Mobile-first and Indian languages: discover the trends shaping Digital India


A summary of insights from influencers, historic data, research and survey on the trends emerging from India’s rapidly evolving digital economy.

On its journey to become a trillion-dollar digital economy, India is leveraging technology to improve the status of healthcare, agriculture, financial inclusion. It is also using emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), robotics and blockchain, according to a report by Kalaari Capital, YourStory Media, KPMG in India and NASSCOM 10,000 Startups.

The recently released report titled, #IndiaTrends2018: Trends Shaping Digital India, highlights significant Internet-driven developments that are likely to impact companies operating in the digital space in the coming year. The four organisations, from different domains and with varied expertise, have collaborated to bring together unique perspectives in the report.

The report was launched at an event that brought together a host of entrepreneurs, investors, corporate leaders, technologists and others. Patrick Antoni, Deputy Country Manager for IKEA India, spoke about the ongoing and upcoming innovations and experiments in the global technology and digital markets, and what IKEA plans to do in India.

Roopa Purushothanam, Chief Economist and Head of Policy Advocacy at TATA Sons, presented key macroeconomic trends impacting digital growth in India. She also pointed out mindsets like the average marriage age and ratio and roles of women is the workforce, which are unusual in India when compared with the rest of the world.

Harsh Jain, Co-founder and CEO of Dream11, spoke about how fantasy sports has evolved in different countries and how it is changing the way people experience sport in India – a demonstration of the growth of digital content as a trend.

(L-R) – Vani Kola  of Kalaari Capital, Sreedhar Prasad of KPMG, K S Viswanathan of NASSCOM and Shradha Sharma of YourStory release the report, #IndiaTrends2018: Trends Shaping Digital India in Bengaluru on Thursday, May 17, 2018.

The demonstration was followed by a panel discussion on how these emerging trends would impact business. Participating in the discussion were Sashank Rishyasringa of Capital Float, Amarendra Sahu of Nestaway Technologies, Farid Ahsan of Sharechat, and Akshay Sahi of Amazon Prime in India. The discussion was moderated by Shradha Sharma of YourStory and discussed how these emerging trends are changing the way businesses shape up in the long run.

“Inclusion is key to realising the true potential of the digital opportunity in India. However, true inclusion will only happen when there’s a place in the internet for a person who can speak only Bhojpuri, or Bodo,” said Sharechat’s Farid.

Akshay added that of a company truly delivers value to a customer, peoplewould be ready to pay for a service. Amarendra added, “The insight that you have about the market and how you use it is a key element.”

"Indian customers want to participate in the online as well as the offline space. They are omni-channel in their behaviour, and it is incumbent for us to be where they are," added Sashank.

The report presents 10 trends that are shaping the future of digital India, such as: mobile first consumers, growth of the HealthTech and AgriTech sectors, vernacular content across platforms, etc.

Commenting on the report, Vani Kola, Managing Director at Kalaari Capital, said, “After a few rounds of discussions with KPMG in India, YourStory and NASSCOM, we conceptualised #IndiaTrends2018: an endeavour to explore trends that are influencing India’s digital economy and summarise opportunities that lie ahead for entrepreneurs and corporations as we grow to become world’s third largest economy by 2025. There will be multiple opportunities across sectors where India can leapfrog in innovation. We will undoubetedly see technology companies accelerate this change with the next generation of entrepreneurs solving uniquely for Indian problems and scaling them globally.”

“India is brimming with ideas, entrepreneurship, and the thirst for change and reform,” remarked Shradha Sharma, Founder & CEO of YourStory Media. She added that at the centre of it all is the digitally savvy, non-English-speaking consumer, who will represent nearly three-quarters of the country’s internet user base by 2021. “The question, therefore, is whether or not the rest of the digital ecosystem is ready to talk in her/his own language.”

Sreedhar Prasad, Partner and Head, Consumer Markets & Internet Business, Advisory - KPMG in India, said, “India’s multi-lingual characteristics have led to the rise of the ‘Regional Indian Internet User’, bringing in a unique diversity to the Indian Internet landscape, thus ‘heterogeneity’ emerging as a key characteristic. Therefore, it is important that brands today channelise their energies towards harnessing the power of the digital identities of its customers.”

“The ‘mobile-first’ consumption pattern that is seen in Media, Gaming and Entertainment frequently has now moved to other realms – Health-tech, Agri-tech, and Ed-tech, to name just a few,” said K S Viswanathan, Vice President, Industry Initiatives at NASSCOM.

The report was compiled based on several discussions, meetings and brainstorming sessions that were conducted by Kalaari Capital, YourStory, NASSCOM and KPMG in India between December 2017 and January 2018. A total of 20 internet trends were identified that could shape the Indian business industry, going forward.

Ten trends were shortlisted in this report based on a survey conducted in India in January 2018. About 1,200 respondents participated in the survey held on the YourStory and NASSCOM platforms. Kalaari Capital further provided insights gained from top executives of some renowned Indian organisations. Next, the industry experts at KPMG in India conducted a detailed secondary research for each of the 10 trends.



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