Majority of Indians are paying greater emphasis on improved lifestyle and livelihood in the post Covid-19 era, and across sentiments, such as health consciousness, vacations, sharing household responsibilities with spouse, children’s education, and environmental concerns.
According to the recent findings of the India Consumer Sentiment Index (CSI), about 73 per cent of the total 10,205 people surveyed, said they have started making health conscious choice in the immediate aftermath of the Covid 19 pandemic.
About 87 per cent have begun reclaiming their normal lives of the pre-pandemic era and are spending time with family and friends, visiting shopping malls, restaurants, and even taking vacations, while 6 per cent of families have even reported an increase in travel, the survey by Axis My India, a leading consumer data intelligence company, has revealed.
More than half of the people surveyed expressed optimism about India becoming a developed country in the next quarter of a century. As many as 56 per cent said they believed India to become a developed country in the next 25 years. About 44 per cent claimed that their lives had improved in the last few years, and 40 per cent claimed this betterment has occurred in the last eight years. That said, they also wanted the government to combat inflation (34 per cent), and improve employment opportunities (28 per cent).
Another important finding was that more than 92 per cent people said they preferred buying Indian brands over anything else – another sign of growing confidence in the India growth story and the government’s Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative.
The survey included 71 per cent people from the rural hinterland and 29 per cent from urban India from 34 states and Union Territories. Region-wise, 24 per cent were from the north, 25 per cent from the east, while 31 per cent and 21 per cent belonged to west and south of India, respectively.
Gender-wise, 64 per cent of the respondents were male, and the rest female. Age-wise, the majority groups belonged to the 36-50 year-olds (35 per cent), and 26-35 year-olds (29 per cent).
Incidentally, a massive 96 per cent of those surveyed across geographies and demography agreed that men and women should share household responsibilities equally. About 95 per cent men and 97 per cent women shared this sentiment, the survey revealed.
The people were also concerned about their children’s education and environment, and expressed their willingness to go the extra mile towards leaving a better future and environment for the next generation.
About 44 per cent acknowledged that online education during the pandemic had severely impacted the children’s learning, while 63 per cent said they were willing to pay more for natural or environmental-friendly products.
The findings further revealed that consumption has increased across three out of the five relevant sub-indices, i.e., overall household products, essential products, and health products and media consumption over the past one month. Nevertheless, mobility has reduced by 1 per cent in the same duration, while sentiments related to discretionary products remains the same as that of the previous month.
One very surprising finding was people’s hesitance to adapt digital/online payment. Only 39 per cent of respondents agreed to have processed digital and/or online payment, with the majority 61 per cent agreeing to have still not ventured the digital medium for payments.
Pradeep Gupta, chairman and managing director, Axis My India, said: “This survey has brought to fore interesting insights into the minds and behaviour of the Indian consumer. A sense of resilience, a belief in home-grown brands, and an optimistic outlook towards the future is noteworthy. Though inflation and lack of employment opportunities continues to be of concern, a major chunk believe that their living standards have improved in the last few years and as we come close to the 75th year of Independence, Indian citizens are certain that India will be able to fight against all odds and most likely become a developed nation when it touches 100 years.
Other key findings of the survey are:
- Overall household spending has increased for 61 per cent of families, which reflects a 2 per cent increase from the last month. The net score which was at +50 last month has increased by +2 to +52 this month.
- Spends on essentials like personal care and household items has increased for 45 per cent of the families which is a 1 per cent increase over last month. The net score which was at +25 last month has improved by +1 to +26 this month
- Spends on non-essential and discretionary products, such as air conditioner, car, and refrigerator continues to remain the same for 88 per cent of families. Spends have, however, increased for only 6 per cent of families, reflecting a net score of nil, same as previous month.
- Consumption of health-related items has increased for 38 per cent of the families, which was 35 per cent in the previous month. The health score, which has a negative connotation i.e., the lesser the spends on health items the better the sentiments, has a net score value of -24, as compared to -21 last month.
- Consumption of media has increased for 19 per cent of the respondents, an increase by 2 per cent from last month. The overall, net score which was at -3 in the last month is at -1, this month.