Goafest 2019: Moving to city for work no more aspirational for today’s youth: Navin Shenoy

Navin Shenoy, Marketing Head, Youth, Music & English Entertainment, Viacom 18, speaks about MTV Insight Studio that commissions youth insight studies every two years and publishes books on them

e4m by Moumita Bhattacharjee
Updated: Apr 13, 2019 9:21 AM

At Day 2 of Goafest 2019, Navin Shenoy, Marketing Head, Youth, Music & English Entertainment, Viacom 18, spoke about MTV Insight Studio. The studio commissions youth insight studies every two years and publishes books on them. They will soon release a new version. In his session, he spoke about what the youths of India are talking about and what are their beliefs.

Shenoy explains, “What do we do with this data? Firstly, it helps us with choices about our shows. For example, we did a show called Troll Police. Young people realise the fact that being a celebrity doesn’t help. You can still be trolled with messages, pictures and so on. So we put out this show that had celebs face to face with trolls. In doing so, the entire nation saw what motivates these people. What we also do is see how we can offer customised solutions as a brand studio.”

Sharing a few details from this year’s youth study, Shenoy listed some observations. The first one is Bharat Vs India.

Speaking about it, Shenoy shared, “This a very commonplace conversation happening everywhere. Lot of questions around it are coming together. What you need to understand is that in the last 8-10 years, the young middle class has doubled in size and news channels have quadrupled in number. Telephone now reaches every single pincode in the country and so does Amazon in terms of delivery. Content, time and entertainment are reaching to the last ZIP code. You have material goods that will goes down to the last Zipcode.”

The next data was regarding youth preferring to stay at their hometowns for jobs rather than moving to the cities. 

Shenoy revealed, “What we realised is that nearly 10-12 years back, moving to cities was an aspirational move to make it big. Also because we were forced to do so for livelihood. It doesn’t have aspirational value anymore. Now pretty much everyone has someone from their families moving to the cities that gives them livelihood. But as they read news, they now realise that this unanimously is a very crappy place to live.  They understand that it comes with a life of anonymity, which is very contrasting to their lives in the non-metros where people can reach anywhere in a few minutes. Also a lot of mindspace indicators make them believe that young people are succeeding in town.”

Giving out some data in this regard, Shenoy said, “Almost 60% believe that there’s as much opportunity in their town as another city. This is the indication of what they believe. The truth obviously is much lower when you equate it with opportunities. Also because of media hype, they believe there are so many success stories.” 

Shenoy also talked about ‘assisted commerce’.

“Assisted commerce is, let’s say, I am not so tech-savvy and so will employ this young person who is very tech-savvy and has signed up for the assisted commerce business. So what I do is when I say I have an event next week and need a red salwar, you send me links on WhatsApp which I go through and then I click on one of them and actually order it. This triggers an order straight to the company. So when you do assisted commerce you don’t sit on the inventory but sell the goods. These are the opportunities that may not mean that you are a big entrepreneur but there are also little stories about how things are shaping in these times.”

The next theme was around empowerment of women. “There is a lot of conversation around this and there is a belief that things are getting better for girls. Girls no longer find their parents regressive. As parents have started having cellphones, the only person in the house who is willing to be patient and sensible enough to take them through it are the daughters. But that’s not the only reason. What we found surprising is that 49% females said they inform their parents when they go on a date. It is different from the numbers that we saw 8-10 years back,” Shenoy explained.

Shenoy also revealed how, through their studies, they have found out that virginity is no longer the deal breaker. “This is also from the perspective of a girl. It’s not only about the guys as it holds true for girls as well. In 2014, only 64% women believed that same rules should apply to a boy and a girl in a relationship. That number goes up to 94% now. You can see the mind shift from the perspective of a woman. The other one is that in 2016, 42% believed that they should split the bill on a date. This figure has now gone up to 82%.”

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