on globally sensitive economically affluent young Indians (15 to 24 years) for last 3 years on the attitude & behavior, likings & aspirations, dreams & nightmares covering 4 A1 cities and 3 A2 cities (832 respondents, mostly the “innovators” and motivating leaders among the groups) and came out with interesting facts that will change the outlook of fashion & media mentors. The compiled data and his predictions are available in the form of ‘fact book” and ‘direction book”. The research methodology includes primary data collection, secondary data gathering, group discussion, individual interviews, discussion with the economists & sociologists, Statical analysis with psycho-demographical study.

Some of the facts are as follows:

Communication & Media :
Most of the aspiring young Indians “hate” books (or “don’t have time to read”…as they say) other than the study materials...girls prefer to swipe through magazines (glamorous, glossy and with interesting visuals)…most favored magazines are: Cosmopolitan, Elle, Vogue India, M.
A few favorite books and authors of last year are: The Vinci code, Harry Potter, Sidney Sheldon and Dan Brown …so, it will be better to avoid magazines and books to communicate to the younger urban generation at large.
Social networking sites are the main source of “being in touch”…Orkut is the most popular one…though the trend is moving from mass to niche networks.
The language is changing. English is no longer the same as what we see in contemporary advertisements. The mass media have to review their word books. A few examples are :
Tym = Time, Bro = Brother, Nu = New , D/ Da = The, Hez = He is, Coz = Because
Bt = But, Lyk = Like, Lolz = Lots of laugh, Nd = And, Nyway = Anyway, Hw = How
Frndz = Friends, Bout = About, Ppl = People, Lyf = Life, Vry = Very, V = we, Wid = with, Plz = Please, Gr8 = Great, I c = I see, Luv ya / u = love you, Dis = This, 2gethr = Together, Lettin’ = Letting , Fav / fev = Favorite, G2g = Get togo, Watvr = Whatever
Mwwahh / muuah = A gesture of affection / love, Wzzup = What’s up, Muzik = Music
Gal = Girl, Cud = could, Coll = college, 2 b contd = to be continued , Yap /yeh, Nup / nops, Gud = good, K = ok, Tk cr = take care, In2 = into etc.
And, breaking alphabetic orders like : PrIyAnKa …nExT…
These words are to ‘make d life ezy’…as they says.

This generation is not much into TV. They just check the sports, news, music videos and movies…Indian soaps are boring and blunt.
Blogs are the new ways to “be informed” and ‘recognized”. The idols and “inspiring team leaders” are getting popular through blogs. Even the anger and protests are spread through blogs. So, the traditional way of protests are changing. The political parties should look at it. The days of gathering under the sun and breaking the voice is gone.
The movies should be of action or sentimental …mainly retro or futuristic . A mix of newly defined patriotism with action or sentiment is going to be the sure hit…the aspirations of foreign land is gone. Today’s youth thinks that Singapore is great for a shopping trip, Malaysia for spending few days over the beach, UK for clubbing, Europe for a 10 days refreshing trip but India is better to live forever. “ahh here we have freedom…where else can u spit in road? Hah”
Music scenes are changing along with the roaring night life. For music they look towards America. Rock, Hip hop, Trance (Tech, Tribal, Progressive), House music, Psychedelic and Lounge are some of the popular one in clubs and discs. Most ranked artists are: 50cent, Eminem, Linkin park.

The best advertisement strategy should be the “word of mouth” and guerilla marketing then the traditional ones in print and TV.

Fashion, Attitude, Lifestyle and Food habit:

They are becoming “exhibitionist’ in nature. Loves to showoff to differentiate themselves from the “mass” or to connect themselves with the “better Indians’
This generation is becoming more and more “individualistic”. By look and lifestyle. Everybody peruses to be the perfect idol or team leader.
Cell phone is the most wanted gadget, with lesser and lesser lifecycles (to be in fashion). The most wanted gadget is i-pod and i-phone. Online gaming (plus role playing) is the ‘in thing’. Those who are working in BPOs and call centers are getting used with the ‘nicknames’ and ‘role-playing’ faster (with their dual life structure). The survey shows that more and more youth are doing a night shift in call center to earn extra bucks…sometimes without the knowledge of their parents.
For girls the favorite article to cling on (other than the cell phone) is “teddy”.
Weekend clubbing is ‘in’ and “pub surfing till stoned’ in weekend nights are one of the common sports / amusements.
In overall attitude Indian youths are “patriot at heart” (softer, happy & sentimental in nature)…and they are a perfect blend of ethnic styling with western attitude. They balance in between the “showoff” outdoor and “pleasing parents” indoor.
“Style tribes” are still a far cry but “goth-ism”, “soft punk” and “hiphop” are a few favorite ones.
Girls feel attracted to “wealth, tattoos, long hair, thrills” in opposite sex while boys looks for “intelligence & overall look”.
This generation is not much into active sports (other than watching…) but going to gym is “cool”.
The survey says that the trustworthiness is going down. But, still they remain loyal to a brand if the brand constantly provides them the ‘attitude’ they are looking for.
The family value is still high. 89% respondents replied that the most important thing in their life is “friends & family”.
The “arranged marriage” phenomenon is out. But they want the parents to be involved in the process of marriage, even if it’s a pure “love marriage”.
The most favorite character (in regards to attitude) of the year is “captain sparrow”…Johnny Depp in “Pirates of the Caribbean…”
Interestingly, Most of them wants the occupation of their “own’…not a service. Wants to be the entrepreneur.
DJing/ turntable is a hip profession (may be supported by one or more “day time” jobs)
The most favorite unisexual colors are black & white. Boys loves blues and rugged while the girls are more into pinks and ethnic mix
Tattooing and piercing is ‘in” (39% respondents has tattoos and 62% has piercing in different body parts)
Sneakers are the most favorite shoe style along with the open toe slip-ons & flip-flops.
All of them loves “ghar ke kana” or ‘ma ki hath ka bana hua…” other than the Chinese, Continental and Mughal dishes.

the survey will be published monthly once.
Copyright to :

Kaustav SenGupta
Asst. Professor & Centre Coordinator
National Institute of Fashion Technology


Interesting...found in net...

Booming and Bubbling India- XIX

Posted : September 24, 2007 at 6:19 am [IST]

The economy is on song, (despite recent dat revealing a suspected slowdown in manufacturing growth), and India Inc. is in rapid expansion mode. This the way a report starts on a feature, ‘India is now world’s 7th largest IPO market’. It is not one sector or one institution that is on move. India is marching ahead with all its problems and speedbreakers.

From a count of zero last year, four Indian companies- Hindustan Unilever (HUL, ranked No 4), Infosys (10), ICICI Bank (19) and Wipro (20) have made it this year to the global list of Top Companies for Leaders -2007, a survey conducted by Hewitt associates in paternership with The RBL Group and Fortune Magazine.

Where to Next for India? The vast majority of the global Fortune 1000 companies agree that India is indeed worth the effort. Indian companies can innovate, build capacity in areas not generally seen as a strength, and be aggressive in expanding-beyond a predominantly U.S. focus-into Asian markets.

Sensex records single biggest gain: The Bombay Stock Exchange’s barometer Sensex on Wednesday crossed the magical 16,000-point in style, with the single biggest all-time gain of 653 points, as a cut in US interest rates triggered a buying spree in Mumbai. Experts predict it to reach 19K, and inflation slips to 3.32%, and the rupee hits a nine-year high as a sharp cut in interest rates by the US Federal Reserve increased appetite for emerging market assets and a surging stock market attracted capital inflows.

PE deals hit record $10.8 bn in 8 months: For the first time, private equity (PE) investments in India have already crossed the $10-billion mark in a calendar year, with over three months still to go in 2007, as against the total value of PE deals announced stood at $7.86 billion in 2006. The total value of equity deals involving Indian companies is now nudging the $60-billion mark.

Indian executives dread foreign postings: Gone are the days when an overseas posting would necessarily bring cheer. While Indian CEOs often don’t want to move, companies insist these postings are a means of giving their senior executives international exposure.

Organic farming changes fortune of Rajasthani farmers: Farmers in villages in Jhunjhunu district are experiencing the steady incomes generated by organic farming.

India-UK trade to cross 10 bn pounds: “There has been a step-up in the India-UK trade which is expected to cross 10 billion pounds this year.” With the surge in bilateral investment, trade between India and Germany is likely to double to 20 billion euro in the next five years and as a result, Germany would rise to become India’s second largest trade partner from its current fourth position after the US, UK and Japan, according to a FICCI-KPMG paper.

Indian financial mkts projected at $17 trillion:India’s financial markets size was estimated to race from under USD one trillion to 17 trillion by 2025 as globalisation led opportunities shift from veteran markets to emerging markets, according to an IBM study.

Rs46, 000 cr link to North-East planned: The Union government is proposing a massive investment of Rs46, 000 crore to set up new power transmission capacity, which, by 2012, could move 46,000MW of power from the North-East region and Bhutan; and will connects the North-East to the rest of India.

Left-ruled Kerala gets high on India’s IT boom: In a state that has shunned global corporate giants such as Microsoft Corp. and Coca-Cola Co, the tech industry raked in $60 million last year. Kerala’s fledgling tech industry has attracted hundreds of tech firms from the West, raking in more than $60 million (Rs243 crore) last year (may be tiny but growing slice of India’s $50 billion tech industry).

Omnitech Info enters into JV with Japanese firm: Omnitech Infosolutions Ltd has entered into an agreement with Japanese firm Sanwell Company Ltd (SWL) for setting up a Joint venture - Arham Technologies Company Ltd (ATCL) with a total investment of $ 1million (Rs 4crore) to undertake business in IT consultancy, software development for embedded systems, infrastructure management and performance management services for telecom, banking and financial services for Japanese market.

Moser plans Rs 2,000cr PV plant near Chennai: New Delhi-based leading optical storage media manufacturer Moser Baer (India) has chosen Chennai to set up a Rs 2,000 crore solar photovoltaic fabrication facility.

TutorVista expands global classroom: TutorVista, which broke new ground by offering personalised customer services through online tutoring to students in the US from India, has just extended its reach to the UK and Korea. English language tuition to Koreans is being seen as testing waters that also lap the shores of China and Japan. And its next target is teaching Spanish, the second most-spoken language in the world.

India’s largest power plant ahead of schedule: Mundra project that would comprise of five super-critical units of 800 Mw each is progressing on schedule, or rather “ahead of schedule.” Orders for equipment have already been placed with Japan’s Toshiba and Korea’s Doosan.

Media Labs Asia brings education to the doorsteps of tribals: Media Labs Asia is a body established by the Ministry of communication and Information Technology - in collaboration with Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mumbai, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) like Vigyan Ashram and Bhatke Vimukta Vikas Pratishthan to train over 100 children of denotified nomadic tribes in Maharashtra.

Visual effects, made in India: Prime Focus, transports the 1,400 VFX (visual effects) shots to London, there is a sense that Indian studios are coming of age and executing high-end shots for big international releases. Tata Elxsi’s visual computing lab (VCL) is working on an episodic 3D series for a North American client and doing visual effects for a project for one of the largest studios of Hollywood.

More Indians enrolling with Australia universities: India contributed 42,798 full-fee enrolments in Australian universities, demonstrating 60.9 per cent growth on YTD June 2006, higher than China’s growth on YTD June 2006, which stood at 13.8 per cent. Indians now are the third largest migrant group in Australia after the British and the New Zealanders.

Four Indian Americans make it to Forbes list: Four Indian Americans - Acoustics pioneer Amar Bose, Google founder director Kavitark Shriram, venture capitalist Vinod Khosla and Bharat Desai CEO of an info-tech outsourcing firm - have made it to the Forbes list of richest Americans.

OVL wins three exploration blocks in Myanmar: ONGC Videsh Ltd, the overseas arm of state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), has won three offshore exploration blocks in Myanmar.

Insurance BPO to create $2-bn revenue, one lakh jobs: India has emerged as a net gainer with the country likely to generate $2-billion revenue and over one lakh jobs through insurance outsourcing business by 2010, according to a KPMG report. The size of the industry is over 1,500 property and casualty insurance companies and 1,300 health insurance firms in the US alone that makes insurance outsourcing an attractive market.

Jewellery exports post 24% growth: The domestic jewellery industry is glittering with exports posting more than 24% growth in the first five months of the fiscal with the demand for Indian jewellery surging and the global sales of diamond increasing manifold. In terms of value, the exports rose to $7,752.45 million in April-August 2007 against $6,237.32 million a year ago.

Skoda to set up turbine facility: Czech power company Skoda Power AS is setting up a turbine manufacturing facility at Hyderabad at an investment of around Rs2, 000 crore that will be set up in four phases, and will be completed by 2011 to help the fast growing power generation sector on the equipment supply front, as India has been coping with shortfalls in power generation equipment.

CAM man wins global recognition: Tapan Parikh, a doctoral student at the University of Washington and founder of Ekgaon Technologies, is the winner of the TR35 2007 Young Innovator award, instituted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology published magazine Technology Review. Parikh received global recognition as the 2007 Humanitarian of the Year for his effort to help small business people by making mobile phones a more effective and result-oriented medium. Microfinance groups in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh are using CAM, the mobile device developed by Parikh to increase productivity and earn more money in diverse as well as traditional businesses they are involved with.

Benetton to make India major hub: Apparel major the Benetton Group, which has a presence in 120 countries around the world and produces 130 million garments every year, will make India its major sourcing hub for fabrics to cater to markets like South America, Russia, Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia and Japan.

Four Indian companies bag global corporate awards: Four Indian companies, Oil and Natural Gas Corp and NTPC Ltd from the public sector, and Jubilant Organosys and GTL from the private sector, have been selected for the Global Award for emerging economies as part of the annual Golden Peacock Awards for corporate excellence.

Closing the gap on developed countries: Outbound deals have been steadily increasing for the past three years, culminating in 32 deals being recorded in the first half of 2007. North America was by far the most popular destination for Indian acquirers, being responsible for 18 of those deals.

New car buyers seek design, performance: Nearly 45 per cent of buyers of recently launched vehicle models tend to evaluate at least one other new vehicle model during the shopping process, compared to buyers of models that have been on the market for two or more years (37 per cent), according to a JD Power study.

Canada names fossil after Lucknow-based geologist: Canadian government officials and scientists had recently met at Canada’s Portugal Cove South city where two top geologists - Guy Narbonne from Canada and Jim Gehling from Australia - announced the new name of one of the many fossils discovered by SB Misra in the late 1960s.

Jet Airways bags international award: India’s largest private air carrier Jet Airways has been honoured with the Avion Award for the Best Overall In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) for small airlines worldwide.

Ericsson in push for rural broadband: Swedish telecom equipment maker Telefon AB LM Ericsson has launched a trial project in Tamil Nadu to showcase its rural broadband offering, which could enable the delivery of telemedicine and interactive education services at an affordable price in India’s villages.

India’s M&A average: two deals a day: India Inc continued with its M&A frenzy in August, striking an average of two deals a day, a marginal increase over the previous month’s deal numbers, but over three-fold jump in value terms. A total of 62 M&A deals valued at $3.37 billion were announced in August, against 59 deals worth about $0.94 billion in July, according to data compiled by Grant Thornton.

India new launchpad for auto giants: India is turning out to be the new launch pad for global car models as major carmakers prefer India to Europe and the American markets.

US cos could save $9.9 b thru outsourcing: Estimating that US businesses could be sitting on $9.9 billion in potential infrastructure savings through outsourcing, a latest Forrester study has found that companies that have outsourced, in the past, ended up with 12-17 per cent cost savings.

Refining capacity to be raised by 92 million tons: The government would augment the country’s oil refining capacity by 92 million tons from the present 149 million tons in the 11th plan through installation of four grass-root refineries.

Electronics hardware exports up 30% in FY07: The country exported electronics hardware worth Rs12,500 crore in 2006-07, up 30% from 2005-06, with North America accounting for more than a quarter of it at Rs3,410.95 crore.As per estimates of Department of Information Technology, 125 countries imported software while 191 countries imported hardware from India in 2006-07. In 2005-06, the electronics hardware export was worth Rs9,625 crore.

Reliance Energy eyes coal mines abroad: India’s No. 2 private power producer, Reliance Energy Ltd, is scouting for coal mines overseas.”We are looking at opportunities to acquire coalmines in Indonesia, Australia, Africa and Mozambique,

Selling Computers to India: Lately, China’s growth has started to slow, and the industry’s leaders have started to recognize the potential of the region’s other giant market, India. This year, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Lenovo, and Acer have all announced major initiatives there, making India one of their key battlegrounds. Best of all, the demand is coming not just from multinationals and big Indian companies, but also from consumers and small businesses.

Young Indians are Happiest in the world: Young middle-class Indians are the happiest people of all and much more satisfied with all aspects of their lives compared with other nationalities, according to a new global survey by Swedish research and consulting firm Kairos Future. Further, work comes as top priority for Indian youth, followed by a good career and higher status. In contrast, for those in Europe, a good living environment comes on top and above all work-related aspects, Kairos Future said.

FDI inflow outpaces portfolio investment: Reversing the past trend, foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows into the country outpaced portfolio investment by almost $5.6 billion in 2006-07. The FDI inflows during the fiscal worked out to be $21.19 billion, while portfolio investments touched $15.62 billion, according to a report on the International Investment Position (IIP) of India released by the RBI.

BSE market cap breaches Rs50-trillion mark: The record breaking rally in the country’s stock market today pushed the total investor wealth past the Rs50,00,000 crore milestone for the first time in its history. The cumulative market capitalisation of all the 4,500-odd companies listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange, the world’s biggest bourse in terms of listed firms, soared to a new peak of Rs 50,18,265.06 crore on 21 September.

India’s retail to create 20 lakh jobs in 2 years: Organised retail, which is growing at 30 per cent annually on strong income growth and favourable government policies, is expected to create up to 20 lakh jobs in the next two years, says a study.

A new study on income inequalities in India says average incomes have risen sharply for the bottom 20% of the population by nearly 10% in rural and urban areas, between 1993-94 and 2004-05

Vienna push for small reactor export: The IAEA today adopted a landmark resolution moved by India to promote the development and deployment of small and medium nuclear reactors for countries with small electricity grids. The resolution is in line with India’s goals of exporting homegrown 220MW pressurised heavy water reactors to developing countries. India is the only country that produces such small reactors suitable for small electricity grids.

India’s Cell-Phone Ride Out of Poverty: Struggling artisans and tradespeople in rural India are finding that mobile phones are their ticket to better sales and better lives. Dominating the mobile handset landscape in India is Nokia with a 74% market share. As for service providers, at last count, there were 13 mobile-phone operators, with Bharti Airtel leading the pack with a 24% share and Vodafone (VOD ) in third place with a 17% share.

And India wins, India in final: India swept to a stunning victory over Australia to earn the right to take on Pakistan in the final of the ICC World Twenty20 in Johannesburg on Monday.
Chak De! India.

- Indra

Source: http://drishtikona.com/archives/industrymanagement/001862.php


Why the Indian consumer is different
February 20, 2007 13:02 IST

That the Indian consumer is a breed apart was demonstrated in the latest global ACNielsen Consumer Confidence and Opinions Survey.

Indicator: even as India once again topped the 45-country survey with a consumer confidence index of 137, suggesting the highest optimism about the future, Indian consumers do not seem to be willing to spend much.

The country does not figure in the top 10 spenders' list for any of the categories, except for investing in shares and mutual funds, where it leads the world.

On the other hand, more than half the respondents from the country keep their spare cash in bank accounts, while they are in the lower 30th percentile when it comes to choosing holidays and new clothes. That's a very different pattern, for example, from the Russians and the Thais, who while scoring a lower 107 in consumer confidence, are on top of the respective lists when it comes to updating wardrobes and taking holidays.
India stands out again while factoring in "concern areas" as reflected in consumer confidence: apart from terrorism, the country does not appear in the top 10 list for any of the areas of concern.

Further, it is seventh in the list of countries that have no worries at all! The conclusions are mutually reinforcing: even though Indians are on a high, with minimum worries and high confidence about job prospects and the economy, they remain conservative when it comes to spending.

What does such consumer behaviour mean? One, despite the higher growth in spends by consumers in recent years, the continued conservatism shows that, in many areas, the market potential may only have been scratched at the surface.
The second implication would be that the higher consumer confidence could in itself be a reflection of the fact that they are conservative spenders. Because, while they are not free-wheeling shoppers, they also top the charts in savings in mutual funds and shares. There is a financial foundation on which their confidence is built.

What should companies be doing while targeting this special breed of consumers? The obvious answer would be to make brands more relevant for them. Smart companies are already doing this by regionalising their brands.
Second, there is the need to identify future growth segments and start building a knowledge base from this perspective. ITC has managed the transition in recent years from a company that mostly had an understanding of male preferences (cigarettes) to understanding the housewife as well.

Third, companies should ride on both well-entrenched trends as well as those which are yet to be established. The focus on health and well being is an emerging trend which companies like Pepsi (through Tropicana) are riding on. On the other hand, Hindustan Lever has identified "return to nature" and "increased social consciousness" as factors to tailor its communication for Surf.

Source: http://in.rediff.com/money/2007/feb/20guest1.htm

Who is the real Indian consumer?
February 14, 2007 08:32 IST

Who is the real Indian consumer? The one who believes the job market will explode or the one who fears it will blow up in his face?

The one who thinks this is a good time to shop, or the one who stashes away money in savings accounts and dabbles in the stockmarket? The one who is sure his wallet will be healthier this time next year or the one spending sleepless nights worrying about the state of the economy? The latest round of the ACNielsen Consumer Confidence and Opinions Survey seems to suggest that the answer lies somewhere in between.

According to the survey, which was conducted in October/ November 2006, Indians are the most optimistic consumers in the world - again. At 137, India is at the top of the consumer confidence index for the fourth time in a row, an all-time high: the June 2006 score of 131 was a point lower than the previous round.

The optimism seems to have extended across the world, but the global and regional scores seem decidedly mediocre when compared with India. While the global index has climbed one point to 99, the Asia Pacific region moved up four points to settle at 98.

Still, the Indian consumer's confidence doesn't seem to translate readily into a willingness to spend. The country doesn't figure in the top 10 spenders' list for any of the choices, except investing in shares and mutual funds, where it leads the world.

Instead, over half the respondents still keep their spare cash in bank accounts, while those choosing holidays and new clothes are in the lower 30th percentile.

Compare that with the Russians and the Thais, who score a relatively lower 107 in consumer confidence, but are top of the list when it comes to updating wardrobes (Russia's [ Images ] fashionistas lead with 74 per cent preferring to spend spare roubles on new clothes) and taking frequent breaks (Thailand, with 67 per cent).

Even if they keep a tight hold on the purse strings, Internet users from India turned out be the most upbeat on all issues polled. Roughly 505 respondents from the country were surveyed - just one less than the number last year - and all appeared overwhelmingly optimistic about prospects in the job market and the state of the economy.

And 95 per cent think local job prospects will be good in the next 12 months, while 88 per cent feel the same way about the state of their wallets - the highest scores not just in Apac, but across the world.

About 68 per cent think this is a good time to buy things they want or need, a climb back to the optimism of 2005. Here, India is just slightly behind Denmark - 71 per cent Danes believe it is the right time to go shopping.

The highs and lows

The ACNielsen survey is the largest bi-annual study of its kind. The October round was conducted with over 25,000 respondents from 45 countries, including 15 from the Apac region.

Unlike last time, though, when six of the 10 most confident countries were from the region, this time's high scorers represent all the continents, except Africa (there's only one country from Africa on the list, South Africa [ Images ], which scored an even 100 in consumer confidence).

Norway and Denmark have maintained their positions as second and third most optimistic nations - their scores of 134 and 129, respectively, are higher than last time and significantly higher than the score for their region: 93.

But that's probably because Europe continues to have the dubious honour of dominating the bottom of the list: as in the last round, seven of the most pessimistic countries are from that continent. Austria, Italy [ Images ], France [ Images ], Turkey, Germany [ Images ], Hungary and Portugal all score below the global and regional averages for consumer confidence.

The least optimistic, though, remains an Apac member. South Koreans are almost as gloomy about their prospects as last time, although their index has gone up two points to 56.

Close to 92 per cent expect job prospects in the next 12 months to range from not-so-good to unapologetically bad, while 85 per cent think this is a bad time to shop - the worst figures for the region. If you were thinking of launching new products and brands in these markets, perhaps a slight postponement may be in order.

What is the outlook like, then, for the rest of the region and globally? Not everybody is as optimistic as the Indians.

On the contrary, across Apac, 59 per cent believe this is a bad time to shop, and close to half the respondents don't expect much by way of job prospects and improvement in personal finances. Those percentages hold true, more or less, for the rest of the world as well.

The Americas buck the trend to some extent. While 70 per cent of Latin American respondents believe their money positions will be better a year from now, close to half their neighbours to the North are readying for shopping sprees.

The optimism in North America is surprising, given the general sentiment against President Bush, rising health and college costs, a weak real estate market and, of course, the war in Iraq.

Worry warts

Not surprisingly, war and terrorism is top of mind for North Americans, more so than anywhere else in the world. Over 23 per cent said it would be a major concern over the next six months, with 11 per cent giving it top priority.

The figures for worries over terrorism are identical (perhaps understandably, though, India is the most worried about terrorism, with 31 per cent citing it as their major concern). The world averages for war and terrorism are much lower, at 11 and 15 per cent, respectively.

Instead, the usual three worries take centrestage on the minds of netizens across the world. About 39 per cent cite the economy as a major concern; health issues give 34 per cent sleepless nights, while 32 per cent fret over job stability.

The order of priority is maintained across Apac as well, only the intensity of the concern increases. Close to half the region worries about the economy, health concerns dog 41 per cent and job security is an issue with 38 per cent of the respondents.

The Indian consumer's insouciance shows in the numbers: apart from terrorism, the country doesn't appear in the top 10 lists for any of the listed areas of concern. And it is in seventh place in the list of countries who have no worries at all, with 15 per cent Indians adopting a "what, me worry?" attitude. The most laidback consumers appear to be the Dutch: one in four says he has no major concerns.

Compared to the regional average of 45 per cent, just 27 per cent Indians - the lowest in the regional - name the economy as a major concern over the next six months; that's a 22 percentage point drop since the last round.

There's a slight increase in those worrying about their health: 30 per cent now, compared to 26 per cent six months earlier. But anxiety over job security is down, too, with only 31 per cent naming it as a major worry.

But, in a sense, even those numbers are high when compared with respondents' perceptions of their job prospects and financial situation.

Remember, just 5 per cent Indians thought local employment opportunities would be "not so good" in the coming year - nobody opted for "bad". And only 12 per cent felt the same way about the shape their wallets would be in a year from now. That optimism doesn't really tie in with nearly a third staying up nights worrying about these issues.

Shopping carnivals

So where does that leave Indian manufacturers seeking markets and customers for their products? Perhaps they should head for South America, instead. Apparently, there's a continent full of people there who are eager to spend good money on new clothes, holidays and parties, new technology and even doing up their homes.

Latin America's scores are consistently higher than the global average on most decisions regarding spare cash: even the region's consumer confidence index, at 102, is higher than the global 99.

Unlike Apac respondents who prefer (49 per cent) to rest their disposable incomes in savings accounts, less than 40 per cent of Latin Americans follow that practice. Instead, they prefer to spend their spare cash on new technology and out of home entertainment (42 per cent each), new clothes (40 per cent) and decorating their homes (38 per cent).

Equally significantly, just 8 per cent of South American respondents said they had no spare cash. Compare that with those living paycheque to paycheque in other parts of the world: 20 per cent in North America and 13 per cent in Europe.

Clearly this is a market waiting to be tapped. (For the record, Indian companies have already woken up to the region's potential: last year trade with Latin America crossed $5.3 billion.)

Like their counterparts across the world, consumers in Apac still prefer to keep their money in savings accounts, with holidays, new clothes and out of home entertainment following in no particular order.

Most consumers seem to be house proud, and Indians are no exception: 39 per cent prefer to keep their spare rupees to do up their homes. That's higher than the global and regional averages (26 and 22 per cent, respectively).

Indians are clearly still more debt and risk averse than the rest of the region. Compared to the Apac figure of 25 per cent, about 32 per cent of Indian consumers prefer to pay off debts and credit cards with any spare cash, while 52 per cent left it in the bank. Or are they?

An almost equal number (49 per cent) said they bought shares and mutual funds with their disposable income, up from 40 per cent in the last round. Clearly, the lure of the rising Sensex is still irresistible.

How it was done

The ACNielsen Online Consumer Confidence and Opinion Survey covers more than 25,000 internet users around the world every six months - representing a global online population of close to 1 billion consumers.

The survey was launched as an Asia Pacific initiative about six years ago, before "going global" at the of 2004. The latest survey, conducted in October/ November 2006, polled Net users in 45 markets.

In the Asia Pacific region, the countries surveyed are: Australia [ Images ], China, New Zealand [ Images ], Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan [ Images ], South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam and the Philippines. About 500 people were interviewed in each country.

Three questions are used to calculate the consumer confidence index. They relate to job prospects in the next 12 months; the state of the respondent's personal finances in the next 12 months; and, based on the cost of things and the respondent's personal finances, whether or not it's a good time to buy things he wants and needs.

The scale of answers to all three questions are: Excellent, Good, Not so good and Bad. To calculate the index, each response was given values: Excellent (200), Good (133.3), Not so good (66.6) and Bad (0).

Source: http://www.rediff.com/money/2007/feb/14con.htm