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Why we need to start talking about Indian millennials

India is one of the youngest countries in the world, thanks to its population of over 400 million millennials. Being in such great numbers shows how this demographic makes their country a huge well of untapped potential. What is it that makes millennials the true influencers, and what is their greatest obstacle?

In this interview, author (and millennial) Vivaan Marwaha answers some key questions about how he worked on this book and the method of writing and researching about such a massive data set.

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What Millennials Want||Vivan Marwaha

Born between 1981 and 1996, roughly numbering more than 440 million, Indian millennials are without any doubt the largest millennial cohort on the planet.

But how much do we know about this generation? India’s youth is India’s future, but in order to build a prosperous future, we need to comprehensively understand the economic aspirations, social views, and political attitudes of the young Indians who will take the country forward.

Like every other generation in India, millennials are incredibly diverse: with not just significant economic division, but also important linguistic, regional, caste, gender and religious differences, which make the generation difficult to understand as a cohesive group.

Yet millennials have the potential to be India’s most significant generation. If you’re not convinced about why they could become the country’s most important—and potentially most disruptive—generation, consider some of these numbers.

India’s median age, according to a 2021 estimate by the CIA World Factbook, is twenty-eight years. This means that half of its population is under the age of twenty-eight. By contrast, the median age in the world’s top three economies— namely, the United States, China, and Japan—is thirty-eight, thirty-seven and forty-seven years respectively. Among the top ten economies in the world, India has the youngest population followed distantly by Brazil, which has a median age of thirty-two years. By 2021, two-thirds of India’s population will be within the working age of twenty to thirty-five years.

These young Indians will be the world’s largest labour force and market for goods and services. This is what is referred to as India’s ‘demographic dividend’. This term was popularized by academics, journalists, and businesspersons keen on investing in India in the early 2000s, who saw the country’s youth as an asset in the longer-run, particularly when compared to China, a country whose one-child policy was viewed as a demographic crisis in the making. It was believed that with the right education and investment in human capital, a growing middle class and an increase in foreign investment in the economy, India would not only enjoy high single-digit and even double-digit GDP growth, but its millennials and working-age population would power the country to transform itself like many east Asian success stories.

India’s millennials can only become a global power if they have cash in their wallets and stable jobs.

But there’s scant attention paid to millennials as a unique generation. Instead of viewing them as independent islands of young Indians based on their caste, class, or religion, in my book, I shine light on what brings them together—their common aspirations, anxieties, and experiences. When new policies and cultural issues are debated in India, lawmakers, news reporters and commentators all too often neglect to consider the impact these developments have on the millions of young Indians currently getting their education or joining the economy. The quality of their education; their opinions on hot-button cultural issues; their political beliefs; and whether they find employment will be crucial to India’s future in the economic and political order of the 21st Century. As the country seeks to become a global leader, members of its most populous generation will soon become its most powerful, and it is hard to overstate the importance of understanding the attitudes, behaviours, and views of India’s millennials. What Millennials Want is a book which combines data and anecdotes to narrate an intimate biography of this dynamic and important generation.

 

 

Biggest hurdle for millennials: The education system

India is one of the youngest countries in the world and the generation of millennials make up for over 400 million people. This is the largest generation of people in the world.

That means that the choices and trajectory of this generation have pivotal consequences on local, regional, and global politics and economics. So the important question is: What do Indian millennials want? What are their economic aspirations and their social views? Most importantly, what makes them tick?

One thing that definitely gets in the way of millennials getting what they want, is the Indian education system. Read this exclusive excerpt from Vivan Marwaha’s What Millennials Want to find out how and why.

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What Millennials Want FC
What Millennials Want||Vivan Marwaha

In 1961, the government of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru established two Indian Institutes of Management (IIM), the first in Calcutta and the second in Ahmedabad. Calcutta was established in conjunction with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management, while the campus in Ahmedabad was to collaborate with the Harvard Business School.

The institutions, which have trained some of India’s and the world’s brightest business leaders, were the product of an inherently socialist idea. Almost ten years after independence from British colonial rule, there were simply not enough managers for India’s numerous public sector enterprises. These public undertakings, from mining corporations to ordnance factories, required well-trained executives to steer the young country’s industrial growth, and native talent was in short supply. The Planning Commission of India, the Soviet-inspired body which was tasked with developing five-year plans for the growth of the Indian economy, invited Professor George Robbins from the University of California, Los Angeles to fix this problem and help conceive an education institution to offer young Indians a practical business education.

Since then, investments were made in expanding university education, and the two institutions soon grew to twenty. The flagship institutions boast of a roster of hugely successful alumni, from RBI governor Raghuram Rajan and cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle to novelist Chetan Bhagat and former PepsiCo worldwide CEO Indira Nooyi, among numerous others in the Indian and global financial system. But they just weren’t enough. As Indians began to see these elite institutions as a ticket to a prosperous job at a multinational, and eventually, a career outside India, admission became extremely competitive. The private sector began to fill the gap between the demand and supply, and since then, thousands of private colleges opened across India to offer students a management education.

Most of India’s education system has a similar story. Today, the few good universities, colleges and schools, largely founded by the government or built during colonial rule, educate only a small number of individuals, while a vast private sector has mushroomed to fill the gaps in what the government failed to universalize.

What all of this has created is a deeply flawed system which tends to reward those with existing privileges or resources. Karthik Muralidharan, the Tata Chancellor’s Professor of economics at the University of California, San Diego, finds that the Indian education system is not built to educate students, but to filter them.1 In a 2005 paper, with co-authors Gretchen Cheney and Betsy Ruzzi, he argues that historically education in India served as a ‘gatekeeper, permitting an avenue of upward mobility only to those with resources’.2 Unfortunately, this remains true in 2021. Indian students spend years studying for board examinations, college entrance examinations, and public sector job tests to continuously filter them towards better opportunities. But in all the rote memorization and formulae required for success, the most significant purpose of learning— education, gets lost.

Although the privatization taking place in the sector was intended to make it more inclusive, it was, in fact, exclusionary and insufficient. Furthermore, India’s early prioritization of tertiary education came at the expense of primary-level schooling, creating vast inequities and poor standards of education that continue to this very day. These problems only exacerbated as India’s population continued to increase, as socialist India could not provide employment to the millions of young Indians who needed it. As the economy began to open up, the growth of Information Technology services in the country led to the creation of coaching industries dedicated to preparing students to either become software engineers or government servants. This is not because the education system had succeeded in preparing students for the future, but rather because it had failed.

In effect, India created an elaborate system which serves to filter its students towards IITs, IIMs and public service jobs instead of educating them to succeed in the modern economy Millennials have largely finished their education at the time of writing this book, and their time in school or college is not the first experience we may think about when understanding the generation. But if we’re looking at many of the challenges millennials face today, it’s because of the education system.

August reads for an august month

August is pretty much acknowledged as the last month of summer all along the northern hemisphere. It inherited its name from the Roman emperor Augustus Caesar and literally means ‘venerable, majestic, magnificent, noble’. When you think about it, august is rather grand, marked by the Olympics this year and all the books we’re releasing this month. Because what can be more grand than books right? Also, if you’re worried about missing out on all the sporting activities, a bookathon is a kind of sport too!

Here’s your chance at being revered as august individuals in your social circle after reading all our releases for the month.

 

Karma Fc
Karma||Acharya Prashant

Karma

The meaning of Karma stands distorted by centuries of misplaced fictionalization. Karma remains a disquieting enigma to the few who refuse to accept compromised notions. This book is for them.

If to live rightly is to act rightly, what then is right action? This has tormented us since ages. The scriptures answer this, but without stooping from their cryptic heights. Nor do they advise how their ancient words apply to the present. Acharya Prashant’s work provides the missing link. He imparts clarity, leaving nothing to conjecture or belief.

The book demolishes the myths surrounding action and decision by bringing to focus the actor, rather than action. When we ask, ‘What to do?’, the book handholds us into ‘Who is the doer? What does he want from the deed?’ This shift provides the solutions, and finally the dissolution of the question.

Acharya Prashant demolishes ubiquitous beliefs and outdated notions to reveal some simple truths. If you can challenge the tyrannies of tradition and greet the naked truth, you will love this book.

 

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Parenting through Pretend Play||Shouger Merchant Doshi

Parenting through Pretend Play

Parents today are too caught up in the rat race of ‘perfect’ parenting. In trying to ensure that their children are all-rounders and have an edge over their peers, parents forget to ask themselves an important question: What kind of life-skills can I inculcate during my child’s early development that will propel them towards a successful future? The Power of Make-Believe addresses this question. This well researched book outlines that pretend play and purposeful discussions with parents accords children the gift of vocabulary and creativity that leads to effective communication skills, something that will benefit them throughout their life and career.

With over sixty DIY pretend play activities, ten vocabulary enhancing ideas and several children’s book recommendations-based on topical concerns to spark a conversation and help understanding of worldly concepts in a constructive yet fun way-Merchant Doshi offers superb educational entertainment; a way to foster the overall development of children while they have heaps of fun with their parents!

 

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Discordant Notes, Volume 1||Rohinton Fali Nariman
Discordant Notes, Volume 2 FC
Discordant Notes, Volume 2||Rohinton Fali Nariman

Discordant Notes

A dissenting judgment, as ordinarily understood, is a judgment or an opinion of a judge, sitting as part of a larger bench, who ‘dissents’ (i.e. disagrees) with the opinion or judgment of the majority. Dissenting judgments or opinions appear in different ways.

Tracing, exploring and analysing all dissenting judgments in the history of the Supreme Court of India, from the beginning till date, Rohinton Fali Nariman brings to light the cases, which created a deep impact in India’s legal history. From the famous Bengal Immunity Co. Ltd. v. State of Bihar in 1955 to Bhagwandas Goverdhandas Kedia v. Girdharilal Pashottamdas and Co. in 1966, State of Bombay v. The United Motors (India) Ltd in 1953, Superintendent & Legal Remembrancer, State of West Bengal v. Corporation of Calcutta in 1967Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association v. Union of India in 1993, Mafatlal Industries v. Union of India in 1997 and Pradeep Kumar Biswas v. Indian Institute of Chemical Biology in 2002Keshava Madhava Menon v. State of Bombay in 1951United Commercial Bank Ltd. v. Workmen and Ram Singh v. The State of Delhi in the same year and Union of India v. West Coast Paper Mills Ltd. in 2004 among others, this two-volume definitive work is a thorough examination of the important dissenting judgments of the Supreme Court of India, and of some of the Judges of the Supreme Court who have gone down as ‘Great Dissenters’, for having written dissents of legal and constitutional importance, some of which have gone on to be recognised as correct position of the law.

Comprehensive, definitive and authoritative, this is a must a must have for legal scholars and practitioners. Besides, the book will greatly interest policy makers as well as anyone, interested in India’s legal history.

 

My Family fc
My Family||Mahadevi Varma

My Family

For Mahadevi Varma, her animal companions were her chosen family. This family comes alive in Mahadevi’s lyrical prose, depicting the animals’ relationships with her, each other, and the human inhabitants of her home and her school. Rescued peacocks, squirrels, dogs, rabbits, and deer romp through these pages, each an unforgettable individual of many moods. Charming hand-drawn illustrations complement the delightful writing. Together, these portraits reveal an urban modernity permeated by nature.

In this first-ever translation of a little-known classic, Ruth Vanita brilliantly captures Mahadevi’s empathetic imagination, sparkling wit, and intense observation of detail. In her introduction, Vanita illuminates Mahadevi’s feminist and literary legacy, her powerful indictment of human cruelty, and how her prose sprang from the fount of her feelings for animals.

 

What Millennials Want fc
What Millennials Want||Vivan Marwaha

What Millennials Want

India is one of the youngest countries in the world and the generation of millennials make up for over 400 million people. This is the largest generation of people in the world. That means that the choices and trajectory of this generation have pivotal consequences on local, regional, and global politics and economics. So the important question is: What do Indian millennials want? What are their economic aspirations and their social views? Most importantly, what makes them tick?
It’s 2021 and more than 84% of them reported having an arranged marriage, and 65% listed a government job as their top priority. So are millennials really any different from previous generations?

In What Millennials Want, Vivan Marwaha documents the aspirations and anxieties of these young people scattered across more than 30,000 kilometers in 13 Indian states. Combining an expansive dataset along with personal anecdotes, he narrates an intimate biography of India’s millennials, investigating their attitudes towards sex, marriage, employment, religion, and politics.

 

 

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The Solutions Factory||

Solutions Factory

In The Solutions Factory, Arun Maira digs deep into his experiences as a consultant and presents twenty human-led business stories that cover all kinds of problem-solving techniques told through carefully picked personal experiences and anecdotes. By distilling the essence of the work that consultants do, he offers a management handbook that is unique to Indian business practices. From cultural understanding to communication skills, this book illustrates the applicability of simple tips for a diverse range of business roles and levels.

Maira’s down-to-earth and insightful approach, keenly oriented towards respectful and ethical business practices, illustrates his signature mix of idealism and ­pragmatis­m-be it is about managing an unexpected crisis or about learning more about another company’s culture. In this age of financial uncertainty due to the pandemic, a book like this is as essential for small-business owners as it is for the heads of major corporations. Maira’s focus on excellence through ethics, success through learning, and valuation through value brings to the fore his people-centric and back-to-basics approach-an approach that every modern corporation will need in order to prepare for the future ahead of us.

 

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Congress Radio||Usha Thakkar

Congress Radio

‘This is the Congress Radio calling on 42.34 metres from somewhere in India,’ Usha Mehta’s voice rang defiant and clear to the entire country on a ghost transmitter. These words would come to reverberate across the struggle for Indian independence.

It was August 1942. The Quit India Movement had just been launched at the Bombay session of the All-India Congress Committee by Mahatma Gandhi. Inspired by his rallying cry, the twenty-two-year-old student of Wilson College stumbled upon the idea to start an underground radio station to cut through the imperial din of the government’s mouthpiece, the All India Radio. Risking it all for country in the face of crackdown, Mehta and her intrepid co-conspirators filled Indian airwaves with the heady zeal of rebellion.

The clandestine station-Congress Radio-broadcast recorded messages from Gandhi and other prominent leaders to devoted followers of the freedom struggle. Moving from location to location to dodge authorities, reporting on events from Chittagong to Jamshedpur, the radio station fought the propaganda and disinformation of the colonial government for three months-until their arrest and imprisonment in November of the same year.
In this riveting account, Usha Thakkar brings to life this high-voltage tale of derring-do, complete with stouthearted revolutionaries, thrilling escapes and a cruel betrayal, through the extraordinary story of Usha Mehta, the woman who briefly became, quite literally, the voice of the resistance.

 

The Story of Tata
The Story of Tata||Peter Casey

The Tata Story

In 1868, Jamsetji Tata, a visionary of his time, lit the flame that went on to become Tata and its group of companies. This business grew into an extraordinary one. One that some may even call ‘the greatest company in the world’. Over the decades, the business expanded and prospered under the leadership of the various keepers of the flame, such as Sir Dorabji Tata, J.R.D. Tata and Ratan Tata, to name a few. But one day, the headlines boldly declared that the chairman of the board of Tata Sons, Cyrus Mistry, had been fired.

What went wrong?

In this exclusive and authorized book, insiders of the Tata businesses open up to Peter Casey for the first time to tell the story. From its humble beginnings as a mercantile company to its growth as a successful yet philanthropic organization to its recent brush with Mistry, this is a book that every business- minded individual must read.

 

 

Broke to Breakthrough
Broke to Breakthrough||Harish Damodaran

Broke to Breakthrough

Broke to Breakthrough is a business biography of one of the largest dairy product companies in India-Hatsun Agro- and its founder R.G. Chandramogan. Hailing from Virudhunagar district, Chandramogan started his venture when as a twenty-one-year-old chasing his dreams

It was in 1970 that Chandramogan first started making ice candies with three people in a rented place measuring 250 sq.ft. in the. He initially sold in pushcarts and in the very first year, the company made an annual turnover of Rs 1,50,000. Gradually, Arun Ice Creams became one of the biggest players in the state. But Chandramogan didn’t stop at that – he branched into the dairy business, since they were constantly in touch with farmers across Tamil Nadu. Thus was born Hatsun Agro Product in 1986. Today, over four lakh farmers are associated with them and Hatsun has created a model such that there are no middle-men between themselves and the farmers.

 

 

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Recipes for Life||Sudha Menon

Recipes For Life

Remember how our mothers and grandmothers would spend time in the kitchen, sharing their stories and exchanging recipes from each other’s homes without writing them down? Between chopping, sauteing, grinding and frying a varierty of ingredients, and the aroma of home-cooked food laid out on the dinner table, families forged bonds that withstood the test of time. Now the connections we made through oral storytelling have dissapeared because of rise of modern-day nuclear families where children see their parents once in a couple of months.

The truth, however, remains that no matter how many countries we travel to and live in, or how many expensive meals we eat at Michelin-star restaurants, the magic of our mothers’ cooking never fades away. In Recipes for Life, Sudha Menon attempts to recreate those memories and the magic of the food we grew up with and cherish. The book is replete with stories, anecdotes and recipes from the homes of some of India’s much admired and accomplished people.

 

The Dream of Revolution FC
The Dream of Revolution||Bimal Prasad, Sujata Prasad

Dream of Revolution

Few figures in modern India have enjoyed such acclaim and adoration as Jayaprakash Narayan. And yet, he has been equally vilified for all that went wrong in the unfinished post-colonial movement for freedom and democracy. Jayaprakash Narayan, or JP as he was universally known, epitomized the Marxian and Gandhian styles of political engagement, and famously brought a powerful government to its knees. Throughout his life, he channelled an emotional hunger for transformative politics, jettisoned easy options, shunned power and incubated revolutionary ideas.

A comprehensive study of JP’s life and ideas-from the radicalism of his thought process at American university campuses in the 1920s to his political coming of age in the 1930s and subsequent disenchantment with Gandhi’s leadership; from his infectious confidence about the future of socialism to his seemingly naive plans to outmanoeuvre powerful forces within the Congress; from his fractious friendship with Jawaharlal Nehru to his relentless crusade against the stifling of dissent-The Dream of Revolution, Bimal and Sujata Prasad’s rigorously researched biography of JP, dispenses with clichés, questions commonly held perceptions and pushes the limits of what a biographical portrait is capable of.

Rich in anecdotes and never-before-told stories, this book explores the ambiguities and ironies of a life lived at the barricades, and one man’s unremitting quest to usher in a society based on equality and freedom.

 

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How Come No One Told Me That?||Prakash Iyer

How Come No One Told Me that

There are plenty of self-improvement books out there-books that claim they can change your life. Yet, what makes us better human beings are stories and real-life observations, which can help us get ahead in our careers and, in turn, enrich our lives.

In How Come No One Told Me That?, bestselling author Prakash Iyer shares the stories and observations that have made an immense impact on his life. The book is divided into ten sections, exploring life lessons, ways of improving oneself, leadership and the importance of doing small things right, among other subjects.

Through powerful anecdotes and charming essays, followed by practical, actionable advice, this book will help you make those minor adjustments to your professional and personal lives that can truly make you unstoppable.

 

Back to the Roots
Back to the Roots||Back to the Roots

Back to the Roots

What are the benefits of the Indian squat? Why do Indians touch the feet of their elders? These and many such ancient rituals and tradition are a part of our growing up, and in the absence of modern scientific certification, it is convenient to dub them as myths. But observation and deductive reasoning have proved to be the bedrock of these age-old and time-tested practices.

In  Back to the Roots, Luke Coutinho and Tamannaah offer the rationale behind over 100 such practices that go a long way in promoting long-term wellness. Learn about traditional Indian recipes, superfoods and tips that provide solutions to a host of ailments like constipation, acidity and even fever. Join us on this valuable journey to resurrect our ancient knowledge and learn how inexpensive it is to invest in our lifestyles, improve our health, prevent diseases, improve longevity and the quality of our lives.

 

 

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Diamonds in the Dust||Saurabh Mukherjea, Rakshit Ranjan, Salil Desai

Diamond in the Dust

Over the last few years, there has been a growing realization among Indians that their life’s savings, the bulk of which are parked in physical assets like real estate and gold, are unlikely to help them generate sufficient returns to fund their financial goals, including retirement. At the same time, many have lost their hard-earned money trying to invest in financial assets, including debt and equities. Such losses have occurred due to many reasons, such as corporate frauds, weak business models and misallocation of capital by the companies in whose shares unsuspecting investors parked their savings. What options do Indian savers then have to invest in, and build their wealth?
Diamonds in the Dust offers Indian savers a simple, yet highly effective, investment technique to identify clean, well-managed Indian companies that have consistently generated outsized returns for investors. Based on in-depth research conducted by the award-winning team at Marcellus Investment Managers, it uses case studies and charts to help readers learn the art and science of investing in the US$3 trillion Indian stock market. The book also debunks many notions of investing that have emerged from the misguided application of Western investment theories in the Indian context. Vital and indispensable, this book will serve as the ultimate manual on investing and provide practical counsel to readers to achieve their financial goals.

 

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What’s Your Story?||Adri Bruckner, Anjana Menon, Marybeth Sandell

What’s Your Story?

Are you trying to build your profile as a leader?

Are you using social media to your advantage?

Is your communication jargon-free?

When do you choose to produce a video or a podcast?

Does your message come through loud and clear?

What’s the future of storytelling, and are you prepared for it?

In a world where people send 500 million tweets a day and upload hundreds of hours of video every minute, how do you get your message across? The secret is to become a good storyteller. With easy-to-follow, effective tools and tips, this book will help you cut through the clutter and plan your communication goals, channels and delivery. Everyone loves a good story, but only a few can tell it well.

Be authentic, be authoritative and be heard!

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5 Mantras Only Successful Students Know||Chandan Deshmukh

5 Mantras Only Successful Students Know

Who determines your success?
1. That nosy relative who pesters you with questions
2. Friends whose social media posts reflect their ‘perfect’ lives
3. You

Success holds different meanings for different people, but the feeling of wantingsuccess is universal. However, most students end up being their own greatest enemy when they start comparing their life story with others’ achievements.

In this well-researched self-help book, Chandan Deshmukh unpacks five simple and insightful mantras, which are easy to put into action from Day 1, for you to conquer the world!

– Written by the bestselling author of 7 Dreams Jobs and How to Find Them and 6 Secrets Smart Students Don’t Tell You
– Includes step-by-step methods and tips for smart studying and achieving academic success
– Narrated through interactive graphs and fun artworks that are tailor-made for future school and college toppers
– Perfect for students who like learning beyond textbooks

 

 

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