India is the 7th largest country by geographical area, the 2nd most populous country and the most populous democracy in the world. According to Comscore, Over 28 million people in India, age 15 and older, accessed the net from home and work locations in May 2008 — a 27 percent increase from a year ago. Those age 15-24 were the heaviest internet users among all age segments, spending nearly 12 hours online per month on average.
Web sites, blogs and social networking sites are being utilized by Indian youth with online access to learn about new products and new trends. Windchimes Communications, a social media agency based India, recently conducted a survey representative of 3 Indian cities; Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore, which asked the following question.
How much time do you spend everyday on blogs, social networking and uploading photos and videos?
“In India the young person’s influence in family purchase decisions is high. Anything to do with technology? He is God. The decision of which brand of mobile phone, flat-screen TV or two-wheeler to buy can be swayed by the resident youth in the family.”
Aarti Joshi, Lecturer, Shri Leuva Patel Trust Sanchalit MBA Mahila College
Consumerism, or the desire to consume, is rampant among Indian youth. Indeed, the youth market (14-25 years) is the largest consumer segment in India. Indian youth currently hold a massive $2.8 billion in discretionary income.
This means that companies and brands that want to be successful in India must target youth as one of their primary audiences, and they will need to have significant online presence to ensure that users find them when they are searching or researching online. Just having a web presence won’t be enough – if companies really want to engage consumers they must have a presence in communities, discussion forums, blogs and on networking sites that cater to youth.