Press Release

Generation M and the role Indonesian Muslims can play in the future of consumerism

Ogilvy Noor, the world’s first bespoke full-service communications and branding consultancy for engaging with Muslim audiences named after the Arabic word for “light,” introduces Generation M: Young Muslims Changing the World, a new book by Shelina Janmohamed, vice president of Ogilvy Noor.

The book reveals an increase in the trend of global consumerism with the Muslim generation as its focus, due to their growing number and importance in the world economy.

Based on research by Pew Research Center on Religion and Public Life, in the next four decades, the number of Muslim is expected to increase by 73 per cent – from 1.6 billion in 2010 to 2.8 billion in 2050. And by the year 2030, Muslims will make up 26.5 per cent of the global population.


As one of the 21st century’s most powerful economic forces, the Muslim lifestyle, which spans across all categories from food to travel to healthcare and more, has resulted in a thriving Islamic economy.

Katryna Mojica, Head of Ogilvy & Mather Indonesia, said: “Ogilvy has been a pioneer in understanding Muslim consumers and how to better connect with them since the launch of Ogilvy Noor in 2010. As Indonesia has the largest and one of the youngest Muslim populations in the world, it’s crucial that we continue to gain deep insights and understanding of this modern Muslim consumer – the values and brands that they identify with, and their way of expressing themselves with both faith and modernity.”

The book’s author, Shelina Janmohamed said: “Indonesia is one of the centers of Generation Muslim’s movement, as it is regularly featured at the top of global growth prediction. At a commercial and creative level, the signs of Generation M’s influence in their own societies as well as on the global as a whole are already there.”

The role of faith in the social and commercial space is not to be underestimated, and every day religiosity continues to be important for many around the world.

“The notion of Islamic branding – building businesses, products and brands to engage with Muslim consumers – is also gaining traction, with halal food and lifestyle industry was estimated at $1.8 trillion in 2014 and predicted to rise to $2,6 trillion by 2020 and Islamic finance at a further $1.3 trillion and $2.6 trillion respectively.”

Currently, there is a new kind of consumerism on the horizon; the notion of Islamic branding. Building businesses, products and brands to engage with Muslim consumers is gaining traction, and this is where this global cohort of young Muslims comes in. Their faith inspires them to engage with brands to do all of these things, and their youth, growth and economic power make them one of the most important and exciting rising economic forces.

In Indonesia, the growth of Muslim consumerism has seen a steady rise in the last five years. Of the 750,000 small and medium fashion businesses in Indonesia, 30 per cent are in the Muslim fashion industry. The Ministry of Industry will encourage and empower growth of Muslim fashion SMEs, since these businesses are one of the powerhouses capable of lifting up Indonesia’s global image and becoming Muslim fashion centers.

Whether we’re turning on the news or reading a magazine, at the supermarket shopping or out on the high street, there’s a story that captures our attention and which we keep hearing: the story of young Muslims.

That’s no surprise. After all, there are 1.6 billion Muslims. They are young and they are growing fast. One in three Muslims are under fifteen, and two in three are under thirty. That’s more than one billion people making up 14 per cent of the world’s population. This is a global story. In 81 countries the Muslim population will exceed 1 million people. More than 60 per cent of Muslims live in Asia. And 500 million Muslims live as minorities around the world. And in places like India – where Muslims will soon become the largest Muslim population in the world, even tho ugh they are a minority – they are increasingly middle class.

But who exactly are these young Muslims? What is it like to stand in their shoes? What are their attitudes, their cultures, their aspirations, and their point of view on the world?

If we are going to map our global future, then it is imperative that we explore these questions and understand who exactly is in this demographic, and how we should engage with them.

For any business that is serious about its growth strategy, the numbers tell us everything about this segment’s importance. But more than that, these young Muslim consumers will have an influence far beyond their own demographic to the wider Muslim populations and ultimately to global and local consumer trends.

As one of the world’s most powerful economic forces, brands must now adapt their marketing to incorporate the values and ideals of the Muslim population.

“This book is a very personal journey to find out what it means to be a young pioneering modern Muslim today, their hopes, their frustration and what they want the world to know about them,” explains Shelina. “The two biggest questions are: what does Generation M want to tell us and once we’ve got to know them – what should we do to engage with them.”

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