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

No comments: