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Higher disposable income leads to a protein-rich diet

Rajesh Shukla and Mridusmita Bordoloi | The Financial Express | November 27, 2015
India ranks as the sixth largest food market in the world, pegged at an estimated R12.2 lakh crore in FY2015. It is expected to grow to R16.6 lakh crore over the years and further expand to R21.8 lakh crore by FY26 at 2014-15 prices. We are also the largest global consumers of dairy products, pulses, sugar and spices...
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The changing dynamics of India’s consumer economy

Rajesh Shukla and Mridusmita Bordoloi | New Delhi | November 20, 2015
For a consumer demand-driven economy such as India, understanding consumption patterns is key to predicting economic growth. In recent years, the linkages between slow economic growth, high inflation and consumer demand have been more than evident. While demand for products can be measured in both volume and value terms, it is difficult to quantify demand for public goods and services such as education, health, etc...
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Financial inclusion: Focus on Middle India

Rajesh Shukla | New Delhi | November 13, 2015
Most analyses of the Indian consumer economy tend to focus on the middle-class on the presumption that this consumer segment comprises the biggest chunk of the Indian consumer population. However, nothing could be further from the truth. The “Indian Middle Class and the Rich” comprise just the top 20% of the Indian population...
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Rich vs poor consumption story: A study of contrasts

Rajesh Shukla | The Financial Express | November 06, 2015
Domestic consumption has been the key driver of India’s economic growth in the past couple of decades. While this has put the spotlight on the middle class and their consumption patterns, there is a tiny segment of households whose purchasing power has been growing significantly. According to the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report, about 0.3% of the population (or 2.4 million people) accounts for net worth of over $1,00,000...
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Working towards better life satisfaction

Rajesh Shukla | The Financial Express | October 30, 2015
What constitutes life satisfaction? Income and employment-related matters are perhaps among the most obvious factors that contribute towards household well-being and life satisfaction. However, it would be wrong to say that high income alone equals high life satisfaction. For example, if the monthly pay package of a CEO rises by Rs 1,000, it would make little difference to him...
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Financial inclusion only when service providers raise awareness

Rajesh Shukla | The Financial Express | October 23, 2015
The shift in political rhetoric from poverty alleviation to financial inclusion is a subtle but significant change. While previous governments waxed eloquent about eradicating poverty, the current one has focused on the agenda of ‘financial inclusion for all’. The launch of the ambitious Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana, under the National Mission for Financial Inclusion, is aimed at ensuring access to financial services by providing a host of benefits including a bank savings account, life insurance and debit cards for all...
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Education is a marker of household and societal well-being

Rajesh Shukla | The Financial Express | October 16, 2015
Financial inclusion is the buzzword that has found favour with successive governments. According to official figures, the current government’s Jan-Dhan Yojana has resulted in increasing the number of bank accounts by more than two times, from 68.7 million in October 2014 to 169 million in July 2015. Affordable personal accident and life insurance cover also figure prominently among the government’s initiatives...
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Financial risk continues to dog Indian households

Rajesh Shukla | The Financial Express | October 09, 2015
Financial inclusion is the buzzword that has found favour with successive governments. According to official figures, the current government’s Jan-Dhan Yojana has resulted in increasing the number of bank accounts by more than two times, from 68.7 million in October 2014 to 169 million in July 2015. Affordable personal accident and life insurance cover also figure prominently among the government’s initiatives...
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Linking work-related mobility with well-being

Rajesh Shukla | The Financial Express | October 2, 2015
Indians are perhaps the most mobile people globally. The Indian Railways alone—which is the third-largest railway network in the world—carries 23 million passengers over the length and breadth of the country daily. According to the 2011 Census, the number of internal migrants—people who migrated from one location to another within the country—soared to 400 million and was nearly double that of the estimated number of internal migrants in China...
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Transitioning to a cashless economy not a walkover

Rajesh Shukla | The Financial Express | September 25, 2015
Cash is still king in India. While finance minister Arun Jaitley has highlighted the need for making India a cashless economy to rein in the problem of black money, there are huge challenges in turning this desire into a reality...
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