Ventured out to party yesterday night! Yup; I know it was a Monday night.But, it was the day, when a very old & close friend with whom time had intervened to grow the distance but the absence had served us well; called to invite us for his son’s 18th Birthday.

To make it happening, the previous Saturday was decided, however he had already planned it out with his buddies to have a happening party in town, so off they went, hence the Monday

A fair amount of gathering already in place by the time we reached the venue a popular sports theme place in the lokhandwala area of Andheri.

After the usual back slapping, sat back to my favorite pastime – watching people & more important the way they behave – CONSUMERS – I divided them into 3 categories here –

1) 40+ The parents, their friends, colleagues etc.

a. Few of them tried to act as teenagers, but their bodies gave them away

b. Most of them were happy, having decent amount of alcohol, tit bits, chat away, exchange notes, whilst complaining about the music, politics, roads etc.

2) 15 – 21 The Birthday boy, his friends, the teenagers who worked in the place, maybe a couple of gate crashers….

a. Time started at 9

b. Were reasonably well dressed by today standards,

c. Polite to the T

d. Mostly asked for beers, cocktails, with a couple of non drinkers & some drinkers who said, they had to go easy since they would go late & did not want to risk accidents.

3) Sub 15 – The younger generation.

a. Dressed for partying

b. Opted for the most exotic, outlandish Mocktails – surprise all of them perfectly pronounced (I could not some of them)

c. Immediately went up to the DJ & said …. Music not happening etc.(very self assured & specific)

Then the Dancing started with Sub 15 leading & grooving. Just looking at them put the 40+ in a tizzy. In fact some parents were surprised at the moves themselves.

The 15 – 21 were quietly playing Pool & other assorted games. On enquiring, they came back with some answers that were direct enough & some I surmised.

* They were finally getting a chance to play Pool without interruptions – mind you some of them were real hustlers
* There was still time for them to start dancing – translated, they have enough dancing opportunities

Then by a unanimous vote, the hip hop, reggae etc was relegated to the back & the ever popular, Kajra re & the rest of bollywood swung into action with the floor getting over heated till an end had to be called & everyone had to be forced out to dinner!

Some learning’s on these consumers that got reinforced:

a) Today’s Indian consumer has got pretty intelligent; smart & younger.

b) Very Specific, focused, detail oriented.

c) Extremely knowledgeable

d) Confident & not scared of taking the less trodden path

e) Financially savvy.

But the million dollar question is do we really know these consumers; future consumers & are we making any efforts to connect with them?

Maybe at some level yes, but the aping of the west & expecting it to work does not seem to be the solution

Written by AD
ex waiter, angadia, travel agent, dotcomer, dukaandaar, marketeer, people watcher. appreciates single malt, food, friends