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When The Indian Dream Changed From Roti, Kapda Aur Makaan...

30/09/2016 1:32 PM IST | Updated 03/10/2016 8:26 AM IST
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Mansi Mehta

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, as 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, nights out and flashy mobiles.

If I was broke on the 5th of the month paying EMIs, car loans and SIPs, my younger counterparts were broke on the 7th on account of credit card payments...

But as my profile kept getting bigger and the designations kept getting sharper, I realized that's not how my teams and even peers looked at life. The 20-somethings in the team changed their phones faster than their partners, happily went out clubbing not only on the weekends but 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 EMIs for the properties I invested in, car loans and SIPs (Systematic Investment Plans) my younger counterparts were broke on the 7th of the month on account of credit card payments, the new 3M coating on their car for a new look, and splurges on new fashion lines.

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The motto of "Save For A Rainy Day" had given way to YOLO (You only Live Once) and "Don't Spend Beyond Your Means" had been replaced by FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). Life had ceased to be a 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 are giving the old retirement savings deposit a kick and shouted Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara from rooftop bars!

And there it is, a whole generation of corporate workers who choose to use their home installment money for exploratory holidays, who give up savings plans to fund their tech cravings, who don't baulk at dipping into the unused marriage fund for that special set of wheels.

While it's nice to see urban India's basic needs are fulfilled, let's hope Roti Kapda aur Makaan v 2.0 doesn't crash and burn!

We are now seeing a huge shift in 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 the spend on smartphones showing a sharp incline. A Goldman Sachs report goes on to say that India's consumer story promises to be the world's "most compelling" one over the next 20 years.

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

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