Wednesday, August 15, 2007

India Young@60, with a even younger population !!!!!!

We are a young nation at the age of sixty, as Kiran Karnik said in his yesterday's ET editorial, both in the sense that a nation at 60 is in it's infancy and also the fact that we have a very young population, more than half the population below 25 years of age. I had read the only issue on which JRD Tata and Jawarhal Lal Nehru never agreed was population growth, Nehru Ji always insisted that population was a strength and not something which would pull the country down, which to some extend is being seen today, with the world over, developed countries worrying about aging population and low birth rates, and India well……

After decades of slow growth we have entered into a phase of near double digit growth in the economy which has had obvious implications for companies both within and outside the country, the domestic companies which had been tied down in the pre liberalization days are all out acquiring companies abroad and trying to make up for the lost time. In his book Managing Radical Change, late Sumantra Ghoshal lamented the fact that in 60-70's when LG was manufacturing plastic combs, Indian companies like Tatas were into steel manufacturing , but later on the LG grew into a corporation much bigger than the Tatas. Maybe in the next few decades would see that change.

What are the implications of a very young population for marketers? First, would be that the young population would have lesser baggage with them when they enter the market. They are a population which would be more open to new ideas and more confident about their future, which is reflected in the rise of consumer loans and use of credit cards, though the rise of "spend now pay later" culture might not be appreciated by everyone. These consumers would also be more and more demanding in termsthe quality and product features they want and after sales service being provided to them . With their changing pattern of consumption and life style they would demand unique products and services which earlier generations would have never imagined, and the marketer who seizes the opportunity first, would ride the wave. The media habits of this sub-25 population is also very different from the older population, spending more time on social networking, internet and less and less on TV, would have implications for media planners across the country. Many more challenges lie ahead for catering to the young population of the country, the list can be endless, maybe reader can add to the list in their comments and also share their opinions on the issue.....



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