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The Life of Y

The Life of Y
Engaging Millennials as Employees and Consumers

First Edition
  • Debashish Sengupta - the author of the award-winning book The Life of Y: Engaging Millennials as Employees and Consumers

October 2017 | 316 pages | SAGE Response

1st prize in the DMA-NTPC Management Book Awards, 2018.

Currently, we have about 2 billion millennials in the world, aged between 17 and 37 years, who are fast becoming the world’s most important generational cohort in terms of consumer spending growth, sourcing of employees and overall economic prospects. Engaging this cohort for businesses, societies and nations is no more a matter of choice.

The 2016 millennial survey by Deloitte on millennials has alarming news for companies the world over. Majority of the millennials or Gen Y workers are likely to change their companies by 2020. While the world over similar trends are visible, India ranks third where the probability of Gen Y workers leaving their current companies is maximum. The survey also points to the fact that this lack of loyalty may be a sign of neglect that millennials might be facing in their organizations. Such poor levels of engagement of millennial workers in India and rest of the world are a huge red flag for all companies. Poor engagement will not only have cost implications but also have huge negative implications on the growth, profitability and sustainability of companies, especially when the going is not particularly easy for most of the industry sectors.

This book attempts to create a deep empathy for millennials and is a result of the author’s extensive research spanning almost a decade. The book dives deep into the life of Generation Y and seeks to create an unbiased understanding about this generation, thereby exploding the perceptual myths and stereotypes about them. Based on the research, the book suggests a new strategy to engage with the millennial generation in the workplace and marketplace in particular and the society in general. It provides a consultative guidance to engaging millennials seeking to replace the old models and designs of engagement.

Foreword by Marshall Goldsmith
Foreword by Kiran Mazumdar Shaw
Part I: Unravelling Millennial Behaviour
The Misunderstood Generation!
Understanding Millennials
Part II: The Life of 'Y'
Emotional and Social Wellness Paradox
Material Wellness Paradox
Physiological Wellness Paradox
Paradoxical Life and Happiness Reversal
Part III: Engaging the Millennial Generation
The New Rule of Engagement
Engaging Millennials at the Workplace
Engaging Millennials at the Marketplace
Engaging Millennials in the Society
Corporate Leadership and the Future of Millennial Engagement

‘On the pitch or off the pitch, millennials with their sheer number and presence rule the roost. They represent the youth of today full with energy, enthusiasm and potential. They need to be engaged better, their boundless energies need to be channelized, but first they need to be heard and understood. Unfortunately, we see a lot of rough edges between the previous generations and millennials, whether in cricket or outside, mostly owing to misunderstandings. The result is often counterproductive for organizations and societies, the cricket equivalent of caught-behind or stumped. This book is one of its kind; it not only allays the myths about Generation Y but also comes out with very clear and practical strategies to engage them. A sure Sixer! I wish the book and the author all success’

Syed Kirmani,
Cricketing Legend (Represented India 1971–1986)

‘From the first time I spoke with Debashish, I was amazed by his knowledge and passion for engagement. That’s why I invited him to judge The Lotus Awards. Engaging with millennials will be one of the biggest challenges businesses face, and we are lucky that Debashish has shared his extensive research to help make this easier for us all’.

James Murphy FRSA,
Founder, Engage International Ltd, UK

‘This book is an exhaustive study of a dilemma facing every organization on the planet—how to motivate and retain Generation Y employees and consumers. The young entering the workforce today bring new and exciting skills that open up new possibilities for organizations and by 2030, Generation Y staffers will account for two-thirds of all employees in the global workforce.

However, this generation is unlike any other having grown up in an age of technology, greater access to education and a much freer lifestyle which fosters different motivators, needs and priorities than previous generations. These new motivators are at odds with what employers have traditionally expected.

Dr Sengupta skilfully explores this nexus in greater depth than most other research available. Moreover, he goes further by providing a step-by-step guide to winning over millennial staff and consumers—something not covered in any other research that comes to mind. This book is essential for leaders of organizations, talent acquisition and management staff as well as sales and marketing experts trying to reverse declining sales trends. This book must be on your desk!’

Bernard O'Meara,
Marquis Who's Who since 2009, Business Consultant, Strategic Talent Acquisition Specialist, Author, Templar Publications, Australia

‘The author’s work is an insightful treatise on a contemporary reality which has started impacting many a social and business landscape globally. One can experience the painstaking research effort and the authentic enquiry adopted by Debashish as we immerse in its thought-provoking and gripping content. The book is rich with facts and feelings ascribed to this cohort aptly called now as the most disruptive population to inhabit the world. It makes the much needed and timely contribution to the global imperative of millennial engagement not just within organizations and workplaces but also in the burgeoning social and formal marketplace as consumers of products and services. In fact, millennials are becoming the biggest spending generation, but many corporates fail to tap into their buying power because of not just ineffective marketing strategies but also in failing to realize that they are a unique lot with some distinctive characteristics. A classic contribution has been made by the author to guide organizations and professionals discover practical ways to engage millennials through some revealing behavioural insights and workplace culture design strategies. It indeed enables crucial paradigm shifts by uncovering the truth behind some myths and stereotypes about millennials. This is not just a good-to-know content but also a serious read to shape and sharpen our competitive edge and to ensure sustainability for the present and future’.

R. Yuvakumar
Learning and Development Adviser, Executive Coach and Corporate Mentor UAE, Head Mashreq Learning Systems, Mashreq Bank, Dubai

‘The rapid advancement of science and technology has greatly enhanced our understanding of the universe. This book delves deep into the universe of the human mind with Generation Y at its core. Rapid pace of change has the potential to widen the disconnect between generations in various spheres of life disturbing peace at personal and societal levels. Understanding, as rightly pointed out by the author, is a prerequisite for effective and fruitful engagement across generations. Rarely do we come across a book like this. Usefulness of this book extends far beyond workplace and marketplace. It will change the way we look at the youth in general and millennials in particular’.

Jeethendra Shetty
Deputy Director (Administration), Department of Youth Empowerment and Sports, Government of Karnataka

‘This is the book I have been waiting for, as an employer. The importance of this subject is widely known, but mostly spoken with individual perceptions. This book will help us to understand millennials while defining the workplace policies and practices, taking into account the fact that by 2020 half of the population in India will be below 25 years of age. This book will also help the millennials understand how they are perceived with clear analysis for them to integrate with society. I congratulate Dr Debashish for this book’. 

Ramesh Sampath
Country HR Director, Valeo India Private Limited

‘This is a very important book in our context. Millennials are a force that cannot be ignored. It is important, therefore, that everyone who interacts with millennials gets some understanding of what drives them—and their drivers are really unique. This book by Dr Debashish, the culmination of close to a decade of research, tries to decode millennials and their thinking—a start to engaging with this generation in a more meaningful manner’. 

RJ Jimmy
Mirchi 95, Bengaluru

‘Dr Debashish has written a must-read primer for organizations to reach out, understand and engage with millennials. The Life of Y is a well-researched, timely publication that will help build a bridge between organizations and Gen Y to better the quality of engagement’. 

K. Sivakumar
Co-founder and CEO, Saluto Wellness Private Limited

‘All the new generations, in my opinion, always felt that they were one step ahead when compared to their predecessors. And, obviously, the “previous generation” thought the opposite and bemoaned the watering down of values, work ethics, etc. But, in the current scenario of baton handover to the “millennials,” we are witnessing an upheaval which is still being probed into and many are clueless. While, we, in the pre-millennial generation, are learning to grudgingly accept the sweeping changes brought about by technology, social media, human relationships, etc., somewhere there is a disconnect when we approach the “millennial” human factor which is a product of these new waves. This book aims at unravelling that mystery and suggests to us the way forward. Must read!’

Kumar Krishnaswamy
Group Head, Human Resources, Medwell Ventures

‘A timely analysis and thorough exploration of the “Y” factor, the book charts a strategic path for engaging millennials’. 

Anitha Moosath
Associate Editor, The Smart Manager

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