Generation Y: Ahead of the curve

Bharti Gupta Ramola, Markets Leader, PwC India

India is a young nation, with more than 50% of its population below 30 years of age. Increasing education levels and exposure to technology are likely to make this age group—known as India’s urban millennial consumers—a marketer’s dream segment.

A recent PwC-IIM Ahmedabad report on consumer value in the mobile telephony industry has some interesting insights about this segment. Based on a survey of 2,152 mobile users across 17 urban locations in India, the study aimed to understand what consumers value in the context of mobile usage. It was found that across age groups, consumers value utilitarian features (designed to be more useful than attractive) significantly higher than hedonistic features (designed to be more attractive than useful). However, millennials were found to be relatively more hedonistic.

The study also found that 53% of millennial consumers are aware of more than 50% of their handset features compared to 36% for other segments. Usage level for a given level of awareness is higher in the millennial segment with 70% of aware millennial consumers using their phone features compared to 58% for other segments. Millennials were found to be more than twice as ready to migrate from prepaid to postpaid plans in comparison with those aged above 30.

We conclude that marketers may need to think deeply about the segment characteristics as well as the route to ‘reach’ the urban millennials in new ways. And this is where developments in technology and communication will play a strong role.

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