The COVID-19 pandemic has radically altered our everyday behaviour, perhaps forever. However, despite the challenges and economic upheavals witnessed in the last two years, millennials have proven themselves as the most resilient generation. Millennials, who also represent the country’s largest workforce, have showcased the grit and resolve to bounce back and kick-start the economy.
More than 84% Indian millennials have stepped up their wealth-management strategy in a bid to prepare for future contingencies while eyeing opportunities for stronger and sustainable growth in the post-pandemic world, says a latest survey by Mumbai-based AI-driven financial wellness platform CASHe.
The pan-India survey, titled ‘Millennial Mood Index 2021’, was conducted among more than 30,000 customers on CASHe’s platform, aimed to capture the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and how it has altered the everyday behaviour of millennials across a variety of topics like health, travel, shopping, savings and credit appetite among others. More than 65% of the responses were received from the metro markets of Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Pune and Chennai while the rest 35% were received from other tier-2 and tier-3 towns
While the majority of millennials have grown to become more cautious towards finances amid the pandemic, the survey also highlights the progression of saving and insurance awareness among the cohort.While 52% of the respondents said they have scaled up their savings, 35% have purchased comprehensive health and life insurance plans whereas the remaining 13% have committed to more extensive investment programmes.
The pandemic coupled with ‘work from home’ culture has also triggered health consciousness among Indian millennials. The survey says that more than 71% of millennials have grown more health conscious amid the pandemic. In their pursuit for a healthier life, a huge chunk of the cohort have switched to new lifestyle changes. 54% respondents said they now prefer eating home-made healthy food, 28% have adapted to regular walks or some form of daily exercise. 11% of respondents said they have adopted yoga and meditation, the rest 7% have registered at a nearby gym.
When asked about going back to work in the post-pandemic order, 68% of the respondents stated that they are more than eager to get back to the physical world and operate from their offices. While 15% preferred to continue with the work from home practice and the rest 17% stated they favoured a hybrid model of functioning whilst visiting office once or twice a week.
When prodded about eating out at restaurants, more than 52% of the respondents said that even if they eat outside, they would prefer restaurants that observe health, safety and social distancing norms. 22% said they have got habituated to ordering food online and prefer it that way as they can enjoy it from the comfort of their home, while observing the necessary safety norms. Whereas 26% of the respondents continue to be cautious and have been avoiding eating outside at all.
After almost two years of uncertainties and travel ban, the survey showcases huge pent up demand among millennials for availing a getaway vacation. More than 56% of the respondents stated they are planning a vacation early this year as soon as the current surge in the COVID-19 cases eases out. In terms of travel destination preferences, 71% stated they were heading for a domestic destination, 9% preferred an international destination while 20% respondents hadn’t yet made up their mind.
Showing a clear shift in millennial shopping behaviour altered by the pandemic, the report stated that 38% of the respondents have permanently shifted to shopping online as they now prefer it that way. While 17% still favoured the idea of physical shopping, 45% preferred a mix of both depending on what they wanted to buy.
V Raman Kumar, founder chairman, CASHe says the unwavering “can do” spirit of millennials is what has put them at the global centre stage while showcasing India as the largest millennial market to lure in brands across the globe. "They are not just aspirational, but are a very responsible cohort seeking to reimagine old orders. Millennials have the potential to redefine India’s investment and consumption story, which will play a critical role in shaping our country’s economy in the post-pandemic era,” he added.