The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rich kids eat, drink and wear videshi

Mumbai, July 9: If the majority of Indians think State Bank of India, it could be damaging for cool. But thanks to its ardent young keepers in the country, it is alive and kicking.

A survey by Synovate, a global market research agency, shows that upmarket young Indians are as unlike the average Indian consumer ' as defined by a CNBC survey ' as possible.

The CNBC survey that covered respondents across the country found that the Indian consumer is conservative and sticks to trusted Indian brands for everything from soaps to cars, but most all in matters of investment.

But the Synovate study, covering 7,298 young Asians in the age group 8-24 ' if a 30-year-old male is the real customer, the eight-year-old is not far behind, especially in India ' suggests that for kids in Defence Colony or Peddar Road, Indian brands could be another country.

This study interviewed 958 children and young members of very affluent homes in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore in the SEC A and SEC A+ categories. The interviews were conducted in two modes: face-to-face interviews for the 8-11 age group and online surveys for 12-24-year-olds.

The revelations are stark. The survey was open-ended and in all of the 10 categories where the respondents were asked to rank their favourite brands, it could be the nameless chaatwala or the street-corner sandwichwala or Haldiram Bhujiawala. But foreign brands saturated their brain.

In the fast food category, it was McDonald’s (20 per cent), followed by Pizza Hut (11 per cent) and then came KFC (2 per cent). In aerated drinks, it was Pepsi (30 per cent), Coca-Cola (26 per cent) and Thums Up (8 per cent). In the snacks category, Lay’s got the vote of 30 per cent.

Some of the foreign brands were predictable in their strength. Nokia mobile handsets were the choice of 71 per cent, Sony MP3 or portable music devices were favoured by 38 per cent and Sony digital cameras were chosen by 34 per cent.

The sports shoes category was revealing. Nike was the preference of 30 per cent, Reebok 19 per cent and Adidas 18 per cent. Then, who will buy Action shoes'

Sportswear was the same. Nike had the support of 28 per cent, Adidas 17 per cent and Reebok 8 per cent.

There were insights into their characters as well, or physiology.

Rich Indian kids eat more. India’s spending on snacks and confectionery ($23.13) and aerated drinks ($23.29) far exceeded the Asian average of $11.53 and $10.61, respectively.

A further invitation to global giants ' Indian youths wield the most power over family expenditure with more than half having a major say in all categories of products purchased.

IT was the top choice among professions in India (13 per cent), more than engineering (10 per cent), which is the preferred choice of the rest of India.

About 42 per cent of the 12-24-year-olds named television as the most helpful medium for product and service information. Internet came next (35 per cent) and newspaper later (17 per cent).

Indians displayed the highest incidence of watching movies (78 per cent), compared to other Asian markets. But they were laggards in online love ' just 2 per cent date on the Net.

The survey said that young Indians are relatively stress-free, too. It said though 19 per cent of other young Asians worried about their ability to get a good job when they grew up, only 7 per cent of Indians (the lowest percentage across countries) had worries about finding employment.

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