5 Amazing Facts About India’s Online Economy

Digital technology is connecting Indian like never before - the volume of business going online might surprise you.

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You may know that India’s first digital computer was built in the 1950’s at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Bombay. It was named the TIFR Automatic Computer or “TIFRAC”.

But a lot has changed since the days of the TIFRAC.

Now, digital technology interconnects Indians more than ever before – and opening up new possibilities for businesses of all sizes individuals from large corporations to the millions of micro-businesses that have sprung up in India’s entrepreneurial business culture.

Here are some facts about India’s economy that might surprise you:

1. India has more internet users than the US

The global internet now connects more than 3 billion people. India’s 277 million Internet users now overshadows the US, making it the world’s largest Internet market next to China, according to Mary Meeker’s famous Internet trends report.

2. Indians typically experience the web through mobile browsers – but there are few mobile-enabled websites

74% of India’s Internet users are on mobile, according to the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). App usage is high, but users actually spend more time consuming content through mobile web browsers (Google Chrome, UC Browser, etc.). Given this statistic, what’s even more surprisingly is that only 3 to 4% of websites in India are mobile enabled according to a recent report by Zinnov. So, the opportunity to create device friendly digital presence is huge!

3. Domains are used in interesting ways in India

Like people from around the world, Indians realize the power of a name and a reputation. Accordingly, they use domains to protect the current – and future value of their brands.

But what’s more interesting is that many people use domains not just for websites, but also for establishing a professional email address or having it point to an existing identity on a marketplace like Flipkart or a social media presence like a Facebook Page. Lots of domains in India are also parked for monetization.

4. There are lots of local Indian domain options, but .com and .net are currently the most recognized

It’s always a difficult call. There are many new domain choices today – from new TLDs (like .desi) to internationalized TLDs (like .भारत). But while these are options, it’s important to choose a domain name that is trusted and recognized worldwide.

Across the world, .com and .net domains are still the most visited and most recognized domain names. And in this respect, it’s no different in India. In fact, 79% of SMBs in India prefer .com to other TLDs and there are 2.77 million .com domains in India, which is more than half of all its domains. The evidence is pretty strong that .com domains are still the most relevant TLD when Indian people surf the web.

5. Cloud spending could be nearly $2 billion by 2019

According to the research firm Gartner, public cloud services spending in India was $731 million in 2015, and cloud related spending in India is expected to outpace the rest of the world to reach as much as $1.9 billion by 2019.

The U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration prepared a report (PDF) placing India as the eighth best market in the world for cloud providers.

They noted the growth wasn’t only about more Internet penetration and
the adoption of smartphones, but also widespread business interest especially in industry segments such as pharmaceuticals, healthcare, consumer goods and financial services.

Got any other facts about India’s internet to share? Please let us know in the comments!


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