Digital Economy

Unleashing India's Untapped Market Scope with the Wave of the Internet

Everyday opening new markets and opportunities has become a testimony to India's technological potential
Unleashing India's Untapped Market Scope with the Wave of the Internet
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Entrepreneur Staff
Features Writer
4 min read

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A wave of new age technology has swept over the Indian markets over the past years. Having a significant digital presence has become a necessity for every small or big player in the business ecosystem. Everyday opening new markets and opportunities have become a testimony to India’s technological potential.

A recent EY report suggested that the number of smartphone users in India will reach 650 million whereas the monthly data consumption would touch 18GB by 2022. Digitalization of services has indeed uplifted the lifestyle of a common man in the country by enabling access to a plethora of affordable e-services.

From a farmer’s information needs to a   students’ mid-night pizza cravings, the internet today has the potential to address them all with the click of a few buttons. Ranked as the second largest online market after China, India has witnessed a speedy penetration of internet in its roots from merely 10 per cent in 2010 to 26 per cent in 2015 serving 330 million internet users.

Digital Economy

India has a huge potential to lead the fourth industrial revolution and unlock our trillion dollars digital economy by positively impacting the organizations and communities. “The wide-scale availability of budget smartphones and incredibly affordable tariff rates, has vastly increased the user base for e-commerce and other online businesses,” stated Ashok Kumar Reddy, Founder and CEO, GrabOn.

Needless to say, India is on the verge of becoming a force to reckon with in the digital space. While the rapid proliferation of internet throughout the tier-I and tier-II cities has opened the previously untapped market segment to business, there are ample challenges the segment is yet to address. A severe gap between the genders of internet consumers has been noted.

However, as per the Google KPMG report from last year, the next wave of growth on the Internet in India is to be driven by women and vernacular content. “Cities like Jaipur, Lucknow, Patna, Chandigarh, Indore, Agra, Bhopal are in the top 10 on our platform for content consumption and Hindi content has overtaken English content consumption in less than a year,” shared Asif Mohamed, Co-Founder and CTO, Momspresso.

As the accessibility to the internet has improved, people are looking to upgrade their lifestyle through technology. “As more aspects of life are digitalized (e.g. banking, food delivery etc.), people are becoming more and more comfortable with using the internet in place of other traditional means,” believes Gautam Anand, Founder & CEO of Hubhopper.

Push by the Government

The Indian government has been pushing for digitalization of the economy for years. The effort like Digital India was the testimony to its motive of bringing India into the league of digitally advanced nations. A severe focus on digital payments has been observed to ensure transparency in the system. Introduction of Unified Payment Interface was another step towards digitizing India.

From the filing of taxes to finding information about government schemes and programs, everything is available on the internet for Indian citizens. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has been ensuring to digitally educate the interested beings about the benefits of technology and internet through schemes like Internet Saathi.

Digital Divide

The new age technology has crossed all boundaries to reach the population surviving with the minimum resources available. While the urban population was the first to bask in the arrival of the internet in the country,  rural India is catching up too. According to a report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), rural internet penetration grew from 18 per cent in December 2016 to 20.26 per cent in December 2017.

While the urban population is much lower than the total rural population in India, the digital divide is severe. The report suggested that urban India with an estimated population of 455 million already had 295 million using the internet in 2017 whereas Rural India, with an estimated population of 918 million had only 186 million internet users.

“The future growth policies must focus on bridging the digital divide that exists between urban and rural India today," the report had suggested. As of June 2018, India has 512 million internet subscribers. The digital content consumption has become easier due to the low prices of entry-level 4G devices.

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