Friday, October 22, 2004

No wonder techie town is so expensive

The techie population earned Rs 7,000 crore in salaries last year, giving rise to a buying trend, price no bar
Times of India

THE Bangalorean isn’t looking at prices anymore. Not in real estate, nor the hi fashion store. Not even at restaurants or clubs. Because the techie population, which forms a chunk of the city’s high-spenders, is talking big bucks now and splashing out. Says IT secretary Shankar Lingegowda, “Around Rs 7,000 crore was the total amount received as salary by the software professionals in Bangalore in the last year.”

Market analysts say with all the money floating around, this class is spending like never before. Says brand manager Vishal Mirchandani, “The salaried class has got younger, the propensity to spend has broadened lifestyles, so he’s no longer price-sensitive to consumer items.”

Also, Bangalore, unlike Chennai, Hyderabad or Kolkata, has a steady market. “People spend throughout the year and not just during the festival season,” says market expert Somak Dhar.

So what are they splurging on? Upmarket accommodation tops the list. Even rents upward of Rs 12,000 per month are considered very affordable. Most techies are also on the lookout for their second homes, in the range of Rs 20 lakh, and paying EMIs of over Rs 20,000 per month. Says S Kannan, a project leader in a software company. “It’s a middle class dream to own a house and when you’ve achieved that in five years, with the tax benefits, it makes sense to either expand on your home or buy another in your wife’s name. And a house is an investment that can pay geometric dividends in the future,” he adds.

When it comes to vehicles, however, the Bangalorean doesn’t quite go over-the-top. A second car is common, but is often still a hatchback. Double incomes make a second car affordable, but few people opt for high end models, even if they can afford them. “It doesn’t make sense with all its parking problems and increasing traffic. Even though many of us own two cars, some of us take the bus to work. Companies too have options where you can use and pay for a car bought by the company. This helps once again with the taxes,” says P Jaikumar, a manager with a software company.

The techie also puts a premium on looking the part, spending on clothes and accessories. A young techie thinks nothing of buying a luxury shirt costing Rs 4,000. “We also have a separate wardrobe of more expensive clothes for when we travel abroad,” says Santosh H. Partywear, bought from designers or high end boutiques, also takes up a good chunk.

Nights out are de riguer to splurge and de-stress. “An evening of drinks and light snacks for two at a must-beseen club could easily mean Rs 4,000 — 5,000; it’s double if two more people join in. About Rs 2,000 spent per person is normal,” says Amardeep Biswas, who owns a club in the city. Weekends could cost more with entry charges.

How they splurge

Homes: With loans coming to an end on first homes, techies are busy buying their second in spouse’s name
Cars: Second cars, mostly hatchback models, are in
Clothes: Officewear shirts can cost up to Rs 4,000, more for clothes to travel abroad in. Jeans to lounge in have to be top-of-the-line branded ones at Rs 3,500-plus
Clubbing: Nights out with premium drinks for two: Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000


Post a Comment

<< Home