In a study recently conducted by the Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) on ‘Emerging Affluent Consumers’ in eleven countries including Pakistan, it was found that nearly two-thirds or 64 percent of emerging affluent consumers in Pakistan are experiencing upward social mobility. 11% of the consumers are enjoying ‘supercharged’ social mobility.
The Emerging Affluent Study 2018 also examines the views of 11,000 emerging affluent consumers I.e. individuals who are earning enough to save and invest, from 11 markets across Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
SCB Retail Banking Head Syed Mujtaba Abbas said speaking about the study to local news said, “Ambitious consumers are on an upward social trajectory; they are surpassing their parents’ success in education, careers and home ownership. As their ambitions and aspirations grow, they are demanding convenient financial services and digital technology to broaden their access to money management and advance their financial wellbeing. It is an exciting journey where they are not only improving their own lives, but they are also fueling growth in some of the world’s most exciting markets.”
The study identifies Pakistan’s socially mobile consumers with impressive earnings growth, with almost half (44 per cent) enjoying a salary increase of 10 per cent or more in the past year. With more than a third (34 per cent) seeing their earnings jump by 50 per cent or more in the past five years.
The study also shows that the socially mobile people in Pakistan are also better educated and achieve higher levels of employment and homeownership than their parents. Moreover, approximately 89% went to universities, compared to 66% of their fathers and less than half than that of their mothers. About 83% are in a management position or running their own businesses compared to 65% of their fathers and 28% of their mothers. Similarly, as many as 88% of the socially mobile people own their own home, compared to 81% of their parents at the same age.
The study also shows that the levels of optimism among the emerging affluent in Pakistan is also higher than the reality, with 79% believing they are in a better financial position than their parents.
Furthermore, more than two-thirds of the emerging affluent in Pakistan say their familiarity with digital tools have been vital to their personal success, while 73% say online banking makes them feel that they have more control over their money and investments, With 67 % saying digital money management has helped them get closer to achieving their financial goals.
Majority of Pakistan’s emerging affluent are comfortable going online for financial advice, and would invest in financial products online if an on-demand adviser was available. The study also reveals that risk is not a problem for the emerging affluent if strong rewards are possible. About 58% are willing to accept a high level of risk for a high level of return when investing their money in online financial products.