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India's 'Plurals' influence parents

News, 17 May 2016

MUMBAI: Indian children are increasingly influencing parental purchasing decisions in categories ranging from consumer durables to travel destinations, new research has shown.

The New Generations 2016 study, conducted by Turner International India, talked to 6,690 respondents and included feedback from 7-14 year olds themselves and parents of 4-14 year-old kids, across 29 cities.

It termed children born between 1997 and 2015 'The Plurals', a cohort "defined by the new and different career choices, higher spending power, strong world awareness and being socially active".

They are comfortable growing up in an increasingly digital and connected world. Nine in ten lived in homes with a mobile phone, Mint reported, and 71% were users of mobile phones, whether their own or those of other family members.

Gaming was the most popular online activity on mobile, followed by calls, listening to music, texting and watching videos.

The survey also revealed that around one third of children downloaded applications and seven in ten of these were downloading paid apps, a development made possible by a doubling in the amount of pocket money they received.

Some things haven't changed, however, with television still the number one media choice, watched by 97% of respondents; and half of parents polled watched television with their children every day, most of them (80%) closely monitoring their kids' viewing.

That wish to keep tabs on children's activities was even more evident in social media, where 94% monitored their child's usage of social networking sites, a task that becomes ever more difficult as children increasingly use the personal screens of mobile devices.

Rahul Sachdev, director/research at Turner International India, remarked on a paradox. "At one end, the Plurals are more independent, better informed and are more aware of what's going on in the world. And at the other end of the spectrum are the parents who are struggling to keep pace with and monitor what their children are doing."

At the same time, parents increasingly find themselves being influenced by their children in what they choose to buy, the Business Standard noted.

For example, 78% of kids helped their parents choose a travel destination. And their impact was also widespread in the consumer goods category, where around six in ten have an opinion on household appliances, rising to around seven in ten for motorcycles or scooters.

Data sourced from Mint, Business Standard; additional content by Warc staff