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Nielsen Identifies Attributes of the Socially-Conscious Indian Consumer


Higher education, Jobs and Environment sustainability, top expectations of online Indians from Socially-Responsible Companies

Over half the Indian online consumers willing to pay more for Products and Services from Socially-Responsible Companies 

In India, seven in ten online consumers prefer to conduct business with companies that have implemented socially responsible programs. These are the findings of a new study from Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy. Three in five consumers identified focus on education, with special reference to science and math, as a key social cause companies should embrace. We are identifying socially-conscious consumers as those consumers that are willing to pay more for products and services from socially-responsible companies, not based on their cause interests. 

Nielsen’s Global Corporate Citizenship Survey of more than 28,000 Internet respondents in 56 countries shows that 46 percent of global consumers are willing to pay extra for products and services from companies that have implemented programs to give back to society. Nielsen defines these consumers as socially-conscious consumers.  In India, over half of the consumers surveyed are willing to pay more for products of business houses that adopt social causes. While over nine in ten female respondents indicated that they would prefer to work for companies that implemented socially relevant activities

“Increasingly consumers are expecting companies to take responsibility for their immediate environment and society around them. It is important for marketers to understand the profile and expectations of these consumers to forge a deeper bond that goes beyond their immediate products and services” said Piyush Mathur, President, Nielsen India Region. 

Almost three in five respondents agree with the notion that companies do enough to support the society. Over two in five socially-conscious online consumers in India are willing to accept lower wages if they work for a company that has programs that aim to positively impact society. As an understanding of age, over eight in ten respondents under the age of 20 indicated they were willing to accept a lower compensation, if the company supported society enhancing causes. 

Causes Most Important to the Socially-Conscious Consumer in India 

Among the causes reviewed, in India, respondents indicate that imparting improved training & education in technical, engineering, math, science (61%), environment sustainability (60%) are the priority social causes that companies should adopt.

Nearly half of the respondents feel that companies should undertake activities that directly impact the communities around their offices and manufacturing areas. Forty eight percent of socially conscious online consumers felt issues such as poverty & hunger, women empowerment & gender equality, and primary education were social causes that business houses should adopt. The under 20 age group identified gender equality , and women empowerment (62%) , promoting small businesses and entrepreneurship (61%) and improving maternal health (54%) as causes companies should align themselves with. 

“According to consumers surveyed, Indian companies should take up causes that impact the economy and has a long term sustainable outlook. These should also have an impact on the economy with a focus on increasing the talent pool via the right training . So while other causes are also important, consumers feel that companies have the expertise and knowledge to lend into streams that they can optimally benefit,” continued Mathur. 

Global, Socially-Conscious Consumers by Geography 

For respondents in the Asia Pacific region environment sustainability (62%) followed by training and education in science, technology, engineering and math (52%) are important aspects companies should look into. 

Consumers in Asia Pacific (55%), the Middle East and Africa (53%) and Latin America (49%) are more willing to pay extra for products and services from socially-responsible companies than consumers in North America (35%) and Europe (32%). According to Nielsen’s survey, the highest concentration of socially-conscious consumers is in the Philippines, where 68 percent of respondents are willing to pay extra for products, while the lowest concentration is in the Netherlands, where 21 percent of respondents indicated a willingness to spend more.[1]

About the Nielsen Global Survey

The Nielsen Global Survey of Corporate Citizenship was conducted between August 31 and September 16, 2011 and polled more than 28,000 online consumers in 56 countries throughout Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America. 

The sample has quotas based on age and sex for each country based on their Internet users, and is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers and has a maximum margin of error of ±0.6%. This Nielsen survey is based on the behavior of respondents with online access only. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60 percent Internet penetration or 10M online population for survey inclusion. The Nielsen Global Survey was established in 2005. 

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence, mobile measurement, trade shows and related properties. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit

[1]Responses are based on the attitudes and opinions of online consumers; cultural bias has not been accounted for.