Digital natives: How Indian millennials live, work, and play

e27.co/rohit.taneja

Normal is not something to aspire to; It is something to get away from

In this day and age, you would have probably read and heard all about the generation of millennials. Most people tend to identify them based on their years of birth, but frankly speaking it is their lifestyle that speaks much louder. Well, are you ready to go on a short tour de reconnaissance? Let me help you in decoding and simplifying how people from this generation (especially in India) live, work, and play. But before we delve into that trinity, it is pertinent to reflect on their background and evolution.

The count of Indian millennials in total would come out to be around 0.9 billion (depending on whichever approach that you take for calculating), so the question of not taking notice goes out of the window! There are a lot of factors (both internal and external) that have shaped the millennials into who they are:

  • They were the first ones to get personal laptops as they matured into their school days and entered college campuses.
  • Owning personal electronic gadgets allowed them to experience and perceive the peers of other geographies via TV series like Friends, The Big Bang Theory, and more.
  • Social networking seems to come naturally to them, but in actuality, they have lived through the full spectrum starting from the basic ones like Orkut to the more mature ones like Facebook and now the downright crazy ones like Snapchat.

Also read: A few thoughts on millennial flakiness and freelancing

Living

  • Thanks to the low cost Android smartphone boom and the perennial 3G/4G connections in the Indian urban economy, literally every one of them owns one and can’t imagine a moment without it.
  • This has permeated to all parts of their daily life – from tuning the body clock to phone alarms, to booking the cab to the office, to ordering their lunches online, to casually browsing through shopping portals, to listening to music all day long, to finally ending the day with chatting and social media posting.
  • And no surprises, that in order to save cost (primary reason), 82 per cent of millennials still live in their parents’ home.

Working

  • Since their life is social, why should work be any different? And that is why we see almost of the organizations adopting the tools like Slack, Workspace, Skype, and more.
  • Not only that, but most of the people are working completely on these networks alone! Their business would shut down if that social platform goes for a toss.
  • Another interesting fact is that they are hungry and broke a lot. And I really mean a lot. For many of the younger ones, foregoing food for a fancy purchase seems like a no-brainer affirmative. Since they have a lifestyle to portray to the society and the aspirations are pretty high, so short term urges like sleep are easily forgotten.

Also read: 6 important things to remember about your millennial colleagues

Playing

  • Since embracing the screen age, the problem of finding ‘friends’ is pretty much over. It is a different thing altogether that they may not even know the name of the person living next door.
  • This has also changed the spending and purchasing behavior. Around 55 per cent of millenials never feel the need to own a vehicle, and in fact are counting on technology to replace the whole notion of owning a car. This goes in line with the point that earlier, young college kids (US culture) mostly bought a car in order to show off to their friends, and now those friends are mostly virtual or online.

If you carefully observe the trends and how this demographic is evolving, you can see that we have now clearly entered the age of social commerce. An age where shopping and spending money is not a solitary activity (albeit in a few utility cases), but it becomes a collaborative affair. It is an age wherein peer pressure determines to a big of extent where we eat, drink, party, travel, or live. It is an age wherein social network and payments mingle and become indistinguishable for most of the cases.

The wheels are in motion, and like we all know, evolution cannot stop or reverse. It is bound to happen and it will be a mixture of aspects that you may come to appreciate and some that you may not.

P.S.: A Disclosure: I am a millennial myself, building a company in the domain of ‘Social P2P Payments’ for this generation of Indian millennials.

Cheers,

Rohit Taneja

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