Deloitte’s 8th annual Millennial Survey shows that Indian millennials and GenZ are among the brightest spots among their global peers. Especially in mature markets, millennials and Gen Zs, facing continuous technological and societal disruption, are disillusioned with traditional institutions, skeptical of business’s motives, and pessimistic about economic and social progress. Despite global economic expansion and opportunity, younger generations are wary about the world and their place in it.
As against their global counterparts, Indian millennials and Gen Zs are very optimistic about the economic and political/social outlook and are overall satisfied with their lives. 59% of millennials and 57% of GenZ in India expect the country’s economic outlook to improve in the next 12 months. The figures stand at 47% and 38% respectively for an improved social/political outlook. Both numbers are significantly higher than the global average.
“I think it is the sea of possibilities that makes our young generation so optimistic, even when they face headwinds. Consequently, they are not afraid to dream and find a way to achieve that dream. The millennial and post-millennial generations in fast-developing countries like India have seen progress and opportunities that previous generations could only imagine, leading to an overall optimism.” says S.V. Nathan, Chief Talent Officer, Deloitte India.
The generation also aspires to make a positive impact in the community and society at large (57% millennials and 77% GenZ). They opine climate change and corruption as being grave concerns, and (in comparison to their global counterparts) are convinced that businesses are best able to solve the world’s most pressing challenges. Interestingly, they are less confident about the ability of universities to the same.
The survey highlights a paradox of sorts when it comes to the perception of Indian millennials and GenZ in relation to Industry 4.0: even though the respondents are confident that they have some or all of the skills that will be needed in the future, they also believe that it will be harder to get or change jobs.
“There is a gap between what is taught in the classroom and what skills are needed on the job. Part of the responsibility is upon organizations, who can address it through technical, industry, professional, and leadership skills training. Coaching and mentoring and on the job assistance helps hugely,” says Nathan. “There is only a certain distance that peer learning can achieve, and we need to recognise that the younger generation has a lot to contribute. So learning should not just be top-down. Reverse mentoring with millennials/GenZs coaching leaders is good way to accomplish this.”
Furthermore, perceptions of loyalty towards their employers have changed over previous generations; millennials and GenZ are more inclined to leave their current place of work in the next two years, and are much more inclined to join the gig economy as compared to global respondents. They also express a keenness to start their own business.
In Nathan’s view, “The word ‘Gig Economy’ may be new, but the concept is not. What has changed is its pace. There may be many professionals who have skills that they feel no single organisation can fully utilise. Besides, the average shelf life of skills is rapidly going down. In order to stay relevant, there is a growing trend to look at gig working as a way of releasing their potential and learning as well. Sourcing and effectively engaging this open talent is incumbent upon organisations. The power now has shifted into the hands of talent at large.”
Social media: Friend or foe?
Indian millennials and GenZ say that they would be physically healthier and happier if they reduced their time on social media, and that social media does more harm than good. Additionally, the generation is concerned about data security and online fraud. 90% of millennials and 87% of GenZ expressed reservations about the security of the personal data that businesses hold on them. 76% millennials and 68% GenZ feel that they have no control over who has their personal data and how it is used.
The Millennial Survey reveals that while the priorities of this “generation disrupted” may have evolved to include more unconventional options, traditional “success markers” of adulthood still feature in the list. This includes the desire for high salaries and to buy their own homes. Importantly, irrespective of the nature of the priority and ambition, a high proportion of millennials and GenZ are confident that their objectives are achievable.
MillZ Mood Monitor
As part of its ongoing research on millennials, and now Gen Z, Deloitte is also unveiling a new tool called the “MillZ Mood Monitor,” which will track respondents’ year-over-year optimism about key political, personal, environmental, and socioeconomic topics. Scores are based on responses related to economic, social/political, personal, environmental, and business sentiments.
In the inaugural Mood Monitor, Indian millennials and GenZ scored significantly higher than their global counterparts. Out of a total of 100, Indian millennials posted a score of 65; GenZ scored 61. Scores were boosted by generally positive feelings regarding personal financial situation and the environment.