India’s economy is growing at a record rate! All business channels are talking about India’s ROBUST CONSUMPTION STORY! The young Indian is unafraid, impatient, knows what he wants and gets it! That’s because Indians have started earning good sums of money. And those Indians want to spend on luxury, on enjoyment, on what they deserve. We Indians are living up to expectations! We’re buying expensive consumables; we’re going on expensive vacations, compromising on nothing less than expensive brands for perfumes, clothes, electronics, mobile phones, laptops or anything else.
There are 2 concepts in economics – Conspicuous Consumption & Conscientious Consumption. The former is applicable when brand equity overshadows value for money as consumers want to be seen using snob value goods. This is what was applicable in developed countries until now. However, it’s now more applicable in India while the latter (conscientious consumption) is applicable today in developed countries. Conscientious Consumption is when value and functionality of goods has more weightage in consumers’ minds than the brand.
Indians today are splurging on expensive branded goods, on weddings, vacations, durables, cars, houses, furniture, etc. More people are encouraged to buy more than they can afford because of loan schemes being offered on everything. So we buy all we want, keep paying off the loans and live on a paycheck – to – paycheck basis. But what’s the ulterior motive in this?
This logic gets me to another point. In the desire to own more, we start putting up with all sorts of crap at our jobs. True, we job hop… but we’re still working for others. This yearning for money to buy more ensures we do what the higher ups want us to, the way they want us to, when and how they want us to. Some of us try being entrepreneurs, but how many of us seriously risk all we have for something we’re passionate about? The fear of losing it all has been instilled in us by those very big guns. So we toe in line and do not venture off in directions which might make it hard for them to retain talent for less. This is the same reason why the education curriculum does not get revamped either. They (politicians, big industrialists, etc.) want us to retain the mindset of learning all we NEED to for a JOB. We focus on placements, salaries, etc. and continue doing the work they have chalked out for us to fatten their pockets. We are exposed to redundant educational curriculum to ensure we learn doing things the way they were and are being done. Innovation is barely ever encouraged, unless it makes money for the big bosses.
We’re being conned gradually, and we don’t even know it. The bigwigs don’t want us to think. They act like they’re offering us a lot of freedom, but it’s all well orchestrated. We spend; we make money for banks, industries, the government. The savings in U.S.A. has come down drastically from 8% of the GDP some years ago to less than 0.5% now. All because of this Conspicuous Consumption. The repercussions are the average American $22,000 being in debt and has led to Occupy Wall Street and other protest rallies. The format is now pilfering down to us. Are we prepared to see the truth the way it is? Or are we going to learn the hard way! I guess only time will tell…