HT Youth Survey: India’s young like quality, but don’t like to show off - Hindustan Times

HT Youth Survey: India’s young like quality, but don’t like to show off

Hindustan Times | By
Oct 09, 2017 01:29 PM IST

In Part 1 of HT Youth Survey 2017, what India’s young, style conscious men and women want to buy.

Let the brands beware. Shopaholic and brand-conscious young Indians are looking at more than the label to throw their money at, reveals the Hindustan Times-MaRS Monitoring and Research Systems Youth Survey 2017.

Students Rhythem Vatsa (left) and Amrita Sokhi may be style conscious, but only spend money on big labels when quality is on offer.(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)
Students Rhythem Vatsa (left) and Amrita Sokhi may be style conscious, but only spend money on big labels when quality is on offer.(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)

Young people are showing surprising self-control over expensive brands during shopping expeditions. Price, quality and style dominate their choice, say for a pair of jeans or shoes, as well as the latest fad: Made in India.

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The sample size for this survey is 5,700 with equal number of men and women in two age groups: 18 to 21 and 22 to 25.

About 61.4% of the respondents trust brands for better quality, a belief that leads 29.3% to say they won’t mind splurging on a good label. The style quotient lures 27.6% of them to buy expensive products.

“The pricing point is important and the choice of brand depends on the value of the product that I am getting for the money I am paying. So, I don’t blindly buy international brands just because they are international,” says 24-year old media professional Chahat Jain.

The vanity factor is almost discarded as 99% respondents say they don’t use top-of-the-line labels to show off. For a miniscule 0.9%, they buy products they feel aspirational. The trend is consistent among men and women.

Interactive | Take our quiz to see if your shopping habits match India’s young

The majority of those surveyed say buying expensive branded stuff is not connected with their self-esteem.

According to retail experts, the trend shows authenticity and quality is valued more by the youth today than the brand name.

“Brand value differs between the youth and older generations. For the young it is more about quality and authenticity that are at the same time hip and fashionable, rather than just the values attached to traditional expensive brands,” said Pinakiranjan Mishra, partner and national leader of retail and consumer products, EY.

The survey highlights prudent shopping habits among the youth as 65.9% say they’re not influenced by pushy salespersons to make an impulsive buy.

Indian brands are preferred by 72% of the respondents, both men and women.

Youngsters prefer a wide choice as well. Multi-brand stores are preferred by 40.6% to shop for shoes and by 52.7% to buy denims. One-stop shops with a wide variety of brands and styles are important.

In a recent report, Megatrend Analysis, Euromonitor says technology will drive trends and projected a 400% growth in shopping through the internet by 2020. Purchases on mobile phones are poised to grow about 2,000% at the same time.

“Shifting values and access to the internet have created a great deal of new competition for customers,” the report adds.

At a time when online shopping is the buzzword, the HT-MaRS survey shows 54.9% prefer retail stores. Importantly, 57.2% of these respondents are women.

Amrita Sokhi, a 20-year-old second-year journalism student, agrees with the findings.

“Touch and feel are very important when I shop, so I prefer retail stores to online shopping. If the pricing advantage is taken away from online shopping I will always choose a brick-and-mortar store,” she says.

For more stories from HT Youth Survey 2017, click here. Send in your comments and suggestions at or use #HTYouthSurvey on social media.

Survey Methodology: India Youth Survey 2017 was carried out by MaRS Monitoring and Research Systems in 16 state capitals and major towns in India- Delhi, Lucknow, Jaipur, and Chandigarh in the north, Kolkata, Patna, Bhubaneswar and Ranchi in the East, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Pune and Indore in the West, and Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kochi in the South.

Target respondents were both male and female from age groups 18-21 years and 22-25 years, belonging to households with durable ownership of CTV, Refrigerator and at least two of: Car, Two Wheeler, Home computer/laptop, Air Conditioner and Washing machine. The respondent was either currently a student of undergraduate or above or employed with education graduate or above. Additionally the respondent was a regular user of internet on the smart phone and member of a social networking site. Total sample size was 5700, equally divided among men and women and the two age groups. Survey was carried out from July 10 to July 31, 2017.

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