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.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Facebook ban in Indian educational institutes- an youth perspective

 Social media phobia is encroaching in every educational institute of India in an extent that the firewalls are blocking it from the shared network to the personal investigations as watch dogs by the authorities, administrations and teachers.   According to a Facebook's statement as on December 31, 2012, it has 1.06 billion monthly active users (MAUs) worldwide. Users in Brazil, India and Indonesia represented key sources of growth in fiscal 2012 relative to the prior year. Facebook has 71 million MAUs in India as of December 31, 2012, an increase of 54 percent compared to the same period in 2011. 63% of Facebook users in India are below 24 years old and 73% of them are male (2012 report). Interestingly, the Indian academia is extensively allergic to social media arguing that it is nothing but wastage of time. The argument is surprisingly supported with the voices of system-educated Indian gray hair administrators and CEOs who thinks social media indeed is wastage of productive time by their paid employees. The youth are taking looped path to break the firewall and access facebook. Here’s one such page with options: http://tricktactoe.com/tricks/tricks-to-open-facebook-when-it-is-blocked/

Recently I was discussing with a group of peer leaders to understand their take on whether social media is also a learning platform rather than wasting time and the reply was positive. Most of them believe Facebook is a platform to learn a lot that’s not usually taught in conventional school.  Even social media is a great platform to connect with ‘likeminded’ peers to share ideas, communicate freely (very good tool for the introverted youth to participate in discussion, voice opinion). 

Vishakha stated “at fb I have access to : 1) Amazing artworks throughout the world which I won’t be able to see otherwise as its more interesting to see them here, rather than on individual websites 2) Share my work and get criticism which helps me improve and I learned specially, How to Multi-task  I work hard throughout the day, but I access fb too all the time. It doesn't affect my work quality, it just gives my mind time to relax’. She added “ It has given me a confidence boost to share my thoughts openly, to realize what I really like. But be careful, if you are pro-fb like me, people will judge you, they will call you addicts. But in the end you should know what you are using it for - Sharing dumb troll pics, or discussing your thoughts, interests, artworks and music… Art is not just painting in your room, art is experienced within you, and unless and until you feel what you are doing, and connect with other people artistically and emotionally, you are not doing justice to yourself.’  Shakti malik mentioned  that FB is helping him to communicate, to know the new things etc, but he also agrees that it take its toll if one gets addicted.  Gulshan agreed that he is learning art and music from facebook.  The youth confirmed that the social media is much better than TV as it’s a two way communication with lot of scope to discuss, voice opinion, exhibit works and  communicate. 

Here’s a part screen grab of the online discussion after a casual group discussion, offline :

 The problem is perception of 'learning' and consecutive generation gap in understanding the core values of learning. Among the older generation of India, learning means reading books, listening to lectures in a class room, finishing homework and delivering the same 'accurately' at the exam to score high. It neither has any scope of interaction, beyond box wisdom or self learning. The over induced spoon feeding makes the learning scenario unattractive to  the youth. In the 'India Human Development Report 2011' prepared by Institute of Applied Manpower Research the main concern was the drop outs of school which can become significantly high if the schools appear ‘boring’ (which is a fact, actually).

Sunday, June 16, 2013

the perception of Social media, mobile phone and their use- Gen Next vs. Gen Old, in India

‘oh it’s so irritating to see my students are always at facebook!’ Mr. Reddy (46, teacher at a private school ) commented recently during a conversation over coffee.  A widening generation gap on the perception of social network (‘wastage of time’ vs. ‘great way to communicate’) and it’s super emphasized ‘ill effects’ are mushrooming the ban of social networks at the educational institutions across India.  

But, contradicting to what the ‘oldies’ think, here’s a survey report that was published at the time of India, June 16th 2013. The report states “about 75 per cent of India's youth prefers social media over phone calls to communicate, with more students using the Net for school-related tasks, says a TCS survey…. The findings, a part of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Gen-Y survey 2012-13, reveal that today's youth are collaborating through social networking tools and building virtual communities aided by affordable bandwidth and smart devices.

Interestingly, the youth are also finding ways to divert the firewalls and access social networks! Rubani (21years) informed me that platforms like ‘hidemyass’ is increasingly used to access the banned contents. It’s also ‘cool’ to break the firewall and let everybody know! Recently in the confession page one girl expressed her ‘love and respect’ to a boy who is known to be a great ‘breaker’.

The TOI reported ‘India's post-millennial generation, those people born in 1996 and afterwards, seem set to overtake the preceding millennial generation, taking communication over social networks like Facebook and Twitter and instant messaging modes like Whatsapp to newer extremes… Nearly three out of four students cited "Research for School" as the main reason to access the Internet followed by social reasons like chatting and connecting with friends (62 per cent)… Seventy four per cent of those surveyed said they use Facebook the most to communicate while 54 per cent conceded to use SMS, both significantly higher than the number of students who said they use voice calls (44 per cent) for the same purpose… The survey said the urban post-millennial generation is increasingly turning to text and chat as alternatives to voice”.

To be noted most of the institutions even banned mobile phones! Large universities like Anna university (which controls 227 engineering colleges apart from many other universities) have banned mobile phone way back in 2006.

To TOI TCS Chief Executive N Chandrasekaran said “Urban school students today are gaining greater online access with more affordable bandwidth and smart devices on offer. They are an ultra-connected generation using the power of the Internet for education as well as collaborating through social networks and building virtual communities."

 The survey added that the preference for Facebook is equally high among respondents in both metros (92 per cent) and mini-metros (91 per cent).

Hence, there is a clear perception gap (regarding the usage of social media and mobile phone) among the Gen next and older generation. The older generation must understand that social networks are great platforms to learn, communicate, network and gain knowledge.

Read the TOI report here