Sunday, February 1, 2009

WE, THE HYBRIDS...aren't we???

For last few days I had been thinking of writing again. But the traditional paper and pen thing is too tiresome for a lazy bone like me so it got delayed. There are a lot of things to write about, where should I start from... From Oscars to Obama-mania, from Slumdog Millionaire to SRK over-hype, from terrorism to extremely irritating and disturbing peace marathons (wow! busy Celebes have time to run, but have to time for worthwhile things!).

India is changing that’s true. We are the hybrid children; I mean to say the hybrid generation. Because when liberalization, privatization and globalization (LPG) happened in 1991, we were quite small and while we were really growing up; the changes were too fast to keep pace with, and too dominant to ignore, no matter how much our parents wanted to insulate us from new fads. Like the pundits of consumer behavior have classified generations as baby boomers etc, I too have a management jargon ready: ‘The hybrid kids’. By definition these are the people born between 1980 to 1990. We have been a witness to all the changes and developments, actual and proposed (though their ratio is never balanced!) and the small changes that have been taking ever since India opened up her veil to face the entire world. These developments have been interesting and reflect the changing India. From cinema to small screen and from the way common people now dress and eat to the gizmos even the kids use with remarkable dexterity. Children now have a strong mentality of their own and are followers no more and this has been a dominant factor in shaping the consumer behavior and consequently, the strategies the brand retailers now apply. Well, actually that’s not the main focus of my article; it is, do hybrid kids feel some sort of identity crisis?? Yup, I feel so... That’s where we crib of the generation gap.

Is it true?

The rate of change has been exponential. Since around start of nineteenth century the machines won over the traditional labor and ever since, have not stopped churning millions of units of homogenous products. The trend has since been on acceleration, particularly after the WW-II. To absorb all this new tactics of selling, branding, creative advertising, etc., or what we can call ‘neo-marketing’, etc was created. The still young and potential markets in the countries like India and China are being targeted by the marketers the world over. Luxury brands that once considered coming to India an insult and down gradation are now flocking as their snobbish markets are now facing recession and saturation.

What I wish to convey in this article is that though changes have been exponential, gaining much force and momentum with each passing year, month and even week, the generation that has observed and felt both the pre- and neo-changes is us, the children born between 1980-1990, for we have seen combined and nuclear families, docile and fiercely independent women within the same families, Hamara Bajaj and Hayabusa, Ek Chidia to Shakira, Mile sur mera tumhara to Rolling Stones rock concerts, no to full makeup, long to micro minis and what not !

I mean, no other generation have seen changes so paradigm. The previous generation saw changes taking place slowly without disturbing their existing balance but we have been on a roller coaster ride ever since we were born.

And our growing up years have witnessed a changing environment outside and a tiff between traditional and modern lifestyles at home…
isn’t it true that we face an identity crisis? What do u think?


  1. hi AS excellent analysis man. I was born in mid 80's and must admit even I have been through some identity crisis. Unfortunately I was too small when LPG era begin in 1991, so never really got a feel of the change in socio-economic segment of the society...by the time I could get a hang of everything LPG trends had become deep-rooted in India. However, there is one thing that will always remain in my memory and that is Doordarshan (ek chidiya anek chidiya, jungle book and mahabharat) I miss them now despite having a choice of watching loads of TV channels.

  2. hi Gayathri

    thanks for such a thoughtful comment firstly..:)

    yes I feel we (the hybrids) live in two diff types of worlds, our families and all the adults create a diff atmosphere (home) and we and our social circle create another diff. envr (outside), leading to some sort of an identity confusion a.k.a crisis.. :)

    and haan I too loved ek chidiya, I stll remember singing it as .. .'ek chiliya anek chiliya ...bahut saali chiliya' whenever I used to see any bird(s) in our balcony :)and the jungle book, was the only motivation for me to get up a little early, do u remember 'kahani leloooo'??

    mahabharat is aired these days on fox history channel in the evenings..:)

  3. v nice and elaborated article...

  4. Excellent article. We had very little; yet so satisfied. I used to wait the whole week to watch Alice In Wonderland, Tales Pin and Duck Tales on Sunday. We did not have a TV; I used to run 1/2 a km to a house which had a small B/W TV. Who can forget "Mile Sur Mera Tumhara"? I long for it to be aired on DD now. Also the "Hamara Bajaj" during the same time Pepsi came to India with "Yehi hain right choice baby...Aaha"...
    And now the rapid change, I truly feel we need to pat ourselves for taking in all these paradigm shift so seamlessly...

  5. hi
    thanks :)

    yes more we can have, more we wish to have ... no stop to greed in today's dog-eats-dog world :(

    yaa but whatever, we are good in adopting changes :) I agree wid u dear :D

  6. Hi Aditi,
    me too belong to the same generation and would like to congratulate and thank you for taking me through the memory lane :)
    Mile sur....., jungle book, duck tales, Talespin, Chidiya ek have all been an integral part of our childhood...
    to that advertisement list I would also like to add the 'Nirma' ad... "washing powder nirma...." :)
    I think for rather than it being a identity crisis it was more of a blessing where we can relate to different lifestyle and take up the best out of it.... It (the LPG era) provided us with a plenty of flavours to relish.... :) :)
    Keep writing inspite of the Laziness... :)

  7. hii
    thanks for this wonderful comment and I hope ur visit to the memory lane was interesting :)

    we are good at adopting changes .. thats why we Indians can survive anywhere and anything :)