This article is sponsored by Accel Partners.
When we talk about using mobile apps, we naturally think of chatting with friends, hailing a taxi, buying a movie ticket, or ordering a pair of shoes. We rarely imagine medical reps, real estate brokers, construction workers, or school teachers using mobile apps throughout the day to do their jobs better. All that’s about to change.
Over the last 50 years, we’ve seen corporations across the world’s most developed countries power their way from a few million users of client-server computing, to tens of millions on desktop PCs, growing to a few hundred million using laptops and web-based solutions for their daily work. Over the last 10 years, smartphones have proliferated amongst these knowledge workers, and there has been a lot of effort that has gone into making these devices clever extensions of the office desk. Another interesting trend has been that enterprises have had to enable their employees’ personal smartphones to become useful and relevant for their work (this is the BYOD – Bring Your Own Device – trend).
Over this same time period, India has seen abysmally low penetration of desktop computing across its vast corporate universe. The cost of owning and maintaining these computers, and the lack of reliable power and internet connectivity were significant hurdles. However, the smartphone reached India a few years ago and a whole new story emerged. These devices were affordable and so was cellular connectivity. Before we knew it, Indians were buying smartphones faster than any developed country, and today we have over 300M consumers that use the mobile internet in India.
So now we have thousands of large companies across India with inadequate enterprise software investments, but these companies have millions of employees carrying around their own connected smartphones. And we know from elsewhere in the world that these employees would be happy to use their devices to get their work done if it were convenient for them.
Herein lies one of the greatest opportunities of the next decade for the Indian entrepreneur. Existing desktop and web-based solutions cannot be easily used in a mobile-only environment. Huge chunks of the current enterprise software landscape will be redefined for the mobile-first workforce.
But it doesn’t end here. Currently well-served markets like the US and Western Europe are going through a big shift. Millennials are entering the workforce, and we’re seeing a rapid ‘consumerization’ of the enterprise. These workers are not only very comfortable with mobile-first solutions for the workplace, but are increasingly demanding them! So the opportunity to help address the needs of mobile workers in India almost instantly translates into a larger global one.
India will have a disproportionately large amount of the world’s global mobile development talent. This gives Indian entrepreneurs a big unfair advantage in building companies that will power the mobile-first enterprise of the future.
We at Accel are very excited about this opportunity. If you are too, we’d love to hear some of your thoughts and give you a chance to connect with other entrepreneurs that have similar ambitions.
Share your thoughts in 500 words, and get a chance to engage with venture firm Accel Partners and other like-minded entrepreneurs. It might just be the start of your new journey into a mobile-first future!
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