Youth Inc.

Coming of age

The youth economy is burgeoning. Marketers are scrambling to keep pace with this confounding yet rewarding segment

Published 11 years ago on Jul 07, 2012 16 minutes Read
Illustration by Sahil Bhatia

When 16-year-old Sanay Mehta wrapped up his board examinations in March this year, his father offered him a trip to Dubai or Singapore. He had cousins at both places, neither of which he had visited. Sanay had worked hard the last year and his father was convinced this surprise offer would be well received. But the teenager declined and made a counter offer. Give him half of what the trip would have cost, in cash. The rest would go to his bank account. “Return air fare and an overboard shopping spree would have cost about ₹1 lakh. With my cash wad of ₹50,000, I wanted to buy a pair of football boots, an iPad and upgrade my phone to an Android,” says Sanay. The trip wasn’t all that attractive to him; he would rather take a gap year and go to Europe with friends a few years later than be babysat by an uncle and aunt in Singapore. His father, though shocked, agreed. “He was always going on and on about the foreign trips his friends took. Who knew football boots were more important?” he says.