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The smallest urban segment

The smallest urban segment
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First Published: Mon, Apr 05 2010. 01 15 AM IST

Updated: Mon, Apr 05 2010. 09 39 AM IST
This week, we take up the smallest urban consumer segment—E1. Last week we looked at the D1 segment, wherein the graduate or postgraduate chief wage earners are skilled workers, not professionals, are young, single or married without children, and live in joint families. The E1 segment comprises a similar age group, but with lower education—the chief wage earner is a school-educated businessperson, is single and lives in a joint family.
Also See | Indicus Analytics Research (Graphic)
The smallest urban segment, E1 comprises just 55,000 households across the country, with a total population of 190,000 people. Such fine segregation brings out the peculiar characteristics of each segment in SEC E: segments with the same educational and occupational classification, but where the chief wage earner is older—middle aged and above—make for large segments, ranking within the top 10 in size among urban segments. To mention just one fact that stands out in contrast to the E2 segment, which is comprised of those who are married without children and live in a joint family—house ownership is much higher in E1 than E2.
Three-quarters of the chief wage earners in E1 are below 34 years of age, and they are all single, but live with others in the family. Yet, the household size is small—nearly 60% have just two or three members. Seventy-one percent of households have no seniors at all and 65% have no minors. These are households where family members live together while they work (51% households have two or more members employed), study or are training for some kind of vocational career.
Also See | E1 Segment (Graphic)
The educational qualifications of all the adults in the household is low, with just 5% possessing some graduate degree; the vast majority have barely completed some level of schooling.
With such low education, occupational choices are also limited and 90% of the chief wage earners are self-employed. This is not a reflection on entrepreneurship qualities but instead points to the low employability of these young men (chief wage earners are predominantly male). A little over one-third work in manufacturing—this would point to small garages, welding units, electricians, fitters, etc., while 28% operate in the wholesale and retail trade sector—small shops, roadside vendors, etc. Fourteen percent of the chief wage earners work in the construction and real estate business, and here again, the scale of activity will be low, though those who are savvy may have graduated to becoming small contractors Of the chief wage earners, 10% are involved in the transport and communication sector—autorickshaw and taxi drivers, wiremen, etc. There are very few in this segment who are employed by the government or in large companies—just 5% in fact.
Clearly, the income levels and the distribution of income point to these households being much lower than the segments we have discussed till date. Total income in 82% of these households is less than Rs3 lakh per year. The median household income of Rs1.09 lakh per year ranks 20th among the 33 consumer segments.
Another interesting aspect that comes to light in this segment is that these households are more concentrated in smaller cities and towns. While the large urban centres do rank at the top—the highest population of E1 is in Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Coimbatore—cities like Jaipur, Ludhiana, Nashik, Madurai, Rajkot, Agra and Meerut appear in the top 25. These towns are magnets for those with limited education and skills, providing relatively larger scope for earning for those who have moved from nearby villages or smaller towns in the same state.
Indicus Analytics Research graphic by Shyamal Banerjee/Mint
E1 Segment graphic by Ahmed Raza Khan/Mint
Indicus Indian Consumer Spectrum Series-XVI
This series is brought to you by research firm Indicus Analytics Pvt. Ltd-
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First Published: Mon, Apr 05 2010. 01 15 AM IST