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.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


INgene Project survey

(all rights reserved)

[The survey was conducted across the country covering 963 respondents (September to December 2008). The report is made on the basis of primary data analysis.]

Eco-consciousness is a global trend now. The Indians & Inglodians love to perceive that they are either attached with some social activity or with the eco-drive and concerned with global warming issues and save-tree movement.

INgene team did this survey covering 5 A1 cities (Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai & Hyderabad) at various colleges , schools , shopping malls to understand whether actually the consciousness about ecology is from the heart of the Indian youth or just a trend / fashion statement as FAD.

What we found is described below:

• In our very first question we asked (rather bluntly) whether they are ECO CONSCIOUS or not and as expected everyone said “YES”.

• The next question we asked how many steps they will walk to find a dustbin to drop the garbage and many of them was not even ready to walk a shorter distance for a dustbin, they would rather prefer littering around instead of walking for it! (Fig.1)

• Most of the respondents would like to go to a mall or movie theater instead of botanical garden or eco-park or where eco awareness show (even if it’s free) is taken place !..”uhh so boring u know…why to dump my weekend” (Fig.2 & Fig.3)

• When we asked them about eco friendly products, the funniest answer we got was “dustbin”! It depicts that the youth are not even aware of the eco friendly products. Most of them could not write more then a “recycled paper” as eco friendly…(Fig.4)

• And when it comes to switching off fan and light then we hardly found people who do this always! (Fig.5)

• Surprising fact came over that out of all we found only eleven young Indians who wrote the correct definition or true meaning of GLOBAL WARMING.

• When we asked them about any active website, magazine or any journals which make people learn about global warming and related facts, they can hardly name some.

• Maximum people wrote, google search, Discovery channel, National geographic ! only few people wrote about specific reading or awareness materials…

• Yes, it was great to hear from people that they are ready to compromise on bursting crackers (during Dipavali or other festive) for helping this cause and moreover, some have already left this earlier….though we don’t know if its for the consciousness of global warming or for the thought that this is a wastage of money…(Fig.6)

During the survey we got a few interesting testimonies:

“Me alone, I cannot change anything, why should I then change my personal behavior?”

“I respect the laws, I don't do anything illegal. I am not against your saving energy, but leave me in peace with your ideas.”

“My energy requirement is modest. I won't change before the big polluters have changed their behavior.”

As I have earlier predicted, eco consciousness is becoming “trendy” (though superficial) among Indian youth. I called it eco-trendy. Good to show-off…ehh.
But it will take few more years (check my prediction in earlier posts) to go deep into the core of the heart of Indian youth until and unless the “need” becomes evident in this society.

So, for FMCGs, being eco-trendy can be an added advantage to grab the crowd in this segment...cause, exhibitionism persists!


Indians ready to pay more for environment friendly goods
Mon, Dec 15 01:11 PM

New Delhi, Dec 11 (PTI) Indians don't mind paying more for environment friendly goods, compared to the Chinese or the Japanese, even though they are not unduly worried that the environment is in a crisis. Thus, 88 per cent of Indian consumers are prepared to pay more for goods that are environment friendly against 82 per cent in China and 68 per cent in Japan, according to a study of consumers in India, China and Japan.

Findings are part of a 10-market global study by international communication firm Edelman. Unlike their peers in other countries, respondents in India believe there is too much fuss about the environment (79 per cent) and they do not believe the world is experiencing global warming (56 per cent).

Still, 92 per cent feel it is their duty to contribute to a better society and environment. The study sought to understand consumer attitudes and preferences on the emerging issue of social purpose.

Its findings show that despite the economic downturn, a strong majority think it is important to purchase products and brands they perceive to be socially responsible India (90 per cent), China (90 per cent) and Japan (64 per cent). "What we find particularly interesting in this study is that economic concerns are taking a distant place behind consumers' demands that quality brands be produced by socially conscious companies," says Alan VanderMolen, Edelman's Asia-Pacific President.

"The current economic crisis has made little or no difference to the financial or voluntary support given to good causes by Indians. We found that 23 per cent of Indian respondents have actually paid more for a brand because it supports a good cause.




Eco-consciousness of China & India

CHINA, believed to be the world's biggest carbon emitter, is showing the first stirrings of a 'green movement', Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew said today at the International Energy Week conference here.
He singled out China and India as the two populous countries key to resolving the climate change problem during a dialogue with 400 delegates after he a keynote address at the conference.

Mr Lee, who compared differing attitudes to environmental protection around the world, also noted in his comments that Americans do not feel the same urgency to act against climate change compared to the Europeans because their vast hinterland mitigates the impact of extreme weather changes.

During his 80-minute keynote lecture and dialogue with participants, MM Lee stressed that climate change was a global problem and every country was under threat from the prospect of melting ice caps and rising sea levels.

The problem the world faces, he said, is that 'China and India want to achieve what they think they have missed in life - the quality and standards of living which Japan, Europe and especially the Americans have reached'.

He believed some Chinese are realising that economic growth should not come at the expense of environmental degradation, though he was doubtful they could reach the same sensitivity to the environment as the Europeans within the next 10 or 20 years.

Nevertheless, China's plan to build an 'eco-city' with Singapore's help in the northern Chinese port city of Tianjin will have an impact, as will the cleaner air experienced by Beijing residents during the Olympic Games in Aug when numerous polluting factories were shut down and cars taken off the road.

As for India, he did not sense an urgency to act against climate change because industrialisation has proceeded more slowly. But as the country builds up its infrastructure over the next 10 to 20 years, its energy consumption would go up.

Asked by a delegate from the World Bank what could be done to press the Chinese and Indians during climate change negotiations, Mr Lee said they were unlikely to 'see the light on the road to Damascus' anytime soon.

'I think there'll have to be a series of meetings and each time reluctantly they'll be dragged into committing themselves to targets which they hope will not be too high for them,' he said.

'The penny will drop only when they see the consequences for them, as Europe has seen.'

But such scepticism about India is unfounded as it is 'deeply committed' to fighting climate change, said India's Minister of Science and Technology Kapil Sibal, who is attending the conference and spoke during the question and answer session with MM Lee. He was India's chief negotiator during the last major international climate change meeting in Bali in Dec last year.

Mr Sibal suggested that what was needed is a 'technological solution' and not just a political one for weaning the world away from its fossil fuel dependence.

Source: http://www.straitstimes.com/Breaking%2BNews/Singapore/Story/STIStory_298373.html

GLOBAL SURVEY - Study: Indians, Brazilians most eco-conscious.....Chetan Chauhan New Delhi

INDIANS ALONG with Brazilians are most environment friendly people among the most carbon emitting countries in the world. Americans are most polluting, a new global survey on consumer behaviour has revealed.
The survey of a 1,000 people each, from 14 countries listed as high polluting nations by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has India and Brazil tied for the top spot with 60 green index points. Americans had the lowest score with 44.9 points along with Canadians and French performing slightly better with 48.5 and 48.7 points respectively.

The survey by National Geographic and Globalscan also negates the claim of US president George Bush that India's prosperity has caused global food crises. Food habits of Indians have been rated best with 84 per cent claiming of eating locally grown vegetables at least once a week, highest for any country, the survey released in Washington on Wednesday said.

Sunita Narian of Centre for Science and Environment said Indians don't believe in wasting and are very good at recycling, thereby making them as one of the most environment friendly people in the world. "We consider wasting food or water as a bad habit traditionally unlike west where the market induces people to waste," she said.

Indians scored high on green index on account of low per capita energy consumption and ability to use recycled goods. India's per capita energy consumption was 0.7 kilowatt, which is among the lowest in the world. India along with China has been listed as best users of solar energy. Although Indians and Brazilians ranked top on environment friendly behaviour, their environment knowledge was lowest. Only 25 per cent Indians questioned through an online survey knew that plastic is made from crude oil.

Source: http://www.karmayog.org/environmentnews/environmentnews_15047.htm

As I said earlier, in India everything needs a layer of religious faith (or spiritual pinch) to gain popularity among the mass...here's a report on how the trees are "discovered" as a mirror of lord siva!...anyway, this may help to make the mass eco-sensitive.

Bahuguna rekindles eco consciousness

DH News Service, Sirsi:

Soil, water and forest are the basis of human life and they should be conserved for the future generation, environmentalist Sundarlal Bahuguna said here on Sunday.

Addressing a gathering after planting saplings in the premises of Salkani Secondary School to commemorate the silver jubilee year of Appiko movement in Sirsi taluk for conservation of trees. The Appiko movement was a revolutionary movement based on environmental conservation in India. The "Chipko Andolan" (Hug the Trees Movement) of Sunderlal Bahuguna in Uttarakhand in the Himalayas inspired the villagers of the Uttara Kannada district to launch a similar movement to save their forests. In September 1983, men, women and children of Salkani "hugged the trees" in Kalase forest. The movement was called “Appiko”, Kannada word of "hugging.”

“Trees are just like God Shiva (Neelakantha) because trees release pure oxygen even after absorbing poisonous air. Therefore the onus of conserving trees is on human beings. The conservation of trees should become objective of every citizen”, he said.

He said although science enables us to grow more agricultural produced in less area of land, the indiscriminate use of fertilisers can lead to various ailments including diabetes. The richness of the land is deteriorating and nobody is aware of this suffering of land, but we as children of the land should save our mother by controlling pollution, he said.

Environmentalist Koushal from Jharkhand said that social work does not mean welfare of human beings alone but also includes conservation of forest.

Source: http://www.deccanherald.com/CONTENT/Sep82008/state2008090888787.asp
Eco conscious mobile gaming

NEW DELHI, India - An interesting new initiative has been launched using mobile gaming as a mouthpiece in helping educate gamers on issues of climate change. Dubbed Connect-2-Climate, this innovative program is a collaborative project between games developer ZMQ Software Systems and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), with the release of games such as 'DeCarbonator' and 'Mission Lighting' across India, it hopes to engage players on a fundamental entertainment level with an eco educational agenda in tow.

ZMQ has a history of giving games a sense of global social responsibility, having previously launched games in India to educate people on the subject of HIV and AIDS. This follow-up series of titles, themed around issues of climate change, again shows a serious commitment to harnessing the reach of mobile gaming to help affect positive change. Dr. R. K. Pachauri, Director General of TERI and co-recipient of 2007 Nobel Prize for Peace and Understanding on behalf of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said:

“Mobile games on climate change awareness are ideally suited for youth and children. It is from there that the change is going to come”

Echoing this vision, Hilmi Quraishi, Project Director on the Connect-2-Climate initiative said:

“It is our corporate social responsibility to use latest technologies that enable us to reach out to millions on one click of a button”.

The games are now available in India through Reliance Mobile World, a portal for mobile entertainment in India. Mahesh Prasad, President of Applications Solutions and Content Group at Reliance Communications explained how far reaching the initiative is within India:

“Connect-2-Climate is yet another important initiative through which we hope to spread the awareness of environmental conservation among the vast Indian population. Reliance Mobile World has today become the access point for over millions of unique customers, making it one of the most popular medium in India today. With this reach cutting across more than 4 lakh villages and over 20, 000 towns, we offer a unique opportunity to spread environmental awareness using latest technologies”

Granted, the games aren't pushing the gaming envelope in terms of technology, nonetheless if you fancy trying them out you can test them in the Mobile Games section on the Connect-2-Climate site.

Source: http://conversations.nokia.com/home/2008/06/eco-conscious-m.html

check for eco movements worldwide: http://www.ecostreet.com/blog/climate-change/2007/10/05/power-shift-2007-the-first-ever-youth-global-warming-summit/

Ragpickers: The Bottom Rung in the Waste Trade Ladder
By Bharati Chaturved, Specialist in Organizing Rag-Pickers in CHINTAN, INDIA

In India, recycling is a funny business. It’s been around for years. Much before the term itself seeped into everyday vocabulary, women separated newspapers and sold them to weekend buyers – the kabaris (from kabar, approximately meaning dry waste) who still cycle along on weekends with a weighing scale and loose change to pay with. Bottles were reused them till they broke and tins just never got thrown away. As a 13 year old, I could still see tins of baby food from my baby years, storing dals and rice. It happens even today, but its’ been pruned down by the uncontrolled introduction of the non-recyclable, non-reusable sachet and metalized plastic packaging. Now, as then, when something is either broken or entirely unfit, even to store away for a rainy day, it is thrown all mixed up into a dustbin. That’s when recycling begins.

For every hundred residents of Delhi, there is one person engaged in recycling.

All recycling in India is undertaken by (and via) the informal sector. This sector includes ragpickers, small middlemen, transporters, larger middlemen and finally, reprocessors. In terms of human resources this sector is arranged in a table top pyramid with ragpickers at the bottom of the pyramid and forming the backbone of waste collection. At the thinner end of the wedge are the small middlemen, who buy the waste from these ragpickers and sell it to larger middlemen who deal with specific items and materials. Above them are factories, who procure supplies from these godowns through omnipresent agents.

Delhi is a particularly interesting case in point, because it has one of the biggest and most vibrant recycling bases in the country. The wastepickers, of whom there are 100,000 in Delhi, are therefore, the base of a large recycling pyramid, handling between 9 to 15 percent of the solid waste generated in a city. In Delhi, which generated over 7000 MT waste daily, this comes to a substantial amount. There are a range of material which are picked up and recycled by this sector. These include plastics, paper, glass, and metals. Studies estimate that the amounts this informal labour forces saves the three Municipalities is a minimum of Rs. 6 lakhs (appx. 12,000 USD) daily. It is also seen that a piece of plastic, for example, increases 700% in value along the recycling chain, before it is even reprocessed.

For every hundred residents of Delhi, there is one person engaged in recycling.

But the point is : is recycling a green activity ?

Think just of the ragpicker – typically, a young person (though not a child) with a large woven HDPE sack flung on his shoulder. A ragpicker would have to begin work as early as 4 am, because otherwise, s/he’ll miss the waste. As a resident, you could begin to recognize your own ragpicker, because the routes are totally territorial. By the late afternoon, or whenever the bag is full, a ragpicker will return to the store of a middleman, also called a kabari, and sell. Even as he sells the waste should be sorted out according to almost 30 different types of plastics, paper, metals. They must be clean and dry, or the kabari can’t accept them. So you have little segregation patches in secret corners of the city, where thousands of the poorest sort out waste. From makeshift water sources, they might even wash them. Hunched over for hours, the poor undertake what the privileged preach: segregation of waste. If the privileged had done this themselves, the poor would have less cuts, burns, backaches, allergies, dog-bites, respiratory disorders.

The transaction at the selling point is complex : you could get paid less if your waste is sub-standard and wet, if you already owe the seller money or if he himself is cash strapped. Or, you could get a loan, which is likely to trap you in debt for a long time.

This shop, this site of exploitation and symbiotic living is the local hangout join, a club in the truest sense, a home for many in the rain and cold.

Ragpickers mostly live either in slums (usually the shop of a kabari), on footpaths or inside dustbins. Their access to basic amenities are poor, and few essential services are provided for them. The police beats them regularly, and often burns their bags of waste, leaving them with nothing to show for a day’s work. The municipal workers make them pay bribes to be allowed to forage in a bin. If it’s a lucrative bin, with lots of paper, for example, the rates get higher. Once ensconced, the municipal worker makes them do some of his work too : sweeping, loading trucks and all that’s not nice. If the ragpicker simply walks or cycles around a route, he’s not spared either. The police can pick him up to clean the police station, or the municipal sweepress can beat him to being independent. Long after the ragpicker, workers in the dingy stores of traders relive this unhappy state in their terms of work. So do factory workers, who run entire units on only a single 40 watt bulb and their bare hands. In a nutshell, it’s called survival.

Indian recycling thus runs on the efforts of the poor and the marginalized.

Meanwhile, this also subsidizes the consumption of various materials by other citizens. The example of plastics stands as a fine example. According to a report by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, the Plastics industry is growing at 10% per annum, and almost 52% of this is expected to be used in the packaging sector. Clearly, this is a short life use and will be cleared up as waste by the informal sector. Sadly, it will be undertaken in a manner which ensures that ecologically, economically and socially, the costs will be internalized by this recycling chain.

The informal sector has an important role because it is able to undertake recycling of most recyclable materials, which the municipality cannot. Although it is critical to the solid waste handling in India, the sector is unable to optimize its work due to lack of awareness and specific skills, as well very poor working conditions and access to basic facilities. The services provided by this sector, albeit gratis, are also poorly understood and hence, it is difficult for any other sector (eg, formal savings sector/banks, insurance) to support it .
Recycling should therefore be treated as the flip side of the urban middle class consumption.
Ironically, state attitudes towards this sector displays a schizophrenic quality.

On one hand, in seminars on Solid Waste Management, the sector is extensively , though selectively praised. The ragpickers are complemented (in absentia) for their hard work in cleaning up the city. NGOs are encouraged to work with them more intensively. There is at best a silence about the kabaris, bigger middlemen and factories which actually undertake the reprocessing and who are a part of the entire chain. This also links to the social/political imaging of ragpickers in the public mind as against the rest of the chain. Hence, ragpickers are poor/weak/exploited and posited against the exploiters: the rich(er) kabaris and middlemen who are seen as “opponents” rather than being involved in the symbiotic relationship that really exists between all these sectors. Despite their invaluable service, this sector is ignored by planners and policy makers, who do not take them into consideration at all . The current process of making the Third Master Plan for Delhi, though still being drafted in secrecy and not shared, has been acknowledged by the Delhi Development Authorities and NCR Authorities to have “left out the informal sectors,” including those in the area of waste. This then results in actually ignoring this sector and not translating into practice the theoretical acknowledgement of its services. Worse still, the lack of planning converts the sector into an illegal and illegitimate one, which is projected as encroaching upon the city, rather than serving it.

The situation has worsened since the Lt. Governor of Delhi, Vijay Kapoor deemed in 2000 that all commercial activities, such as kabaris, taking place in slums, be stopped and banned. Meanwhile, implementation of planning activities resulted in dislocation of several recycling factories, while previous “cleaning drives” have attacked waste storage stations. Two years ago, in Delhi, several illegal factories were closed down forcibly, primarily for environmental and planning reasons. No effort towards cleaner production or a toxics reduction agenda was seen as acceptable. Many of them were recycling factories, which were responsible for reprocessing the city’s waste and were therefore a part of the environmental agenda of recycling.

Simultaneously, government bodies are encouraging recycling as a good practice amongst citizens. Notably, this classification of citizenship does not seem to be inclusive of the urban poor recyclers, or even less poor denizens, as their efforts are not encouraged within this domain of recycling. In India, therefore the recycler becomes undesirable, although recycling itself is becoming more and more desirable in recent years .
Chintan is trying to address these issues through its efforts of organizing wastepickers, enabling them to access information, knowledge, assitsance from us and each other in times of need and above all, to see themsleves as they are : people who are amongst the most important pulses of the city. People with a right to a clean environment and safe work environment. Just People. Demanding a break.

CONTACT: Bharati Chaturved, Specialist in Organizing Rag-Pickers in CHINTAN, INDIA bharatich@hotmail.com


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