Sri Lanka on the brink of new social reformation

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Roshani Fernando, MRSSL President and Quantum Consumer Solutions Pvt. Ltd. Partner

The Market Research Society of Sri Lanka (MRSSL) will be introducing its new SEC (socio-economic) Measure, which takes into account a 3rd dimension – a lifestyle indicator. The new SEC classification will be launched at the event organised on August 13, 2019 at JAIC Hilton, Colombo targeting the business fraternity in Sri Lanka.

When the structure of the socio, demographic, cultural, political and economic fabric is in motion, one can anticipate significant change. Business leaders would be able to sense the winds of change and determine what the future holds for them. Challenges might be significant as in them lie the opportunity as well.

However, it is required to establish the right lens in order to picture a fresh perspective of the future. Life has no doubt changed to such a great extent and influenced generations. As such, instead of looking towards the future in hindsight, it would be more prudent to anticipate what might be.

Urbanization is an early warning of shifting lifestyles. Sri Lanka is top of the table, clocking a 9.5% rate of urbanization, followed by China that is urbanizing at 7.4% (source: UN-Habitat State of Sri Lankan Cities report 2014). This means Sri Lanka already has an urban population of 45% to 50%, as per estimations according to the Agglomeration Index, which uses multiple alternate indicators such as population density, night-time lights, etc. This is not only due to organic growth, but due to significant internal pull migration from rural into urban seeking education and jobs.

The Megapolis master plan, when implemented, will enhance city infrastructure and efficiency. Unauthorized dwellings will gradually disappear. Over 20,000 Vertical Housing units are being constructed for lower-income families. Furthermore, by 2030 one in every five would be over the age of 60 and Sri Lanka has been declared a middle-income country by the World Bank.

The country is witnessing a rapidly growing Agri-economy, alongside a growing industrial and service economy. Many are the urban challenges; all of us will have to get ready to resolve through our products and services if we are to become meaningful in the life of the emerging urbanite. Their challenges and needs will be at a whole new level than what we have witnessed thus far.

There is an emerging crisis of space that one needs to cope with, as housing gets smaller and becomes vertical. Ways of eating, cooking, doing household chores, recreation, privacy and many more will change. A new form of poverty will raise its head – a time-poor generation will arise. This will impact relationships; age of marriage and child bearing and it will have an impact in the priorities in life.

Emotional instability will be the new epidemic that we will have to deal with. The silver crown community, who are fit and able with aspirations to live their second life, is yet another emerging need which needs attention.

All these are challenges of being able to target the right cohort and moreover being able to understand them and their life. Every business leader needs to be equipped with the right tools for accurate targeting. For further updates, visit our website http://mrssl.org

MRSSL

Market Research Society of Sri Lanka (MRSSL) is a professional membership body, dedicated to uplifting the knowledge and standards of Market Research in Sri Lanka. The Society is managed by a committee drawn from the leading research agencies.