Need to UnOwn

The set of people born in the 60’s and 70’s are a unique set. They were the last generation to listen to their parents and the first to listen to their children.

But the generation born in the late 80’s and 90’s and those in the second millennia are a unique breed. They need to unown everything or at least most things.

Uber is an American transportation company whose disruptive mobile application connects people who need rides with drivers who are willing to offer them. The company has enjoyed amazing growth and is currently well entrenched in the Indian consumer mind space. When you have a taxi service at your doorstep, why own a car.

Can we blame technology to be the perpetrator? While it acts as an initiator, it definitely spawns a breed of a new cultural and behavioral paradigm. Is the next gen starting to think differently about what it means to “own” something? Another factor to consider is cost. Why pay upfront or get saddled with EMIs for buying a house, owning a car and much more.

Will technology and lifestyle harbinger the culmination of proprietorship? Or simply put “UnOwn”.

The generation of today is likely to be “Defer Marriage for Career”, “Live-In” or “DINK for Max Time” on the social hierarchy.

How does that resonate with buying behavior?

Let’s evaluate the current status quo. The current government has pushed for developing multiple smart cities. The dominance of Mumbai and to some extent New Delhi as the economic and commercial capitals is over. Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Chandigarh are all hot work destinations today. And the number of cities that would be gargantuan job and lifestyle destinations will rise over the coming decade. The Make-in-India when envisioned and manifested in full glory will accelerate such trends.

With the rise in quality education across even Tier IV towns, there emerges a burgeoning mass of qualified youth heading towards cities. Now, where do they stay? This gives a spurt to the rental business. Now how do you travel? The Uber and their home-grown ilk… What do they eat? Most of the times….outside food. Dine-in, tiffin services, neighbourly Aunt, fast food, etc.

The underlying drivers for this “outsourced ownership “culture is convenience and new. Why own, drive and maintain a car when you get a Wi-Fi, AC car with driver at the click of an app. Why buy a home and when you can choose a home next to office. One does not know which city or location where might be next. With both partners working, is there a time to eat and cook. Late nights due to work deadlines or social pursuits deter the drive to enter the kitchen and cook. Think of it, how many girls in their 20’s today attempt to cook like their moms or in-laws. Leave aside the interest and passion for the same.

This phenomenon is well entrenched into corporate echelons as well. Today outsourced marketing is being pondered upon by SMEs. Large conglomerates outsource payroll, compensation, etc. to outsourced HR firms. Small companies are outsourcing CFO functions. Manufacturing is outsourced.

The “UnOwn” phenomenon maybe just a decade away to get genetically embedded onto the second millennial generation.

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