It's now passe to talk about loneliness and old age homes while referring to the older population. The retirement years-- defined for so long as a time to take rest and do nothing -- are becoming a time of high activity and purpose. In India it deserves a new name for new times - the ultimate unretirement. And behold how business India is responding to the ever increasing "market" potential of the ageing segment.
Way back in 2006, Jagdeep Kapoor, the MD of Samsika Marketing said: "Marketers should look at senior citizens as an important target market, as they have a considerable amount of time and money on their hands".
This demographic is the prosperous, growing and affluent senior citizens market in India. This 60-plus market is growing by leaps and bounds, and it would be interesting to analyse the opportunities available to marketing professionals in this segment. Michelle Napoli of Institutional Investor similarly referred to the 'ageing boom' talking about the senior housing sector.
To showcase the products and services that are already flourishing in the ageing market in India, Dignity Foundation, the 17 year old premier NGO specialising in productive ageing opportunities to the 50+ launched the first ever Retirement India Expo in India - an event spread over a month and five cities.
Says Dr Sheilu Sreenivasan, Founder President of Dignity Foundation "We delivered action-packed space for showcasing products, services, interactive exhibits of everything that is related to lifestyle segments for senior citizens. The goal was to set abuzz the commercial sector with potentialities for tapping the hitherto unchartered market territories.
The hidden agenda for Dignity Foundation: senior citizens should find available more products and services customised for their requirements". As the young SBI Manager, Moiz Lakdawala observes: "there are very many market segments that should address the needs of the aged. But it is the banking sector that triggers this growth." Pursuing its mission, Dignity Foundation also held India's Number One opportunity to recruit experienced retired talents in highly specialised fields of technology, general management and administration. The Second Career Job Fair.
Population Ageing is one of the most important global trends of the 21st century. Senior citizens have started receiving attention from the business, and policy makers too. The 21st Century is christened the century of elderly persons, while the 22nd will be called the century of the "ageing of the aged". Ageing of society is unprecedented in the history of the world:
In all the developed countries people 60+ has already crossed the 7% mark set by the UN to be considered ageing nations.
India has crossed this percentage and is an AGEING NATION.
During 2006-2050, while the overall population rises by 40%, those over 60 years will increase by 270% and the 80+ will increase by 500%.
By 2050 India will have the highest number of people 50+, overtaking China's current primacy.
While China became old before it became rich, India will become rich before it goes old
Due to medical advances and lifestyle enhancements, longevity is increasing world over. From 42 years in 1947, Indians will now live up to 67 years
179 million are people who are 50+ in India today.
This means ONE BASIC FACT: these many people require special products and services to serve their station in life. Senior products abroad are sharply segmented into those belonging to:
Senior citizens experienced first hand the joy of their ultimate unretirement status in these 3 days where they danced to aerobic beats, sang along with veteran singers' popular nostalgic songs of yester years, saw the range of newly introduced products and services customised for them, and be literally wooed for the first time in India by banks, insurance companies, pharma, fitness centres, spas, senior citizens housing societies, assisted living device manufacturers, health professionals and multi-professional gurus of active living.