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Half of India’s internet users will be rural and 40% will be women by 2020 , a report by the Boston Consulting Group said. It also said Indian companies are underestimating and underinvesting in the country’s digital potential.
Rural India is increasingly becoming an important part of internet growth.There were an estimated 269 million urban internet users in December 2016, while in rural India, there were 163 million internet users. Urban India has close to 60% internet penetration while rural India has only 17% penetration, a March report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India & IMRB said.
“We estimate that India will have more than 850 million online users by 2025, more than the combined population of the G7 countries,“ BCG said in its report on `Decoding Digital Consumers.’ The increase in the number of internet users will result in a large increase in the amount of digital commerce that the country will see.
“From 2014 through 2016, the number of online buyers rose seven-fold, to between 80 million and 90 million. Digitally influenced spending, currently $45 billion to $50 billion a year, is projected to increase more than ten-fold, to between $500 billion and $550 billion–and to account for 30% to 35% of all retail sales–by 2025,“ the report said.
BCG’s report said there were `Eights S’s of Online Activity’ in India shopping, studying, saving, selling, socialising, se arching, selecting and seeing and that companies in India were underestimating the country’s digital potential.
“In our view, however, many companies are basing their plans and investments on the expectation that the Indian digital marketplace will evolve as it did in developed markets. We believe this underestimates the digital potential in India; companies may actually be underinvesting for the long term,“ authors Abheek Singhi and Parul Bajaj said.
“In addition, many companies are failing to realise that fast-rising digital demand requires more investment in people and capabilities than in physical assets. Making the transition to a digital organisation is a challenge for most companies, but it is all but impossible without the right technology and talent.“
INFORMATION SOURCE – BOSTON CONSULTING GROUP’S REPORT TITLED,”DECODING DIGITAL CONSUMERS” PUBLISHED IN THE NEW YORK TIMES IN JULY 2017, OUTLOOK MAGAZINE INDIA, THE ATLANTIC, LINKEDIN PULSE, REPORT BY INTERNET AND MOBILE ASSOCIATION OF INDIA & IMRB PUBLISHED IN MARCH 2017