Business Today

From the editor

Our sample size was 11,370 men from across 35 Indian towns and the survey, commissioned in June 2007, took nearly five months to complete.

Sanjoy Narayan        Print Edition: December 30, 2007

Last summer, when market research veteran Raghu Roy, who founded and heads Monitoring and Research Systems (MaRS), came to us with a proposal to launch a joint survey of the Indian male, we readily agreed. After all, an extensive and large-scale survey of men's habits and attitudes towards buying, working and living, among other things, had probably never been done in India. Men account for more than half the population and a survey of their attitudes and habits, we reckoned, would probably be of interest to companies and professionals, particularly those who are active marketers. So, we decided to do it on a big scale. Our sample size was 11,370 men from across 35 Indian towns and the survey, commissioned in June 2007, took nearly five months to complete.

The results of the survey, we believe, capture the current state of mind of the Indian male. Being the first survey of its kind, there are, sadly, no precedents to compare the findings with. But many of these findings have come as quite a surprise. You may not raise an eyebrow if we said 50 per cent of men in northern India would like to be rich enough to buy anything they want, but would you have expected the most brand conscious Indian males to be living in Chennai, a city that is stereotyped as being ultra conservative?

As well as finding how materialistic or price sensitive Indian males are, our survey also digs under the skin to find out about their anxieties. An overwhelming three-quarter of middle-aged men that we surveyed said they cannot be sure of what support they can expect from their children. As much as 64 per cent of married men said they worried about their job security, while just 9 per cent of them cared about their own physical appearances. There are dollops of cynicism too in our survey results: 80 per cent of men in the North felt hard work is no guarantee for success. As there is deep-rooted conservatism: more than half the men we surveyed said arranged marriages were the best, while almost the same proportion believed women should stay at home!

Our package starts with an infographic representation of the study's findings and then explores some of the most important themes that the survey has brought to light: how the young Indian male prioritises his work and life; why many men think nothing of frequent job-hopping and relocation; how the affluent 40 plus Indian men are living it up trying to catch up on lost time; how obsessed most Indian men are with their careers; how, contrary to what you may have thought, things are swingin' in the south; and, of course, what the Indian male buys, how he buys and why he buys.

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