India’s “GenY” prefers social networks over watching TV; Chat over Voice

The times, they are a changing and so is the taste of Indian’s Gen Y consumers. As per a survey conducted by TCS, eight out of every ten high school students own mobile phones and more than 40% use mobile phones to access the internet (compared to just 12% in 2009).

The survey was conducted across 12 Indian cities – Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai and Pune, with over 12,300 high school students in ages of 12-18 participated (undertaken from July to December 2011 during the nationwide TCS IT Wiz program) and here are a few interesting highlights of the survey:

- 3 out of 4 students cited “Research for School” as the main reason to access the internet followed by social reasons like chatting/connecting with friends (68%) and listening to music (50%). Over 84% of the students go online from home compared to just 58% (in 2009)

- One-third of all respondents said that Facebook was their preferred site. Other platforms like Orkut and India-based networks like Apnacircle, iBibo and Hi5 are more popular in mini-metros compared to metros.

- India’s urban Gen Next is turning to text and chat as alternatives to voice. 50% of those surveyed in metros said that they used SMS the most to communicate while 45% used IM and 38% used Facebook or Twitter – all significantly higher than the number of students in metros who said they used email (34%) for the same purpose. Reflecting poorer connectivity levels, use of email (55%) in mini-metros continues to higher than metros (34%).

- The least favorite gadget is the television with less than one percent voting for it and the most favorite gadget with 28% votes is the mobile phone!

Gaming consoles are also increasingly becoming popular even in mini-metros with a little over 16% of students owning at least one gaming console as compared to nearly 45% in metros. Music players are also very popular with 60% of the respondents owning them. Tablet PCs and Tabs, though nascent, have penetrated far more intensively in metros with 15% respondents listing it as their choice of device to access with mini-metros at 7%.

Top 10 Trends Percentage
Use Facebook 85
Access internet from home 84
Own mobiles 79
Use internet for school-related research 74
Own and access the internet through a PC 68
Use internet for chat / to connect 68
Make voice calls to communicate 59
Use email as a tool of communication 45
Prefer IT as the first option for a career 34
Spend more than an hour on the internet everyday 33

- more details here.

PS: Before you blindly trust the survey, read this: Why and how to read survey reports? [Data, Intuition and Truth]