In Depth

The $30 billion goldmine you should care about

Mobile and internet are the buzzwords in the Indian enterprise ecosystem currently. And why not, when increasing mobile penetration has further fuelled internet penetration, which in turn has a tremendous impact on the economic growth of a country? The opportunities this throws up before startups in the space are enormous.


The number talk

In India, internet’s contribution to its $1.8 trillion economy is already about 1.7% and is expected to rise to about 2.8 to 3.3% by 2015. It has been estimated that increasing mobile penetration by 10% can positively impact the GDP by as much as 0.61%, and therefore mobile first countries like India benefit immensely by the convergence of internet and mobile. As of March 2013, India has close to 900 million mobile subscribers — second largest in the world — and over 165 million internet subscribers — the third largest internet user base (after China and the US), of which about 143 million subscribers are mobile internet users. Also, the smartphone penetration in India is expected to reach approximately 150 million in a year.


Another interesting factoid to note is that India’s ‘native to IT’ population in the age group of under 25 years, with exposure to IT at schools, colleges and homes, is currently leading information technology consumerization here. Approximately 75-85 percent of internet subscribers in India are less than 35 years old. It is expected to climb to 90 percent in the case of mobile internet subscribers. The country already has one of the world’s youngest workforces — in the age group of 18-35. Not surprisingly, smartphone penetration is also the highest among this age group (over 66 percent of all smartphone users in India). As more of these internet-savvy youngsters join the workforce, the demand for IT solutions and services for improving efficiency and flexibility will also go up.

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Why is mobility adoption vital?

The convergence of mobile and internet has given a convenient medium for enterprises to improve access to their customers, employees and contractors. Enterprise mobility solutions have already proved their worth in enhancing productivity, efficiency and flexibility, and so mobility adoption has thus become the Hobson’s choice for enterprises in India. Many organizations have initiated deployment of mobility solutions, while others are planning adoption currently.

Citrix in association with Zinnov conducted a survey on enterprise mobility trends in India and came out with a white paper on mobility adoption trends in India a few weeks ago. They found that though enterprise mobility use cases are fast emerging, less than 50% of the enterprises today have defined enterprise mobility strategy of any form. Among those who have initiated mobility adoption, email is the most commonly deployed mobility application. A number of enterprises have also deployed unified communications & collaboration and sales force automation applications on mobile. Other enterprise grade applications such as ERP, CRM, and SCM are fast catching up.

The study found that security and data breach, integration issues with existing business solutions and higher perceived costs are the key inhibitors for rapid enterprise mobility adoption in India.


Key applications in the near future

Zinnov interviewed 130 IT and business decision makers across industries and concluded that the need for unified communications and collaboration between employees is the top driver for enterprise mobility solutions. Both business and technology stakeholders consider mobility as a key efficiency enabler in their organizations, the study found.

Large enterprises as well as SMB organizations, which the researchers had studied, were mobilizing enterprise applications for different end uses. For example, a large telecom equipment vendor in India mobilized its field service operations to increase efficiency in base station servicing and maintenance by scheduling field visits and enabling remote diagnostics for critical issues. Consumer electronics giant LG uses a mobile based customer service app to enhance customer satisfaction. “Mobilizing of claims process for its surveyors has resulted in a 35 percent productivity increase for ICICI Lombard while Future group’s mobilized inventory management has resulted in increased inventory availability by 20 percent,” the researchers noted.


According to the study, CRM (planned by 38 percent organizations), ERP (planned by 40 percent organizations), SCM (planned by 31 percent organizations), Sales Force Automation (planned by 25 percent organizations) as well as Time Management / Billing & Field Service / Order Booking applications (planned by 25 percent organizations) are the key applications that are expected to witness mobilization in the near future.

For startups and entrepreneurs, this is indeed a goldmine — one worth at least $30 billion. (McKinsey Estimates)

What, according to you, are the opportunities arising from rapid mobility adoption in India? Tell us in the comments below.

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