Understanding millennials

Millennials are on the move, and it won’t be long till they’re directing the top tables in every industry. It’s time to get to know our future leaders.


By 2025, millennials will dominate your workforce. Born between the years 1984 and 1996 (18 to 30 years old), this generation has attracted more conjecture and analysis than anyone before them. Much has been written about what makes them different from the previous generations, what their motivators are and how they want to be managed. Knowing how to attract, manage and lead this generation, as well as how to identify and develop future leaders among them, will be business critical in the next few years. They will soon occupy every consequential leadership position in the world, in business, academia, government, and the non-profit sector. To understand millennials is to understand the future.

Most of the studies that have been conducted on millennials so far have been regional in scope (e.g. US-only or euro-centric studies) or limited to a single category of study (such as technology adoption). To test the stereotypes about them that have become conventional wisdom, the INSEAD Emerging Markets Institute joined forces with Universum and the HEAD foundation to conduct the largest independent millennial study of its kind to date, polling responses from over 16,000 millennials from 43 countries across the globe. The results of the study indicated that this group of individuals is much more eclectic and multifaceted than the clichés suggest.


Vinika Rao

Vinika Devasar Rao is executive director of INSEAD Emerging Markets Institute in Singapore, a role she has held since March 2013. Previously, she was head of Asia at the INSEAD Career Development Center. Prior to joining INSEAD, Vinika was associate professor of business strategy at the SP Jain Center of Management and was founding director for Asia Pacific of Apex Biz Solutions, an advisory services firm.