How is the World's Largest Blackout Affecting Online Businesses in India?

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Throughout the day, millions in India have been grappling against the power cutout in what has been touted the largest blackout in the world till date in terms of number of people affected. Most of North and East India has been in the clutches of the power failure as more than 600 million people across 11 states have been affected. The second largest blackout was the one that Indonesia witnessed in 2005, wherein a significantly lesser number of people (100 million) were affected.

As Indians, not akin to power outages, try to carry on with regular life amidst hues and cries, the media has been blaming the bureaucracy which hasn't been able to take consolidated steps to mollify the anger. Besides all the action offline, the online world has been abuzz with reports from across the nation. We caught up with a few online businesses to know how the situation has has been at their end.

Frrole, a social newspaper which studies Twitter data reported that Delhi showed 15% lower tweet volume than usual. "We don't yet pull out data from the east but surprisingly, along with Delhi, Mumbai is also showing lower volumes of tweets. Bangalore and Chennai are doing okay."

Seated at the heart of Delhi, Archit Gupta, the founder at Cleartax has had a rather tumultuous time, more so because of the timing of this event. Being the last day for filing taxes online (now extended by a month citing power outage as the reason), Cleartax was at the peak of it's traffic. "We are powered by AWS but the Airtel Broadband connection was very spotty through-out the day at our office. Luckily, being a startup and hence 'multi-homed', our team kept switching with MTNL whenever one went offline. We were working on power generators and hoping that they don't have a fault of any kind." says Archit. Talking about the traffic, he says, "The effect of the power cutout was stark. The whole of the South Indian map was lit up in our Google Analytics page while the North remained pretty much blank." The announcement for postponing the date has been made but still the Income Tax Department servers have not been able to keep up with the load. "I am not sure if they have data centers in Northern India and whether that caused any degradation," added Archit.

While eCommerce companies with bigger ticket sizes and lesser number of transactions might remain oblivious to the problem, those depending on volumes in terms of traffic will definitely see a dip. Away from the power cutout, we at Yourstory.in also saw some swing in terms of number of visitors. Adjoining is a snapshot from the analytics at one point in time in the afternoon. Bangalore didn't bear the brunt of this outage but has it's own set of power problems. Having been rain deprived till now, reports have been doing the rounds that if the situation doesn't improve, Bangalore will be facing huge power problems in the coming days.

Updates:

Laptopwale reported a 30% dip in traffic for the day.

Ayojak reported NCR traffic drop to 37% on July 30th and to 27% on July 31st.

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