The millennials could be doing some heavy lifting generally, but when it comes to relocating, they are definitely travelling light. Start-ups operating in the movers and packers space who get most of their relocating clients through the online portals say the size of the baggage of millennials is a fraction of the size of those belonging to the previous generation.

And the primary driver of this trend is technology, which has shrunk bulky music systems and racks of CDs into mobile phones or ipods, and stacks of books into Kindles. A shorter product lifecycle is another reason with items such as cars, sofas and TVs losing their lifetime-possession tag.

Increased mobility to pursue studies and employment opportunities is also acting as a catalyst.

“The average size of packages has shrunk over the years. People only move the essentials — clothes, furniture and some other products. We don’t see much of books. We also don’t see movement of music systems,” Atul Mithal, Founder and CEO, ShiftKarado, told BusinessLine . Most of the clients of ShiftKarado are in the 20-30 years age bracket — single-person household or couples, or a family with a single child at the most.

Mithal, Chairman of StarWorldwide Group, a company that specialises in shifting products globally for clients such as the IMF, the UN and the World Bank, started ShiftKarado eyeing the movers and packers market within India, specifically those looking for no-frills or ‘budget shifting’. ShiftKarado wants to be the Indigo (airline) of the packers and movers market, Mithal said.

ShiftKarado estimates the packers and movers market in the country to be in the range of ₹10,000-15,000 crore a year. In the one-and-a-half years since Mithal started ShiftKarado, the company has found enough momentum in the market to expand its service to 50 cities.

Minimalism has also caught on in the case of furniture. “We see people opting for foldable furniture instead of bulky ones,” Anil Kumar, who owns Alfa Relocation, another packers and movers firm, said.

New products, a new start

Product lifecycles are also getting shorter, with users opting to sell off their TVs and washing machines rather than shifting them. For instance, when Sarahana Sanchay shifted to Bengaluru from Delhi for a new job, she simply packed in cartons products with which she had a personal connect: her clothes, spectacles, mobile, a whiteboard and some consumer durables. Stuff she decided to dispose off in Delhi were mostly “functional like printer, fridge, sofa and her second hand car”.

New products indicate a new beginning, says Sarahana.