12/05/2016 1:06 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST

Buying Stuff Is Just So Yesterday

If you could count the things you can now rent instead of buy, well, you'd run out fingers pretty soon. There's homes, fashion, vehicles, offices, furniture, electronics and, more traditionally, industrial equipment. This new age consumption model -- the AirbnB and Netflix side of the economy -- is the new rage in India, started by a growing army of tech entrepreneurs.

Started during the financial crisis to help people recover financially without giving up on valuable experiences, the renting model has taken on a life of its own. While for certain products, renting is the traditional business model (e.g. equipment, industrial vehicles), most new rental companies cater to the two basic needs of consumers:

• We want to save money, the smarter way

• We want to live our experiences, NOW

That's the thing about a new idea: it always sounds outrageous until it becomes a way of life. And looks like renting is headed that way.

The latter is what has given the movement the thrust it needed to make a place in our hearts. After all, spending that extra 2K on a much deserved night out sounds so much better than saving it up for that special dress, which can be rented for a fraction of the price, right? Even something like moving house doesn't have to cost a bomb. You can experience a quality lifestyle without using up your savings to buy furniture or appliances. This is especially useful for those who need to relocate frequently -- lucrative opportunities have made millennials almost nomadic in nature, except that they don't want to live in tents. Yet, many of us shy away from buying the things we want, not because we can't afford them but because we're reluctant to add their disposal or relocation to our overcrowded task lists.

Unsure of whether you'll be living in a city for a long time? Hate to wear the same dress twice? Don't want to get tied down by EMIs? Have a road trip on your bucket list and no vehicle? First of all, join the club! Second -- rent it. It's a win-win situation, if you don't like the products, you can return them without suffering heavy investment losses. And if you do like the products, you can now access them without saving up.

We know it sounds too good to be true. But that's the thing about a new idea: it always sounds outrageous until it becomes a way of life. And looks like renting is headed that way.

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