The future of Indian consumption, the millennial way


What do the millennials want and how are they getting it? A recent report on their consumption patterns and decisions answers these questions.

As brands and companies do their best to quickly adapt to changing times, they look to the millennial (a person born between mid-80s and early 2000s), who has grown up and been witness to the myriad changes and trends over the years.

And a recent study by consulting firm Deloitte India and Retailers Association of India showcases the true power of the millennial.

According to the report, titled ‘Trend-setting millennials: Redefining the consumer story’, millennials are apparently the chief wage earners in India with a 47-percent share in the working age population. They are the largest demographic group in India and, globally, millennials are characterised by high levels of disposable income and as digitally connected individuals, driving various consumer segments towards rapid growth and development.

“Globally, India is leading in terms of millennial population,” says Anil Talreja, Partner at Deloitte India. He adds that Generation Z, that is comprising people born after 2000, is another set of people driving the economy too.

Globally, millennials account for 27 percent of the world’s 7.4 billion population. There are 440 millenials in this country.

The report finds that the millennial generation spend their incremental income on entertainment and eating out (32.7 percent), apparel and accessories (21.4 percent) and electronics (11.2 percent). The rest is spent on essentials.

Unlike previous generations, where savings came up to 35 percent, the millennial savings are only 10 percent. The report highlights that millennials primarily prefer offline retail modes and are gradually shifting towards the online mode, given the convenience and wider options on online channels.

By spending around 17 hours a week on the internet, millennials are gradually driving the market towards an omni-channel approach, the report said.

“It is true that millennials use digital methods to research a product before taking the decision to buy. However, shopping decisions are not necessarily purely based on this channel,” says Kumar Rajagopalan, Chief Executive at Retailers Association of India.

Gender wise, the men among millennials (40 percent%) are more likely to make all their purchases online. Additionally, millennials are increasingly becoming more health-conscious and prefer personalised product and service categories.

So, companies accessing the report will have to plan their future to serve these omni-channel trends. But at least they know one thing: saving rates are going to be low, which means more money will be spent on consumption, which also means more jobs and growth for the economy.


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