The segment under review this week in the series of 33 consumer segments is G2, urban households whose chief wage earners are married, but without children, either unskilled workers or skilled workers with only primary school education.
Though all the chief wage earners in this segment are married, a little more than half of them live alone, and their spouses are still with families in villages or smaller towns.
Also See |Indicus Analytics Research (Graphic )
Those who are married, with young children, fall into either segment G3 or H1, with skilled workers in the former bracket and unskilled workers in the latter; these two segments will be taken up in the following weeks in this series.
G2 is quite a large segment, at least 1.5 million households comprising a little over 2% of India’s urban households. However, the size of households is very small, just one or two members, depending on whether the spouse is living in the city or not. Incomes are low, skills are few and education limited, more than half
have barely completed primary school. Even when the spouses live in the cities, most of them are not working and most of these households run on single incomes. Almost all the households earn less than Rs3 lakh a year,meagre savings are to be sent home or built up to bring the spouses to the city and to start families.
Half of their income goes in food expenses, typical of low income households. As less than one-fourth own their homes, rent takes up another 16% of the budget. There are those who would be living in employer-owned premises and are given meals as well; however, the majority of households in the G2 segment spend a large part of their income, 70%, on just the most basic necessities—food, clothes and housing.
Transport and medicines are other important parts of the expenses, leaving hardly anything for consumer durables and other “luxury” items. Where do such low skilled or unskilled people find jobs in the city? Not all do, 30% of them are not in regular salaried jobs and depend on contractual wage work that brings in uncertain and irregular income.
Also See | G2 Segment
Often skills are learnt as they go along, and these households begin to earn more. However, often these people stagnate at the lowest rungs and do not grow at all. In fact, almost 10% of the chief wage earners in this segment are in the age group of 45-54 years; these are people who are more than halfway through their careers and clearly lack the ability and capacity to move up the income ladder.
Almost onethird of the chief wage earners are employed in manufacturing; these would predominantly be jobs in the unorganized sector. Twenty-one per cent of those in this segment are employed in construction and
real estate activities—most likely in jobs that require physical labour—while those with some skills would work under contractors as plumbers, carpenters, glaziers and so on. Trade, both wholesale and retail, and transport and communication are the next two most important sectors, each taking up around 12-15% of the jobs in this segment.
Here again, the work profile would require more physical labour than any high skills. One-fourth of these households have chief wage earners who are self-employed, running small stores or stalls on the roadside, selling goods and services of the lowest quality, but catering to a large demand out there, providing the street experience that is unique to Indian cities.
Indicus Analytics Research graphic by Shyamal Banerjee/Mint
G2 segment graphic by Ahmed Raza Khan/Mint
—Indicus Indian Consumer Spectrum Series-XXX
This series is brought to you by research firm Indicus Analytics Pvt. Ltd