When the Indian dream changed from Roti, Kapda aur Makaan…

From the day I started my Internship at a radio channel as an 18 year old, the only wisdom my dad imparted to me was- Know your finances, Make investments and Spend wisely. After all, that’s how he- a college student from Udaipur, came to Delhi and made a life. So, even before I turned 25, I had PPF, LIC , EPF, Mutual funds and shares but no liquidity for Holidays, Night-outs and flashy mobiles.

But as my profile kept getting bigger and the designations kept getting sharper, I realised that’s not how my teams and even peers looked at life. The 20 something’s in the team changed their phones faster than their partners, happily went out clubbing mid week, short mid week, weekends and any other day that demanded it and still managed to buy fancier wheels than what I could afford!

If I was broke on the 5th of the month paying EMI’s for the properties I invested in, car loans and the SIP’s ( Systematic Investment Plan) my younger counterparts, were broke on the 7th of the month on account of credit card payments, new 3M coating on the car for a new look and the introduction of new lines at fashion stores!

Two different approaches to Life and Money and yet both resulted in empty wallets month on month.

What did I miss? When did life’s philosophy change? How had the wheels of fun passed me by? 

The motto of ‘Save for a rainy day’ gave way to YOLO

( You only Live Once)

‘Don’t spend beyond your means’ gave way to FOMO

( Fear of Missing Out)

Life, had ceased to be the painful existence of a penniless working life, where pay check after pay check was parked away for a secure old age.

Instead, Gen Z and some of the rebellious millennials gave the old retirement savings deposit a kick and shouted Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara from rooftop bars!

And here it is, a whole generation of corporates who chooses to use their home instalment money for exploratory holidays, give up savings plans to fund their tech cravings, even dipping into the unused marriage fund for that special set of wheels.

The unusual spending creates a huge shift in the consumer patterns, disposable income and spending habits. A recent report of the 6th annual emerging markets consumer survey by Credit Suisse shows Indian consumers top the scoreboard amongst their emerging market peers, with fast growth in consumption across a gamut of products- with spend on smartphones showing a sharp incline.  ( Credit: www.credit-suisse.com)  Another Goldman Sachs report goes on to say that India’s consumer story promises to be one of the world’s most compelling stories for the next 20 years.

In a world where terrorism, exhausted economies and political unrest is eroding consumer sentiments, all eyes are on the economy that seems to be on a shopping high. So while its nice to see urban India’s basic needs are fulfilled, lets hope Roti Kapda aur Makaan version 2.0, doesn’t crash and burn!

-Mansi Mehta

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