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.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Social Networking trend in India

The recent trend of social networking site is : "becoming a facebooker” (among Inglodians and Indians)…So, what’s great in Facebook which is not there in Orkut (to me actually, Orkut is more user-friendly than Facebook, though the security issue is a bit loose there)or any other SNS ? Well the simple answer is: remaining in Orkut is no more “cool”…! Orkut me bhid zada ho geya hae (Orkut is over crowded!)
Why?!! Cause, Orkut is populated by Aam Jantaa (and Bharatiyas) where-as Facebook is "international"! My theory of Adopted Differentiation again proves undeniable while predicting Indian youth trend. In India, the Inglodians and Indians consciously [ and continuously] remain distant and distinct from Bharatiyas and grass roots…though most of them still has an Orkut account but rarely visits there (as Orkut is penetrated by the rest of India)…I can see the new surge of movement is towards Twitter, cause Facebook is also slowly becoming familiar among the rest (as facebook is also going for the "masses" through the "localization of the product")…

Hence, once Facebook walks in the same path of becoming "popular among aam aadmi" [as of Orkut], the "charm" of it will go and creamy layers will shift to another SNS, and by default the rest of India will also slowly "shift" (following the Inglodians and Indians by virtue of classic Trickle Down Theory)...

Exotic always remains fancy…

Graph Source: Google, Trends

Note: recently Verdurez.com found another "goldmine" in rapidly mutating India! the lonely elders in metros...check the last report attached below.

Kaustav SenGupta

Facebook vs Orkut in India
Submitted by Obaid Malik on Mon, 24/08/2009 - 00:06.

A hectic day and you just slop down on the bed, totally bushed out... but suddenly you get up startled, login to your social networking site and set your update "..am so tired", and go right back to sleep. After all, your profile on social networking site is almost who you are, and 'they' deserve to know.

In India, it's been about three years that social networking kicked off , and since then it has been Orkut leading the trail all the way. Hi5 had a good following too but Orkut took over soon. Myspace, in spite of having an office in India, is almost unheard of and Bebo emerged recently but is still a non-entity here in India. LinkedIn is mostly seen as a professional's networking site, and the average Indian will have never heard of it.

One of the reasons for this has been Orkut's simple interface (compare it to the American baby 'MySpace'). The Google-owned site has been dominating the Social Networking scene in India. Indians chose Orkut because they had little other alternatives. Alexa statistics tell us that Orkut is the fourth most popular site in India after Google and Yahoo search sites. Not very far behind Brazil and the US, the Indian mass forms over 17% of Orkut users. Slower internet connections of the general Indian mass also provided an advantage for the peeled-off Orkut. Facebook was unknown in the South Asian regions (at least India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal etc.).

Just when it seemed like "Orkut is gonna stay King" right out of the blue pops Facebook in the 'Desi' scene. Somewhere down the line, Indian users on Facebook got a pop-up saying "Facebook is now available in Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali, Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam". And it was evident that Facebook was trying to gain on Orkut in India with the localization stunt. However, only this move will not give Facebook the "King" title as the majority of social networking site users are suave English speaking urban residents for whom English is like a native language. And the majority of them have already boarded Facebook. However, this would definitely be a treat for those from the non-metropolitan smaller town and cities who are on Orkut and would project Facebook as an appealing site to them.

Facebook is indeed catching up on Orkut. As the popularity of Facebook is growing world-wide, even in Africa and Asia, the site's number of active users grew over 70% in 12 weeks. Currently, Facebook has shot up to being the 16th most popular site in India. Considering the fact that previous Orkut users who have tried Facebook are responding with positive feedback, Facebook is well set to becoming the Indian favourite for social networking snatching that label from Orkut.

When Orkut launched, it soon became an Indian craze, and you could find almost every Tom, Dick and Harry on Orkut. The Indian celebrities caught up with the social networking scene a little late, and by that time Facebook had already slowly slided in. In order to preserve there "elite-ness" they decided to sign up on Facebook just to stay away from the general mass. The paparazzi flashed this to the public and now the fans and followers are following their heroes onto Facebook.

Orkut having been around for a while has almost become a 'desi' thing and Facebook is the 'new kid on the block'... 'phoren' (foreign). It's the cool hip society. Also the stagnation of Orkut with few appealing new tools or services are making Orkut users 'jump ship'.

Orkut too is worried with this shift and in an effort to regain its stature, it has switched to a very trendy interface and also extended its internationalization to include Indian regional languages into it;s community. Hindi scraps are possible now on Orkut.
On the other hand, Facebook is trying to getting the cell-phone version edge and is already launching ad campaigns where a cricket star connects to Facebook through a mobile phone. I presume the biggest challenge for Facebook will be its heavy reliance on graphics and the average Indian's slow internet connection.

We will soon find out who becomes the next Indian fever.
Source: http://www.delhilive.com/page/facebook-vs-orkut-india-200908237845
Facebook takes on Orkut in India
July 2, 2009

by Pranav Agarwal

Facebook vs Orkut. Which one of these do you have an account in? Chances are, both. Orkut was an early entrant into the Indian Social Networking Scenario. Facebook, which arrived much later, however seems to grabbed quite some attention. Though both were launched at the same time, Facebook was initially not very popular in India.

Facebook has already generated waves across the world by becoming the No. 1 Social Networking site in the USA overtaking one-time market leader, Myspace and becoming THE most popular site in Indonesia

Well, just to go over the Orkut and the Facebook battle for the grater number of users in india, Orkut still leads. Orkut leads with 13 million users, while Facebook has just 3.2 million users in India. Moreover, the traffic ranks of these social networking sites also reflect the dominance of Orkut over Facebook in India. Orkut has a traffic rank of 4 whereas Facebook has come up to the 8th spot in the overall Alexa traffic rank for India.

So, as per Alexa rankings, it’s clearly visible that Orkut is more prominent than Facebook in India.But the question is, for how long?

Facebook has been growing slowly in India but for the past 3 months since its growth began accelerating rapidly. Its popularity started increasing somewhere near the start of this year and since then the growth has been very productive for Facebook. The result being, the number of users joining Facebook almost doubled in the month of May and June. While Facebook has been growing slowly and steadily in India for the last couple of years, Facebook exploded in May and June, doubling from 1.6 million to 3.2 million monthly active users in the country in the last 60 days.

Orkut has been trying to capitalise on its already large audience base in India, but Facebook is trying its best to woo audiences over. So, Facebook is definitely gaining momentum in the social networking race, with frequent improvements and increased customisation. But will it surpass Orkut in the race for the best social networking site in India ? That remains to be seen.
Source: http://www.watblog.com/2009/07/02/facebook-takes-on-orkut-in-india/

Social Networking: Facebook Looks to India

A little late to the subcontinent, Facebook is now pushing hard to win over Indians by adding Hindi and five other local languages
By Bruce Einhorn and Mehul Srivastava

Linkedin connections These are busy times for Javier Olivan. As international manager for Facebook, the 32-year-old Spaniard's job is to find ways for the social networking site to expand its reach far beyond its U.S. base. And last month the company took one of its biggest steps yet, adding Hindi and five other Indian tongues. That takes the number of languages officially supported by Facebook to 57, with several dozen more in the works. "We've been literally launching almost a language a week," says Olivan.

Facebook, though, isn't expanding its workforce at anywhere near that pace. More established Internet companies such as Google (GOOG) and Amazon (AMZN) have grown internationally by setting up operations in far-flung locales and hiring workers there, but Facebook believes that's not an option. "I don't know why people think that by having a local office you will have a better local product," Olivan says. That might work "for certain types of businesses," the Stanford MBA concedes, but not for Facebook. "The brick-and-mortar approach is not effective in doing [things] fast and efficiently," he says.

Alternatively, since launching its first foreign language edition, Spanish, in February 2008, Facebook has relied on its users to help out. Instead of hiring its own translators, the company asks for volunteers from the Facebook community. Some of these come up with several variations of hard-to-translate terms (how do you "poke" a friend in Tamil?) and then give other users the chance to vote on the results. The translation of Facebook into local language editions is "a huge crowdsourcing," says Olivan. "There are hundreds of thousands of people collaborating into getting the whole thing published."

Facebook vs. India's Orkut
Many people who follow India's Internet, though, don't think local-language versions will help Facebook much. For years, Orkut has dominated the Indian social-networking scene. The Google-owned site may not be very popular outside India, but within the country it has enjoyed first-mover advantage. Indians chose Orkut, in part, because they had no choice of going with Facebook, which at first restricted users to university students in the U.S.

Now that Facebook is aggressively targeting overseas markets, recovering from that self-inflicted wound won't be easy. The company hopes the six new Indian languages (Bengali, Hindi, Malayalam, Punjabi, Tamil, and Telugu) will help close the gap between it and Orkut. However, most Indians who use social networks are urban educated youth, for whom English is almost a native tongue.

Perhaps more important, say some Indian Net surfers, is that support for complex Indian languages remains unwieldy. It's tough to type Hindi on a standard English keyboard, so the language support may be a nice bonus, but not of primary value. "We all write in 'Hinglish' anyway, so I don't need to have Hindi typing," says Aditi Sharma, 20, who studies in Mumbai but uses Orkut to stay in touch with high school friends. ("Hinglish" is what comes up when you type out Hindi phonetically with English characters, throwing in words from both languages for ease; for instance, "How are you?" becomes "Kaise ho?" )

Facebook's Olivan doesn't buy that argument. He acknowledges the grammar and script of Indian languages present some challenges for online users, and he knows that many young Indians are content to type in some form of English. Still, Olivan adds, "people like to communicate in Indian languages."

A Cell-Phone Edge?

He points to Indonesia, where Facebook launched a local-language version last October and is now one of the country's most popular Web sites. Perhaps too popular for its own good: Last month some Muslim clerics called for restrictions on Facebook usage in the country.

One key to Facebook's success in Indonesia, says Olivan, is the translation of its cell-phone version, too. Facebook executives are hoping they get a similar edge in India, one of the world's largest mobile markets. The company just joined an ad campaign with Aircel, a second-tier rival to the big mobile-phone companies in India; the campaign stars a cricket player using his Aircel mobile and Facebook to stay in touch with his friends back home.

Of course, other mobile Internet users have access to Facebook using phone-based browsers, but then, they can head to Orkut.com, as well. Perhaps more troublesome for Facebook in India will be its heavy reliance on graphics. Most Indian users have slower connections, and the stripped-down look at Orkut loads more quickly for them. Foreign e-mail providers faced a similar situation a decade ago: Rediffmail and other locals took off quickly in the late 1990s at a time when Hotmail and Yahoo! (YHOO) took longer to load from foreign servers.

As Facebook tries to make more headway in India, it can also count on momentum and critical mass. Orkut, which blossomed in India while Facebook was slow to open its doors, may be popular in India, but it's not very high-profile in most other countries. "I have both now, Orkut and Facebook," says Chavvi Nangia, 23, a fashion designer in New Delhi. "None of my U.S. friends even know what Orkut is, so I finally gave up and joined Facebook."

How did Twitter become popular?
Posted by atul - 21Jul

People call it all sorts of things, but I would call it the only real social networking platform of today. Orkut and Facebook have done all sorts of things, but at the end of the day, neither Orkut nor Facebook is actually a networking platform. They are more of the place where you meet your old friends, be happy to be connected with them, and then forget them once more, unless it’s your birthday and they scrap you.

Now, Twitter is different. Twitter is actually a social networking platform. Let me explain each of these words – Platform – because it is extremely basic in its functionality, yet extremely good at it, and does not restrict you unnecessarily. There isn’t much code behind Twitter – it’s code can be written by anyone with basic Web Knowledge. What is great about Twitter is its server and infrastructure at the back end, which ensures that people can login through all sorts of media and still put up their message, and read other messages without the server blowing up.

Now that’s just the beginning. How did Twitter become popular? Twitter grew in steps – very big steps. Initially, Twitter was used just by the techies, and also by bloggers. Techies – because they liked to try new tools, and Bloggers – purely as a marketing technique for their blogs – so if you are a blogger, start following others (and thankfully anyone could follow anyone unlike the endless delays of accepting friends on other networks), and hope they follow you, and then blast them with your blog links. But again, many providers other than Twitter provided this service too. So why did Twitter emerge above others? Simply because it was uncluttered and it did not provide any useless information in the hope of trying to satisfy every need. Also, since Tweeters were not really sharing any personal information, they had the option of being a little more expressive in their opinions.

So Twitter laid its foundation right, and made itself ready for something big to happen on it. And one of those very big things was – 26/11, the Mumbai attacks. This is when Twitter broke all barriers of communication – by giving us first hand information about the attacks. This was really different from a news channel – it was like a live experience (of course, the incident in itself is extremely unfortunate). And it spread like a viral. This was definitely a big leap for Twitter.

The best part of the Twitter platform was that it is not limited by anything. You don’t need specifically a Gmail account, or a Yahoo account, or a Rediff account, there are no restrictions
– you just need any one email ID with which you can join Twitter – there are no restrictions for commenting, and it’s so easy to put links without making them look long and ugly!

The next bit is – networking platform – Twitter is one place where you can actually find people you are looking for – A good example would be of the time of the recent Mumbai Rains – I wanted to know the status of affairs in Mumbai – and all I had to do was search for “mumbairains” on Twitter, and it connected me with a whole lot of people who were talking about the issue. This is what networking is all about! Networking is best when you get a channel to communicate (or maybe just listen) to the exact person who can serve the need of the hour.

Finally – it’s a social networking platform – why? Because it is of the people, by the people, and for the people (that should even make it democratic J). It’s got abundant rumours, it has got a whole lot of wrong news spreading like wildfire, it has got a whole lot of personalized opinions by people, and they share it across the world.

The best part for Twitter is that its growth is completely exponential – if ever there is a viral, it is on Twitter, and thus Twitter itself becomes stronger with that – with each viral making users better users of Twitter. Its rank all over the world is 25, and in India it’s growing faster by the day – and is now 15. Now, each time I want to know what’s the most popular news in the world right now, I just log on to Twitter and check the list of most discussed topics on the Right Menu, and get all the information I will ever need!

And of course, it’s as easy as clicking a button to hear out first hand to some of the top stars – Gul Panag and Mallika Sherawat (both have Twitter verified accounts).

Twitter is growing fast – it’s what a lot of B School students will recognize as “IP” – just that this IP is all over the world! Twitter is going to get even more popular with mobiles in the future – it’s just a question of time before we all start Tweeting from our mobiles on the move.

PS: I would recommend Twitterfox to all Twitter users – simple and light, yet effective.
Source: http://strat.in/2009/07/how-did-twitter-become-popular/


"Facebook" for 50-somethings woos India's Web-savvy seniors
Mon Sep 7, 2009 9:17am EDT

NEW DELHI (Reuters Life!) - A social networking website for the elderly is helping Internet-savvy seniors in India battle loneliness and make new friends with the click of a mouse and in the comfort of their own homes.

Verdurez.com (www.verdurez.com), described by its creator as a Facebook for those aged 55-years and above, has around 4,000 registered users who blog, chat, read health news or play puzzles online.

Traditionally, several generations of one family have lived under the same roof, with the grandparents often taking care of their grandchildren while the parents go to work.

But while this remains the case in most rural households, city dwellers are increasingly moving out of the family home, leaving the older generation to live alone.

"Old age doesn't mean the end of life, there's still lots to do, especially in this age of the Internet," says Verdurez founder Ishita Sukhadwala, a London-based consultant.
Users need to be at least 55 to join Verdurez while the oldest members are in their 70s.
Sukhadwala had initially conceptualized Verdurez as a dating site for Indian babyboomers, but her father convinced her that the idea was too radical for a country where dating, let alone premarital sex, is frowned upon.

While a dating service and a job board for seniors remain in the pipeline, Verdurez users can meet new people online, exchange ideas and share their life experiences.

"One of our members, after he joined us, he lost his wife, he posted a blog on what he went through, what he felt and the regrets he had," Sukhadwala said. "It was very touching."

According to government officials, India's elderly population is expected to double by 2026 to 173 million.

(Editing by Miral Fahmy)
Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/technologyNews/idUSTRE5861J120090907

politics and Indian youth

“The king, the king has arrived”…the maharajas in world’s largest democratic country

The most frequent question am being asked is “why [the hell] educated, smart and well-placed Indian youth are not interested in politics! Why they are so selfish to think about themselves only…where are those sons of the soil who used to devote their whole life (and soul+blood +sweat+wealth and so on…) to the good of country and its people…the khadis are no longer luring the young Indians…” “is desh ka kea hoga” (what will happen to this country in future…) the grey hairs will cry…
The only answer I can give is “unless the kings (read ‘politicians’) being stripped of their autocracies and corruption to become real democratic leaders and politics no longer remains a ‘profession’ for a lucky few who’s corrupted to the core…the wonderful Young Indians will not be interested to idolize, contribute and serve this land ‘politically’ (if not in the other ways)”

Confused? Let me ask you a question then: How can you call a neta (political leader) the desh bandhu (friend of this country) or the father/ brother/ sister of this nation when he or she is being surrounded by 100s of commandos (in fear of being assassinated! Or simply to show off his / her power / status)…the crowded roads being “cleaned” / “sanitized “ with proper police barricades whenever he / she “takes a tour” which creates massive traffic jam for rest of the day…the utopia being created before he or she visits a place…overnight the roads will be made (temporarily) , bijli (power supply) will be “arranged”, anti social elements (unless they r the member of same party) will be captured (again, temporarily)…the hard earned money of public which is submitted as tax to the government is spent to make the marble statues of political leaders (who’s still alive!...it reminds me Mr. Saddam Hussain…) and amusement parks! In India, the “system” remains as “British” till date (the dreadlocks of feudal system to “extract” the wealth from the poor) where as the “dream” remains “romantically democratic”…the fatal dose of fantasy and faith in toxic combination of custom, cast and religion being fed to aam admi everyday by the politicians to earn money, power and legacy. Still India remains as just a “theme” which somehow glues people around it at certain occasions and sentiments and politicians very well utilizes this fact to their own benefits.
Let us see how “ Indian” and “son of the soil” our leaders were in past who’s being followed by their heir at present. As Nandan Nilekani describes in his book Imagining India, page 13- “ He (Mr. Nehru) had described himself as ‘the last Englishman to rule India” – he had grown up under the eye of a Westernized father, a successful lawyer and a late convert to the cause of India’s independence from the British. Motilal Nehru insisted on knives and forks at the dining table, spoke in English at home (although his wife did not know the language) and employed British tutors for his children. Nehru was sent to England when he was a teenager, to study in Harrow, then Cambridge and the Inns of Court…Nehru was thus very much a child of the Western Enlightment…he (Nehru) also disagreed with his (Gandhi’s) more traditional beliefs, once writing, ‘Ideologically, he [is] sometimes amazingly backward’….during a visit to Uttar Pradesh, the local Congress leader Kalka Prasad introduced Nehru as the ‘new king’, and the peasants gathered echoed, ‘The king, the king has arrived’…” if you have noticed, Nehru presented himself as the “ruler” of India, though he was supped to “represent” the people!!! This legacy was continued by his daughter. “she was almost smug in her assumption of how the people regarded her, apparently telling the author and journalist Bruce Chatwin, ‘you have no idea how tiring it is to be a goddess.’ ( Imagining India- Page 16)…

As Pravat K Varma wrote in his book, Being Indian, page 18- “In the Indian tradition the powerful are not expected to be reticent or modest in the projection of their power. In the eighteenth century Lord Wellesly told the East India Company in London that to rule ‘natives’ it was essential to build palaces to awe them into submission. The Company was persuaded to accept his logic, and the massive Residence for the Governor came into being in Calcutta. More than fifty years after the British left, the imposing palace fulfills more or less the same purpose. The governor of West Bengal lives in isolated splendor in the sprawling estate, maintained by 168 underlings. The departure of British effected a transfer of power. A transfer of the paraphernalia of power accompanied the transfer of power. This was not an uncommon occurrence. Colonized elites all over the world emulate the pomp and ceremony of their oppressors, once rid of them. But the Indian elite could have been different. The man who got them independence, and whom they chose to call the Father of the Nation, shunned the trappings of power. He did not live in government palaces. He traveled in the lowest class in trains. He celebrated his austerity, wearing little more than a loincloth. He wanted the massive Viceregal Palace in New Delhi to be converted into a hospital. He exhorted the members of the New Indian government to live, and rule, with humanity. Undoubtedly, his example was very difficult to follow. Even those who believed in him could hardly be expected to be as austere, or as utopian, or as self-denying as him… The first President, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, was a committed and prominent devotee of Gandhi. Yet, soon after the Union Jack went down and Indian Tricolor fluttered proudly in the breeze in August 1947, Nehru moved into the Flagstaff House, the palatial residence of the British Commander-in-Chief. The residence of the Viceroy, arguably the world’s largest palace, became the home of President Prasad.”

Nilekani argues(page 16, 17) that “India’s fragmentation has grown only more complicated with economic reforms. The new policies transferred economic power from the centre to the states, giving more strength to regional parties. Since then we have seen our divisions came into high relief…The leaders of these smaller parties have a very different political and social vision from that of India’s founders, and align themselves to the interests of not just the state they represent but also of particular caste and religious communities within it. India’s first leaders had wanted to put an end to categorizing, separating, classifying, enumerating and granting of special concessions’. But with the rise of powerful community-based parties, such concessions have become central. For instance, in Uttar Pradesh, Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has brought specific benefits to voters from her caste, the state’s oppressed Dalit communities, in government appointments and jobs. In Bihar, some complained that ‘the department heads and heads of electricity and water boards Laloo Prasad Yadav appointed were all Yadavs’. In India, vote is not to improve the country or countrymen but a tool of trade (of certain immediate benefits and rewards…ie. The free color TV for all BPL population in the state as promised by Mr. Karunanidhi, CM of Tamil Nadu…)

The politicians’ saves the back of each other in this “game” and the bureaucrats are there to develop a system to hide the dirt. Nilekani states (page 26) “ The bureaucrats I encountered had learned that protecting their turf and not recoking the boat were key to thriving in government. I have seen enough enterprising bureaucrats in Karnataka who, when they tried to implement bold reforms in areas such as infrastructure or government transparency, found themselves transferred overnight to minor departments as punishment.”

Hence, until India, as a country, innovates its own system which will ensure transparency, break the network of corrupted political leaders and the dreadlock of “unnecessary protocols of bureaucracy” this young political aspirants will be sucked in the dirt to become a part of it (ie. Raj Thakarey and Varun Gandhi’s regional and religious motives respectively) or will be defeated unless they are “blue blooded”….and as the history exhibits, the legacy of dirty personal ambition will flow in families / parties…


So, what’s the changing scenario in contribution of youth in contemporary politics? Any change is happening or it’s the same black hole as earlier? Will it be the same assembly where the grey hairs will break chairs and dance over the bench? will it remain the place where illiterates will fight to ban computers in their own state?

Fortunately traits of change are seen. The editorial of India Today, June 1st, 2009 issue states “ Not only did the decisive mandate of election 2009 come as a pleasant surprise but the profile of the 15th Lok Sabha is also quite refreshing. It will have the largest-ever number of MPs below 40 years of age, 82 to be precise, which is twice as many in the last Lok Sabha….education levels have gone up to; the entire Lok Sabha has only one MP who is illiterate” Among these, Mr. Hamdhullah Sayeed (26yrs) is the youngest MP, Ms. Mausam Noor (28 yrs) is a law graduate, Mr. Jayant Chaudhary (30) is LSE graduate, Ms. Shruti Choudhry (33yrs) is a lawyer, Mr. P.K. Bijju (34yrs) is a research scholar in polymer chemistry and the list goes on…the list sounds very promising but will all of these MPs succeed in their agenda (and oath) of doing “good” to the country and countrymen unless the “system” enables them to do so? My personal experience is that most of the youth power is being used to show the “muscles” during the election and grass-root movements. I was the three times winning candidate [in the college election] of SFI , the Student’s Federation of India, an youth wing of CPI(M) and the Local committee member in Chandannagore, West Bengal during my college days and understood that the power of “change” remains in the hand of grey hairs and the youth are actually being utilized[read misutilized] as puppets…my father was a hardcore communist at his youth and active in the “revolution” against the congress autocracies during 1972,(in West Bengal at the dreaded industrial belt of Asansol, Ranigunj, Chittaranjan) when the gun battle was “normal”…he suffered a bullet injury in his right leg (and was proud of it!)…after coming to the power the CPI(M) leaders became almost the same autocrats as of their “enemies” and after 33 years of dirt and stagnation, today, exactly the same “revolution” is happening against the communist party, with the youth in forefront!

Is there any hope alive where a sate is running towards growth and the youth are groomed to become the future leaders? Let us take the example from India Today’s June 1st 2009 issue again (page 34), where Mr. Abhijit Dasgupta reports Sikkim’s CM Pawan Kumar Chamling’s success story and his faith that his party will stay for another 15 years. The has not come “words” (as of many other states of India) but by works. During his period Sikkim got the Per Capita GSDP Rs. 23,786 which is above the national average, the Infant Mortality Rate (per 1000) is 30 against an All India figure of 60, in Sikkim the Teacher-Pupil Ratio is 1:18 against 1:34 of All India, in 15 years, the Government has invested over Rs. 30,000 crore in core sectors like tourism, agriculture, horticulture and floriculture, the state revenue as of now is Rs. 600 crore (when his party took over in 1994, the state revenue was only Rs.44 crore); and above all, he is encouraging the youth to be groomed to become future leaders. India today states that “A school drop out, Chamling is clearly not lacking in vision and means business. For most people in the state, there could not have been a better ray of hope and they have reposed faith in Chamling again giving him victory in all the 32 Assembly seats of the state as well as the lone Lok Sabha constituency… significantly, Chamling’s new 12 member cabinet has eight first-time ministers who have been MLAs earlier and three are first timers, including two women… Incidentally, Chamling dropped 22 sitting MLAs this time, set them up as chairmen of local party committees and asked them to groom the youth as future leaders. ‘you have done enough from the assembly and I can see the rust. Please go out and work with people. Teach them how to get involved in politics and groom the youth. That should be your job now.’ He told a full house party meeting six months back. Waiting with a red carpet to greet what it thought would be a procession of disgruntled MLAs, the BJP got the rudest shock of all when none of the SDF legislators left Chamling. The BJP was left high and dry.” H’s popularity can be measured when the report states that despite the visit of big shots of congress (including the prince charming Mr. Rahul Gandhi) and BJP Mr. Chamling not only won both of his seats but 10 of his rivals lost their deposits…where as his opposition leader ex-CM Bhandari lost both of his seats by 1,268 and 2,100 votes respectively, a significant margin in a thinly-populated state. Other than these, Chamling has brought 15 pharma units and 19 hydroelectricity projects to the state. He said “ Till now, I have survived because I have worked for the people. The day they feel I am failing, they will not think twice before throwing me out. That is why I keep on trying. I would hate to loose the confidence of people…”

How many so called 'netas' can promise [and deliver] and give space to the young (other than their brothers /sons /daughters)…?

Kaustav SenGupta

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The concept of “extreme” sports in India

The adrenaline rush in India?
With limited resources and creative brain, Indian youth has their own "desi" way of "fun"...

What do you mean by “extreme”? to wear gloves, helmet, knee guards, ankle guards etc and play a “show off” game where thr’s no risk of life? …well, in India, its a different ballgame…the extreme is also very “desi”. Here extreme sports are those where u have high probability of loosing life (and nobody is going to care /hype your death)…or some of your body parts (without any compensation guaranteed…cause most Indians doesn’t have accident coverage)…and there will be no cheering crowd or support crew…so, where and how it happens here?

It happens everywhere!...a small note of few extreme sports popular among Indian youth :

1. Hanging at the door in a public transport (buses, maxi cabs, trains etc.)…and sometime jumping out when the vehicles are still in speed…or to take the head out (and swiftly getting in) just before an electric post is approaching in the side of the rail track… you can check it at any street/ rail stations in India, and ya, no gloves, helmets blah blah blah…over it, the sweat, heat, crowd and scolding of the grey hairs…

2. Crossing the highway / railway-crossing just before the truck/ train comes nearer…

3. In a bike how fast one can reach to 100 in speedometer at a crowded road…obviously, the skills are needed…

4. Break a traffic signal just when the rest of the vehicles are rushing in from other side and the sleazy cop is running at you (for some extra buks)…
So on…

And blv me these are more dangerous than hanging over a bridge with strong hook, nylon rope, safety shoes, gloves, helmets, eye protection and all…your trainer is guiding you and you have a gallon of spectators cheering you with cameras flashing…

Moreover, some of us actually live in “extreme sports” everyday…at certain places (J&K, Assam etc.) going out of the home itself is extreme sport…you don’t know whether you will return back or be blasted off into pieces.

We are in the “real extreme sports” and we don’t hype all these to promote our courageous nature. We are humble, but that doesn’t mean we are not adventurous or sporty.

INgene study found 89% Indian youth (boys and girls!) "wants / would like" to stand at the door of trains and buses if given an option (than seating inside)...some stated the reason as "fresh air", "can see more", "freedom"...and Bollywood inspiration...
the thrill is more important than money or safety.

Kaustav SenGupta

(photos sourced from net not taken by INgene team)


Comments from Deepak :

with a creative application:

in there is a natural, non set related reality game show idea there for cheap (in all senses) shows..

-how many times in a minute can you cross to the other side of the road on marine drive (non peak hours the traffic is still lots but speeds are high enough, 80-100)
-how fast can you climb up the local to the roof and come back inside from the other side.

-how quickly can you reach 100 on linking road (a permanently crowded road)

-how many signals can you break till you get caught

-fastest to walk a km without stepping onto the road (it will be like the "parkour" sport as our pavements in mumbai are non existent, dilapidated, dug up, shat on, encroached by slums/shops/ mall/hotels, or simply just not there)

and many more...

no safety, no insurance, no hype, not even a prize required.... it just an average day for millions of city commuters.

Deepak Pathania,
Design Intervention (I) Pvt. Ltd.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Cool trends @ Indian youth

Here's few more trends to look ahead...sorry for the quality of photos as these being taken through the mobile phone cams (and u know the resolutions available... sucks)

I appriciate the effort of young Indian trend spotters around the country in this contribution at INgene...it differentiates this blog from rest of the white collar trend agencies...we deliver you "farm fresh" trends ;)

...the lenses are passe(everybody loves to be framed now) as well as the socks!

Kaustav SenGupta


Monday, September 7, 2009

being "desi" is cool

This generation of Indian youth are reinventing the desipan which was ignored /forgotten by the grey hairs...being desi is becoming cool...

check it yourself how the lassi, and "desi drinks" are re invented along with a cool look of "feluda" (the cult fig.) "bengali private investigator" (originally written by Satyajit Ray in 70's) in comic strips...


Satyajit Ray’s Detective Feluda now in Comics
28 August 2009 03:45 PM


Famous private detective Feluda, a character created by legendary filmmaker-writer Satyajit Ray will now don a comic avatar in the series ‘The Feluda Mystries’.

Published by Penguin Books, India, two titles of the comic series namely ‘Beware in the Graveyard’ and ‘A Bagful of Mystery’ featuring Feluda’s popular detective escapades were launched recently.

About 20,000 copies of each of the titles have been published and the 48 pager titles targeted towards children above the age of 10 and adults are priced at INR 99. The comic books are available in English with most booksellers across India as well as through online stores.

Six titles have been planned under this series, which has been written by Subhadra Senguptha and illustrated by Tapas Guha. The duo, Sengupta and Guha started work on the comic strip in 2004 and it has taken over a year for each story. Some of the other titles include ‘Murder by the Sea’, ‘The Killer of Kathmandu’ and ‘Danger in Darjeeling’ and these will be published by summer 2010.

Speaking to AnimationXpress.com Tapas Guha said “The illustration style are totally mine and I have kept the style bright, colorful and uncluttered so that the reader can follow the story with ease and doesn‘t get lost with cluttered dramatic images as the main purpose is to tell the story.”

Feluda is a professional detective with a super sharp brain. His cousin Topshe and friend Lalmohan Ganguli team up with him to capture devious culprits and solve puzzling mysteries. Satyajit Ray’s adventures of Feluda have been avidly read by children for years.

Penguin Books India Editor Sudeshna Shome Ghosh said “We are positive that the comics would receive a good response. The story and visuals are very good and the production is in good quality at an affordable price.”

In ‘Beware in the Graveyard’, a sudden violent storm takes Kolkata by surprise. It also leaves Narendra Nath Biswas injured, hit by a falling tree in the Park Street Cemetery, or was it the work of some unknown assailant? Feluda starts his own investigations and soon encounters enough questions to puzzle his matchless intellect.

In ‘A Bagful of Mystery‘ Feluda’s client Dinanath Lahiri has a strange problem. On a train from Delhi to Kolkata, someone has taken his bag and replaced it with an identical one. Can Feluda find his bag and return the new bag to its rightful owner?

Source: http://www.animationxpress.com/index.php?file=story&id=22141

the original cult "feluda" as imagined by Ray




Harley and its desi dream

Recession makes us re think…in other words, recession makes one think about himself… Harley never thought of Indians as potential customers though the Indians are more “two wheeled” than Europeans (or Americans)… check why Harley is trying to be “generous” to become desi… we have already seen other highly egoist brands following this turn…for example, the Crocs footwear or Ed Hardy

…anyway, we have a big heart to accept dead devils :)

Kaustav SenGupta

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Indian youth identity crisis (!?**)

Being an "outsider" its impossible to understand a generation of unique subcontinent which always remains in "plural"...I dont agree with Kaila. With my decade long experience I can confirm that Indian youth are well balanced in between tradition and modernisation...east vs west conflict happens in west. not in east. India was always exposed to the western influences and it means no "evil" to this generation too...intruders atleast tought us this skill...
stay in any Indian city for years and you will understand how the young generation balances the "influences"...and above all, we have a "family" to fall back. always.

The youth in India are more focused in their career and prospects of growth, than creating a so called "united front".

Kaustav SenGupta

India's Modern Day Youth Identity Crisis
A Conflicting Self-image is Disempowering India's Young Generation
© Kaila Krayewski

"Westernisation versus tradition, haves versus have-nots, young versus old. Indian youth are torn between images and it's preventing them forming a united front."

Youth of India are facing a time of identity crisis. They are split among their status groups, income groups, and generation groups among others. They are fraught with anxiety over their conflicting image. They have a desire to uphold their Indian traditions, while similarly attempting to keep up with, or advance beyond, the West. However, desires, behaviours and attitudes are so varied amongst Indian youth that it would be difficult to indicate a single direction this group might take.

Haves and Have-nots
New policies are cultivating growing divisions among young people, empowering some and victimising others; the division is most pronounced among consumption levels. This division between the haves and the have-nots is often ignored in discussion of India’s youth, which mostly focus on India’s economically prosperous adolescent generation.

The have-not youths are deeply affected by the poverty, which affects their ability to organise and the content of their protest. The latter group comprises the majority of Indian youth, with the haves only numbering around 16 million. Both groups are exposed to mass media advertising, and the have-nots are subjected to unsatisfiable cravings that lead to violence, crime, and self-destructive behaviours like taking drugs. Since the two sides have differing demands and methods by which they make those demands, organising amongst a coherent youth ‘whole’ is difficult.

Indian Youth Consumed by Desire
Consumerism, or the desire to consume, is rampant among Indian youth. Indeed, the youth market (14-25 years) is the largest consumer segment in India. Indian youth currently hold a massive $2.8 billion in discretionary income.

Yet the relationship between consumption and Indian youth is complex, some are prominent consumers and strongly associate consumption with their own identity, while other young people are minimal or non-consumers due to force, circumstance, or choice. Yet high rates of economic growth are a part of an Indian youth’s surroundings, whether or not they partake.

Despite their high hand in the growing economy, there has been a failure by the GoI to equitably deliver the fruits of development. This has drastically affected youth identities. Youth are frustrated that they are contributing economically to their country’s growth, but not given a say in the form this growth should take, hence they may feel they have unfulfilled political identities. Even more frustrated are the youth without purchasing power or political influence who feel even more powerless.

The Media's Effect on Adolescents in India
Mass media is another aspect drastically affecting youth identity in India. India is feeling the effects of a television culture shock. A Times of India article from June 20, 1979, states:

"The effects that we can already see—the depressing mental climate of our children and youth—are sufficiently frightening…There is no vitality around these young men; only an odour of talc and perfume. No manly gait, but a mincing feminine step forced on by elevator shoes. Unfortunately, the young girls are no better."

Melissa Butcher, in her book Transnational Television, Cultural Identity and Change: When Star came to India, criticised satellite television for creating a generation of zombie-like youth who were increasingly materialistic, disinterested in family ties, and individualistic.

According to Butcher, it is possible that even the have-not youths, though not common purchasers of these products, come to identify with them simply through their desire for them. Where in the past, national identity was bound in opposition to the West, television has played a large role in creating the idea of a pan-global shared youth culture. It has become a constructed cultural space that links Indian youth with their global counterparts.

The media is also largely thought to be contributing to the objectification of Indian youth, directing them towards a facade of being cool, young and happening.

Identifying with the West
Young people from more closed social spaces (such as urban bastis) felt a commonality with an image of a group of young people from the United States. For them it indicated ‘all friends together’ and ‘unity’. However, the sense of comradeship in the image has an aspirational quality to it. The depiction of peer bonding and freedom is in contrast to their lived experience set by family and community.

Indian youth seem to want the best of both worlds; they want to see themselves as similar to their Western counterparts, but they also want to retain a certain ‘Indianness’. This cultural hybridity is reflective of a dual youth identity. It maintains the cultural identity of the nation’s youth while allowing them to feel a sense of global youth culture across borders.

The copyright of the article India's Modern Day Youth Identity Crisis in India is owned by Kaila Krayewski. Permission to republish India's Modern Day Youth Identity Crisis in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.

Read more: http://india.suite101.com/article.cfm/indias_youth_identity_crisis#ixzz0QLaWYBRv
comments by a guest: An interesting article but i think i would have to point out that i don't actually argue that satellite television has created 'a generation of zombie-like youth who were increasingly materialistic, disinterested in family ties, and individualistic'. The impact of TV is much more nuanced. There are many other factors involved eg the family, education, government economic and social policies, language. It could even be argued that satellite tv had some positive effects eg positive role models, content specifically for young people that was relevant to them. Young people are quite able to interpret what they see, reject it, adapt it, assimilate it (so far from being 'zombies' there is plenty of evidence for 'active audiences'). There's also a need to take into account what we mean by satellite tv - does Indian content on satellite tv concern the author as much as western content or is it the commercial model of broadcasting, no matter what the content, that is the corrupting influence? I'd simply argue that television is implicated in change but what the final outcome is is dependent, in particular, on the existing social context of the viewer.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Nano under the neem tree

Though this story has no direct link with the youth trends in India, but it shows the bonding Indians have among themselves...the mentality to share the joy...the attitude to remain happy and celebrate each occation...it can be the simplest one as getting the first nano car delivered...


Mon, Aug 31 07:05 PM

Off the neglected, serpentine roads of Nakhrola village in Gurgaon district sits Satish Kumar's home. Around it lie his five acres of lush fields sown with til (sesame), arhar (lentils) and bajra (millets).

His two cows and their calves, tied to a post behind his house, yawn occasionally as they chomp on a pile of straw. And beneath the old neem tree in Satish Kumar's compound rests his gleaming silver Nano, the first to hit the road in north India.

In Nakhrola, Kumar is known simply as 'the man with the Nano'. On July 18, the day his Nano was delivered, it was celebration all the way.

"There were drums and dancing all around, all night long," remembers Kumar's wife Saroj (33). His mother Indira Devi (55) tells of how the rest of the village collected outside their home and everyone wanted to drive the car.

In a district where 33 per cent of the population is illiterate, Kumar became a celebrity overnight. Journalists from India and abroad descended on Nakhrola, followed the family all the way from the car showroom and spent the day with them.

Some Japanese reporters even camped for two days in his two-bedroom house. And, says Saroj, "When we drove to our temple in Manesar, the whole village followed us.

" But he does let his friends borrow the car. "Every day, someone or the other comes and asks for the keys," he says.

"Everyone here loves the Nano.".