If you belonged to a certain generation, as I do, this was possibly the song you danced to, in college. British Band ‘Right Said Fred’ having a bit of fun with “I am too sexy” …
Someone at the Times of India – the world’ most read English Daily – has possibly danced to the same tune. And, loved the song so much, they applied the concept to their news paper… Apparently, the paper is too sexy for its readers 😀
In an inexplicable piece they have done a piece on how their readers are not middle-class but affluent
TOI has a readership of 7.4 million. That seems like a terribly large number, till you compare it with the total size of the Indian population, which is approximately 1.2 billion. In short, TOI’s readers actually constitute 0.6% of the Indian population. And logically speaking, they obviously know English, which is still the language of the elite in India.
How big is the Indian middle class itself? In 2010, a report by Asian Development Bank stated that India’s middle class – defined as those able to spend between $2 and $20 a day in 2005 purchasing power parity dollars – had expanded to about 420 million. By this definition, TOI readers are not only just 0.6% of India’s overall population, they also constitute barely 1.8% of its middle class.
Interestingly, the report defined those who could spend more than $20 a day as affluent. India has approximately 26 million of them. It’s a safe bet that most of TOI’s readers would fall into this category.
So, if at all a word has to be used to describe TOI readers, it should be “affluent”. Though perhaps it might be more accurate to dub them the creamiest of layers. Because when you compare their incomes and spending power with the Indian average, it is clear that they form the very peak of the pyramid.
Dear Big Bazaar, Vijay Sales, and all other chains that publish their discount ads in the ToI for lakhs, maybe you should be looking at a different medium. All you companies that have recruitment ads for entry level positions — aahem the affluent don’t apply for jobs, they are invited :D. And, for those of you who put money in matrimonial columns run by the ToI … the elite don’t find matches via newspaper columns… Why would anyone in their sane mind want to alienate their audience & their advertiser?
Dear ToI editors, what were you thinking. or are elite papers that cater to the affluent incapable of that virtue ….
btw – the parents still subscribe to the ToI. No, they are neither elite, nor affluent but terribly middle class …:D