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Published: Mint dated 26th April 2010

This is the 19th in a 33-


part series on distinct
consumer segments,
based on a categorization
of stage of life and
occupation, expenditure
and savings propensity,
family structure and
psychographics. This
week we look at the E4
segment--married without
children and living in a
nuclear family.

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This week we take up the E4 urban consumer segment, formed by
households where the chief wage earners are married without children
and living in a nuclear family.
The chief wage earners in this segment are school-educated
businessmen or skilled workers. This is a much larger segment than
the three segments discussed in recent weeks. Comprising 2.08% of
urban households in India, this is the 13th largest consumer segment.
However, since these households are young, without children, and are
nuclear families with no seniors, the household size is small and this
segment forms just 0.72% of the urban population, 20th in size among
the 33 segments.

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Around 238,000 people fall in the E4 segment of nearly 150,000
households; 43% are one-member households with men living alone,
their wives residing with their families in other towns or villages. The rest
are two-member households, i.e. the couple alone, without any children.
As pointed out last week, the E segments (that correspond to the SEC
C/D in the traditional SEC) have the highest heterogeneity, resulting in the
highest number of consumer segments. Unlike the last three segments
discussed, where the chief wage earners were school-educated
businessmen, the E4 segment includes those with similar education
levels but who are skilled workers. Also unlike the previous segments
where chief wage earners were overwhelmingly self-employed, 60% of
them in E4 have regular salaried jobs.
As mentioned in previous segments, this becomes a defining
characteristic of the mindset and aspirational levels of the household.
With such low levels of education (only 53% of the chief wage earners
have finished higher secondary schooling) and with mostly just one
earning member in these small households (just 9% of spouses are
employed), household income is low, and 94% earn < Rs 3 lakh pa.

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Such low-skilled, low-income households reflect new
migrants to a city, with roots and connections running deep
in smaller towns and villages. They use some connections
from their family network at home to find work in the city.
Around 29% of the chief wage earners work in
manufacturing, predominantly in small manufacturing
firms, and mostly proprietorship in various industries.
Wholesale and retail trade is the second most important
sector of employment, while public administration and the
transport sector each account for 12% of jobs.
Public administration shows up as a dominant sector when
regular salaried employment is taken into account. With
low education, those earning in this segment would be at
the lowest rungs of government jobs. Thirty-two per cent of
the chief wage earners in this segment are self-
employed²running small shops or kiosks, driving
autorickshaws or taxis, etc..   

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Delhi²a city with a large migrant
population²ranks first among all districts in
the E4 segment. The 2001 census showed
that in terms of proportion of immigrants to
total population, Delhi was at the top of the
urban agglomerations, with immigrants
constituting 16.4% of the total population of
Delhi, while Greater Mumbai came in second
with 15.1%.
Urban districts that have more than 20,000
households in the E4 segment are Delhi,
Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Ahmedabad,
Chennai, Thane, Coimbatore, Hyderabad,
North 24 Parganas, Kolkata and Surat. There
is heterogeneity in household characteristics
in these cities, making an impact on the
income, expenditure and asset ownership
patterns.
For example, among these cities, the top
three with the highest share of one-member
households are Kolkata (77%), Mumbai
(67%) and Surat (59%), while Coimbatore,
Bangalore and Hyderabad have the highest
share of two-member households, at 85%,
83% and 81%, respectively.
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