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The multifaceted young urban Indians

The young urban Indian is now everywhere- at the shops and malls, at coffee shops and restaurants, at protest marches and IPL grounds and everyone is doing everything. Vishal Ramchandani writes.

india Updated: Aug 08, 2013, 16:28 IST
Vishal Ramchandani
Vishal Ramchandani

The young urban Indian is now everywhere- at the shops and malls, at coffee shops and restaurants, at protest marches and IPL grounds and everyone is doing everything. That is defining phrase for them. We have tried to outline some of the dimensions of the multi-faceted young Indians but they come in more hues and segments

The throwbacks and the progressives

They are split down the middle, 50% of the young believe that girls who smoke and drink are persons of bad character and other half believe that they are no different than the men who do that. They also generally do not believe that homosexuality is an acceptable sexual preference.

They also come in many different hues. A significant 40% would like to give something back to society as they believe society has given them a lot. On the other hand about 30% litter the streets, 11 % drink and drive and 22% break traffic rules regularly. These may appear minority proportions, but in sheer numbers they are large enough to cause serious civic problems and set fairly bad examples.

The Curious Watcher

They will watch everything once and sometimes more than once. Two thirds of them said that they would also try anything if that looks interesting. So if the marketer has a brand, urban Indians will provide the marketer enough opportunity for product testing, and if the brand is liked, they will take it. Brands such as ‘Bindass’ television channel testify to this phenomenon.

And they are watching everything- the music channels, the sports channels, news, nature channels, general entertainment channels in English, Hindi and respective local languages.

And they are also watching each other and all others of their peer groups all the time.

The gold star generation

The world owes them big- most of them would like to think so. A majority segment, about 56%, would like to be rich enough to buy everything they want. They want the best in life and that includes keeping up with the latest fashions, technology gadgets and the attitude that comes with it.

Politically ambivalent

Three quarters of them would like to vote, come next election, but only 15% track politics regularly. Two thirds believe that all politicians are corrupt and a majority thinks that there are some politicians who are genuinely doing good work for the people.

In other words a large number of them seriously believe that there are some politicians who are corrupt yet serving the cause of people! That is the classical politically ambivalent urban Indian youth of today.

They are definitely concerned about the criminalization of politics. A very large majority strongly believe that any person with criminal background should not be allowed to join politics. But only 15% of them show any inclination to join politics.

Youth, the Consumer

That youth the consumer has arrived is very old news to the marketing professionals. The survey shows that they are spreading their consumerism all around. In their quest to own and consume, about half of them are purchasing what they cannot afford- not all the time but definitely more than a few times.

The young man is spending significantly on his personal grooming, though not quite as much as the young woman but he is running her somewhat close. Other than that both of them are spending on coffee shops, fast food joints, movies, mobiles and internets. And a small but significant number of them are spending handsomely on gymming.

Long live the youth of the young!

Vishal Ramchandani is Associate Vice President - Consumer Research and Brand Planning, MaRS

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