Middle-class youth has been at the forefront of India's consumerist push. Disposable incomes, the lowering of age in the job market courtesy occupations like call centres, loosening of parental say on the lives and choices of youth, and the increasing dominance of the televisual culture has meant that the Indian youth is more free, than say, 10 years before, to express what they want from life.
By 2020, India is poised to be the world's youngest country with 64 per cent of its population in the working age group. It is thus imperative that we understand what makes them tick, what their motivations and priorities are, and the shape of the future they would like to carve out for themselves.
Young consumers, however, are up for a tough time. Being young at a time of global recession has thrown up peculiar challenges. While global and domestic advertising campaigns, on the one hand, tries to jazz and cover up the present uncertainties, its target – the youth -- succumb to its messages beeped across various media and popular culture and try to incorporate them in their lives. Shopping is not just a necessity, shops and malls have become the 'hangout place.' The positives are, of course, exposure to global trends and ideas, but there's a price to pay.