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.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

child workers in India : new ways of exploitation by retail giants

Corporate conspiracy to recruit children for various strenuous jobs is now becoming an evident trend in India that needs social awarness and protest. The corporates and retail giants are using child works through curtained channels and layered recruitment process to protect the brand persona.

Here’s a report published in The Hindu newspaper today:

School dropouts cycling long hours in the heat to promote a product seek less strenuous job

  Not many would have taken note of these children riding tricycles fitted with triangular banners offering ‘free’ lenses to students on behalf of a private company. And fewer still would have noticed that they are child workers. For Vinayagam, Nirmal and Gouthaman, all school dropouts, this is no hobby. It is a long ride, too. “We start at 9 a.m. from Mambalam and go to Adyar, Kotturpuram, Alwarpet, and Nandanam. At 7 p.m., we come back to office to surrender the cycles and take a bus back home,” says Gouthaman, barely 11 and a class VI dropout. Vinayagam, claiming to be 17, says Gouthaman can’t work like the others, but still insists on joining them at work. “We have been sticking posters, carrying load and running errands for smaller companies. But this is the first time a big company has taken us in,” he says. Their assignment started on Monday and they have been promised Rs. 300 a day. They hope to be paid on Saturday. All are residents of S. M. Nagar on Pallavan Salai, and there are at least 30 other children who take up such jobs. Rajendra Kumar, who takes care of these children and arranges jobs for them, says, “No amount of persuasion seems to convince them to go to school. Some of them have also taken to stealing.” Nirmal, son of a mason, often goes to Tindivanam, Villupuram and Puducherry for work and also cycles the ‘marketing vehicle’ for selling saris in T. Nagar during festival seasons. “This time, a man on a bike is following us to ensure we don’t rest. He got us tea when we rode really fast and covered more areas. But it is difficult to keep riding without breaks.”

The company whose product they are advertising, Lawrence & Mayo, said it had no clue that children were hired. It was unfortunate that the advertising agency had done it without informing the company. Personnel from one of the ad agencies said: “We only wanted to help them with books or paying their tuition fees.” However, the children say they have not been going to school for the past one year. “We want to work, not ride cycles in heat. It makes me faint after a while. Can you please arrange a factory job for us, where can pack goods or work sitting in one place,” asks Nirmal.

A Labour Department official said since ‘cycling to advertise a product’ was a new form of exploitation that does not come under the term ‘hazardous work’ it was difficult to take action. However, many children from poor families might not have physical abilities appropriate to their age, and hiring them for jobs such as this is dangerous for them.

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