NEWS21 February 2024

India adopts new socioeconomic classification

Asia Pacific News Trends

INDIA – Market research industry body, Market Research Society of India (MRSI), has developed a new socioeconomic classification system, ISEC, that factors in women’s education.

young woman working at a computer screen in office

MRSI has implemented the system to redefine the current socioeconomic classification (NCCS), which is based on ownership of consumer durables and vehicles.

The growth in GDP and income, penetration of consumer durables, and ownership of vehicles has witnessed a significant increase, leading to the current classification becoming more volatile, according to MRSI.

The new system, which MRSI described as “more robust and more stable” considers the educations of the highest educated female and male adults, and the occupation of the chief earner.

MRSI said the new system would allow for improved distribution and sharper and refined targeting, as well as omitting the need for frequent updates.

Director general at Market Research Society of India, Mitali Chowhan said: “Socioeconomic classification is the base of any targeted consumer understanding. At MRSI we recognise the need for an evolved SEC structure and ISEC is a system that is highly relevant. ISEC was developed by the industry, for the industry and unlike any previous classification system, it considers women’s education as a key definer of social capital, an attribute that is highly pertinent in the current day. As an industry body, we are deeply invested in our stakeholders and the launch of ISEC is in line with our commitment to help our industry grow and evolve.”

The Indian Society of Advertisers and research agencies including Ipsos and Kantar are among the organisations set to adopt the new classification.

Amit Adarkar, chief executive, Ipsos India, said: “Socioeconomic classifications are the starting point of any planning or decision-making, impacting almost all industries. Following a SEC system that is relevant, evolved and representative is hence critical. NCCS was introduced at the time when digitisation was gaining momentum and women representation in household decisions was marginal. Our country has evolved greatly since then and it is essential that we follow a SEC that is equally evolved.”