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, June 4, 2012

Being "green" ! Enviornment vs. Indian economy

Imagine a world where human well-being, social equity and protection of our natural environment are the primary considerations for making business decisions. Sounds too utopian? Not if you go by what some of today's foremost environmental think-tanks call the Green Economy. Environmental circles are buzzing with the term, much like the well-bandied sustainability. But what exactly does it mean? To understand it, we need to first look at India's track record in economic terms.

The GDP smokescreen

Between 1990 and 2008, India's wealth as measured by gross domestic product (GDP) per capita rose by a whopping 120%. But a myopic focus on economic capital is flawed, contends Professor Anantha Duraiappah, Executive Director of the International Human Dimensions Program on Global Environmental Change. When measures of natural, human and manufactured capital were considered together to obtain a more comprehensive value in a recently released report (see image),

India's "Inclusive Wealth" rose by a mere 9% from 1990—2008. In other words, India continues to post positive GDP growth but is rapidly exhausting all its natural resources while doing so. The GDP then becomes an unintended but nevertheless dangerous smokescreen; According to a new "Inclusive Wealth Indicator" designed to augment the GDP as a measure of economic progress, India's natural capital or the sum of a country's assets from forests to fossil fuels and minerals, declined by as much as 31%. (Source: Inclusive Wealth Report, 2012)

What is needed is an indicator that estimates the true wealth of nations— natural resources, human and manufactured, coupled with the social and ecological constituents of human well-being. As Manish Bapna, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of the World Resources Institute, puts it, "The prevailing economic growth model is focused on increasing the GDP above all other goals. While this system has improved incomes and reduced poverty for hundreds of millions, it comes with significant and potentially irreversible social, environmental and economic costs. Poverty persists for as many as two and a half billion people, and the natural wealth of the planet is rapidly being drawn down.


In a recent global assessment, approximately 60 percent of the world's ecosystem services were found to be degraded or used unsustainably. The gap between the rich and poor is also increasing; between 1990 and 2005, income inequality rose in more than two-thirds of countries." This is exactly where the "Green Economy" can come in and promote the triple bottom line: sustaining and bettering not just economic, but also environmental and social well-being.
However, transitioning from a business-as-usual economy to a green economy is not easy. It requires a habit and thought process overhaul which reflects in decision making at all levels. It also requires a variety of institutional reforms and regulatory, tax, and expenditure-based economic policies and tools, customized to the country in question. For example, the Republic of Korea has adopted a national strategy and a five-year plan for green growth for the period 2009—2013, allocating as much as 2 percent of its GDP to investment in several green sectors such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean technology and water. Countries are also constantly exploring ways to tax pollution so that those that generate it can be made to take responsibility for the environmental and social costs associated with it. This would presumably drive businesses to seek more environmentally friendly and socially responsible ways of providing products and services, thus helping to green the economy. While many heartwarming possibilities for altering patterns of production, industry, agriculture, the organization of cities, construction systems, and transport has been highlighted as economy-greening initiatives, the truth is- easier said than done.

Will policies trump politics?

Image sourced from Greenpeace.org.uk under Creative Commons License.Not surprisingly then, the Green Economy has its detractors, who label the very idea as a "naïve expression of very good intentions, without any possibility of altering the current course of the planet". As Edgardo Lander, Professor of Social Sciences at the Universidad Central de Venezuela in Caracas, points out, "the capacity of existing political systems to establish regulations and restrictions to the free operation of the markets—even when a large majority of the population call for them—is seriously limited by the political and financial power of the corporations". He goes on to provide the example of the United States, where no environmental regulatory policy and no international commitment can be assumed by the government without the prior approval of major corporations potentially affected by such measures. It is a sad fact that these corporations have the capacity to veto policies they do not agree with.

The extraordinarily unequal power relations existing in today's world on the one hand and the needs of the poor on the other. What experiments will remove this binary and implement concrete plans to activate the beyond the GDP green economy model.
According to India's erstwhile Environment Minister, Jairam Ramesh, by 2015, India will report a GDP that takes into account environmental degradation. How well India maneuvers its way towards this is fraught with politicking, ideological nitpicking and mounting realities.But as the stats show, is there another way out or in?
Source: Yahoo news

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