Ukraine top concern for Indians now: Kantar

Climate and environmental issues have emerged among the top 3 concerns in India even as people seem to have learnt to live with the Covid virus. Globally, 64% people rate Ukraine as their top concern.

Ukraine top concern for Indians now: Kantar
A further 71% of the people believed inflation will continue to rise.

By Alokananda Chakraborty

It’s not the pandemic anymore that’s a reason for worry for the Indians. According to Kantar’s Global Issues Barometer, the invasion of Ukraine is the top most concern for Indians, followed by economic worries.

The report states that 37% of people listed Ukraine as their top concern, followed by 29% for whom economic issues are a worry. Climate and environmental issues have emerged among the top 3 concerns in India even as people seem to have learnt to live with the Covid virus. Globally, 64% people rate Ukraine as their top concern.

Soaring prices of fuel, food and drink that have driven up bills has been a big bother for Indian households. While 35% of the population reported their household financial situation was deteriorating, 46% said the general economic outlook of the country was negative. People are struggling to meet their living costs, with 32% of households experiencing difficulties meeting their monthly outgoings and 11% unable to meet their commitments. A further 71% of the people believed inflation will continue to rise.

Given the strain on finances, luxury goods, entertainment and holidays look likely to be the sectors to suffer. Almost half of the households (41%) were considering regulating entertainment subscriptions — one industry that did well during the pandemic. Almost three-fourths of those surveyed said the current turmoil is impacting their big life plans: saving for big future life events (47%), children’s education (27%) and retirement plans (24%).

The reports says the impact of the current circumstances lies as much in the future as in the present and can influence not just people’s financial but also their emotional well-being. Brands must, therefore, recognise what matters in people’s lives and examine their relevance in supporting the consumer overcome these challenges, adds the report.

There is sliver of hope as two-thirds of people in India feel secure in their jobs and expect pay rise that will match inflation.
“This is one reason why people in India remain cautiosly optimistic,” says Soumya Mohanty, managing director, South Asia, insights division, Kantar. “Global events are affecting the short-term spending behaviour of people as well as their long-term plans. So the sense of prudence is deepening among them and they have begun to trim corners. But Indians feel much safer and are more optimistic about personal financial situation than the rest of the world.”

According to the report, 29% of Indians said they had reduced the amount of money put into savings (against a global figure of 21%), while 25% (against a global figure of 18%) were working longer hours or have taken up extra shifts/jobs to get by.

Kantar’s new study analysed 800 people’s attitudes in India and contrasted it to 11,000 across 19 countries (representing 68% of global GDP) as they rode the roller-coaster of global events. The study asked open-ended questions and used Kantar’s proprietary technology tools to analyse the responses.

The survey had interesting pointers about India’s reaction to climate issues. Around two-third Indians experienced what they called eco-anxiety and were more anxious about climate change than the rest of the world. That said, in India, there was “a strong sense of shared responsibility among the government, the general public and businesses to tackle climate issues,” said the report.

The survey also detected tension between people’s engagement with eco-friendly solutions and the affordability of green options among brands.

“For responsible consumption to become mainstream, brands must propose their green offer at a price point the mass market can afford,” the report said.

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