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Indians are now confident consumers and savers

LiveMint logoLiveMint 05-06-2014 Standard Chartered

A study by Standard Chartered of 5,000 affluent and emerging affluent middle-class consumers across five markets—Indonesia, India, Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya—offers insight into their aspirations such as appetite to travel, invest in a new car, grow their wealth and buy luxury goods.

High on the wishlist across these five countries were buying a new car or motorcycle, saving more and ensuring better education for their children. At least seven in 10 Indonesians, Indians, Nigerians and Ghanaians plan to spend on buying a new vehicle. Across all five countries, education is seen as a gateway to providing a better future and ensuring greater wealth and opportunities. A majority of consumers intend to spend their increased savings on the best possible education for their children, and at least 50% of Indonesians, Indians, Nigerians and Ghanaians feel certain that they can afford their choice of school or university in the next five years.

While most respondents across the five countries were confident of an improvement in economic situation, Indians topped the charts—eight in 10 said they expect to become wealthier in the next five years. Almost 82% of the 1,000 Indians surveyed said they were confident of the country’s growth prospects. The positive sentiment is further conveyed from the fact that while 76% Indian respondents felt that their personal economic situation improved in the past five years, a much bigger 88% think that the next five years are going to be good.

Saving and spending

With more income, Indians expect to save as well as spend more—while a good 38% said they will save more, and 8% said they will spend more, more than half (52%) expect to save and spend. The fact that saving is an important tool was only reiterated when more than half the respondents (54%) felt that increasing the amount they save is what will lead to make them feel wealthier. A 14% said living in a neighbourhood of their choice will make them feel wealthier, 28% voted for owning things such as car, accessories, clothes and gadgets of choice. Apart from these, Indians said they expect to take more domestic and foreign holidays, international business trips, buy a new vehicle and invest more in the next five years versus the previous five years. In terms of travel destination, places in India are the most popular with 47% respondents choosing them, followed by Europe (41%) and Asean countries (39%). For business travel, India and the Americas are the top choices (27% each), followed by Europe (24%).

Education and tech

Confidence among the 1,000 respondents was high also in terms of another big expense—children’s education. A majority (89%) said they will be able to meet this expense in the next five years, and 90% said they could afford it today as well. Only 8% said they were unlikely to be able to afford their children’s education.Paras Jain/Mint

Be it buying more gadgets or using technology in another way, Indians said technology will play a pivotal role in both personal and national economic prospects. Among all the five countries, Indians expect to use technology the most for financial matters, and others—be it online banking (72%), shopping (72%), education (52%), keeping in touch with news (70%) or social networking (84%).

Standard Chartered partnered with GlobeScan, an independent global research consultancy, to conduct this study. Fieldwork took place between 30 January and 25 February 2014 via face-to-face interviews (in Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya) and online surveys (in Indonesia and India). For India, “affluent” description is those whose household income is upwards of `60,000 a month, while an “emerging affluent” are defined as those whose household income is `25,000-59,999 a month.

Edited excerpts from report named ‘The new emerging market consumer—confident, aspirational and ready to spend’ by Standard Chartered.

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