Gigs in India

The sharing or gig economy in India is going to be prevalent among the millennials, who may be more comfortable with consuming products without necessarily owning them.

The 400 million-plus millennials in India will have an increasingly active role to play in the economic and consumption story, reports Economic Times. The world over, millennials and post-millennials are influencing most aspects of business for brands and retailers. A need for a similar focus on the millennials is being acknowledged by the Indian business world as well. So, what is it that really makes them different, especially in the Indian context? 

The smartphone is their connect with the world — at work, with friends, it is their hyperlink to reading, shopping, entertainment, banking, eating out, dating. Unlike the older generations, the millennials are comfortable living in a virtual world. Therefore, technology and a virtual connect at various levels are now business hygiene when addressing this generation.

Millennials are India’s most confident, opinionated and expressive generation in India as yet — all of us have experienced that by now. This largely stems from being more educated than their parents, easy access to all forms of information, learning and technology, and growing up in a more economically secure environment than the previous generation. They are open to sharing their opinion, be it political, social, at work or at home. It also enables them to follow their dreams, and be more open to taking risks vis-a-vis the earlier generation. It becomes important for the brands and companies to engage the millennials through a two-way communication, for them to feel appreciated and connected.  

An offshoot of higher self-confidence, millennials are very comfortable in their skin and being their own person. Unlike the flower power generation of the 1960s, this individualism is a fine balance between conforming with some aspects of life and tradition and choosing to follow one’s own path. This reflects in almost all facets of life — education, vocation, lifestyle, work-life balance, relationships, family, religion, participation in groups and communities, social causes, Indianness, affinity to brands and many more. There is also a much higher acceptance and tolerance of others choices and individualism. It gives an opportunity to brands to personalise and customise to the “market of one”.

Millennials are comfortable with shared or gig economy, be it cars, travel, homes or office spaces, among others. The emphasis is on comfort, convenience and low investment on the basics of life, while they focus their energies on following their work, dreams and passions. Unlike the previous generations, who spent a large part of their life planning and investing for the future generation, the millennials are more comfortable living in the present and deferring planning for the future to another stage of life.

Millennial entrepreneurs have felt and spotted this need, and have innovated technology-led, new, shared economy businesses, including Uber, Airbnb, BlaBlaCar, Flyrobe, RentoMojo, to name a few. It is a growing opportunity for brands and companies to build on. Since millennials are the future drivers of consumption across products and services, it is imperative for all businesses targeting the Indian consumer to delve deeper into their mindset and connect with them at all levels.

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