TiE’s India Internet Day aims to decode what’s in store for country's 400M netizensLibza Mannan
With participation of over 500 internet enthusiasts, the seventh edition of TiE’s India Internet Day shed light on the various factors impacting the third wave of internet users and focused on how entrepreneurs can tap India’s rapidly growing internet market.
India is currently the world’s second largest internet market with 400 million users and is expected to add another million users by June this year. India is estimated to have 702 million smartphone users by 2020, and mobile phones are set to emerge as the preferred device for online shopping, accounting for 70 percent.
In a bid to demystify India’s internetisation and unravel the opportunities the sector holds, TiE Delhi-NCR hosted the seventh edition of India Internet Day (IID) on April 26, 2018, at Gurugram’s Leela Ambience Hotel.
“With the seventh edition of India Internet Day, we kept a sharp focus on how the entrepreneurs should tap into the emerging user base that hails from the corners of the country. The conversations at the event were woven around the third wave of internet users, their requirements, consumption patterns, and the ways in which startups can tap into this potential user base. We also focused on the nuances that the startups need to keep in mind to reach out to the next 300 million users,” said Geetika Dayal, Executive Director, TiE Delhi-NCR.
Founded in 1992 by a group of successful entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and senior professionals, TiE’s mission is to foster entrepreneurship through mentoring, networking, and education. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, it is a global non-profit platform that brings together all stakeholders, from entrepreneurs and academia to angel investors, venture capitalists, incubators, banks, and corporate companies, and makes them accessible to entrepreneurs. The platform has over 16,000 members spread across 61 chapters in 17 countries.
The event kick-started with a fireside chat between Ananth Narayanan, CEO of Myntra, and Deep Kalra, Founder and Group CEO of Make My Trip. Ananth shared insights around Myntra’s back-end technology where they have employed Artificial Intelligence to predict consumer behaviour and how new-age technology has been harvested over the years to actually differentiate what the user will buy. This was followed by an engaging session with Daniel Wetstein, Managing Director of Morgan Stanley, shedding light on the evolution of the internet economy, highlighting the potential of internet in education and healthcare.
In a first, the conference also hosted discussion on ‘Insights from the Next Wave of Internet Users in India’ among the actual third wave of internet consumers, including a homemaker, a government school teacher, a videographer, a railway coach assistant, and a college-going student. The enthusiastic audience also shared insights on Tier III internet penetration and consumption patterns.
Next up was Satyan Gajwani, Vice Chairman of Times Internet, for a session on ‘Apps that Serve the Masses’ with entrepreneurs like Farid Ahsan, Co-Founder of Sharechat; Ranjeet Pratap Singh, Co-Founder and CEO of Pratilipi; Manish Rathi, Co-Founder and CEO of RailYatri; and Saurabh Aggarwal, CEO and President of Octro. The panel focused on the importance of apps in vernacular languages to tap the next 300 million users, stressing on the fact that in a country like India accessibility in top eight languages is required.
Focus on consumer patterns
Dilip Asbe, Managing Director and CEO of NPCI, discussed online payments and highlighted that Unified Payments Interface clocked 178.05 million transactions worth over Rs 24k crore in March 2018. This was followed by a discussion about the future of payments with fintech entrepreneurs, including Lizzie Chapman, Founder and CEO of Zestmoney, and Upasana Taku, Co-Founder of Mobikwik. With Blockchain being one of the most talked-about digital trends these days, Nicholas Cary, Co-Founder and President of Blockchain, discussed the potential of Blockchain to help track authenticity of any commodity.
The second half of the day witnessed engaging discussions on ‘The Great Indian Challenge: Language & Design’; ‘India ka WiFi - 0 paisa per MB’; ‘Elephant in the Room: Data & Security’; and ‘Local languages- Redefining the Lingual Face of Digital’.
With India crossing the 400 million mark and looking to acquire 300 million more internet users soon, there is an increasing focus on consumer patterns and the impact the new wave of internet (often referred to as third wave) users would likely have on entrepreneurs. TiE’s IID focused on helping entrepreneurs gear up for the new internet wave and bridge the India-Bharat gap when it comes to leveraging the power of the internet.