India

How do we bring the next billion people online?

This was the question framing the first talks at #Wired13 on Friday. There’s no question of the change the internet can affect for the developing world, but what hurdles are there before more wide scale adoption?

Speakers from three massively innovative companies, two producing hardware and one an operating system, gave their views on the democratization of technology, and indeed knowledge itself.

I’ll give a brief overview of each talk, to explain three different aspects to the challenge of putting the next 1bn online.

Asia: how are companies approaching digital change?

At Econsultancy Singapore, we recently had a good old discussion about the change necessitated by new digital technologies.

I thought I’d allow you to stick your finger into the prevailing winds of this discussion, by listing some of the take-homes.

To keep you interested, at the close I’ve added a couple of brands that seem to be agile and are moving with the marketing times, embodying many of the 12 pillars of the Modern Marketing Manifesto.

Creating relevant social media campaigns in India

Last year saw the biggest ever trade delegation from the UK to India, as British businesses seek to capitalise on the growing Indian business market.

According to reports, the UK invests almost £9bn in India. In turn, India invests around £800m in the UK (almost double what it invests in the rest of Europe).

As a result of this booming economy, India’s digital market is growing fast. Currently, around 121m of India’s 1.2 billion people are online – a relatively small number proportionately, but 2012 is set for an explosion in internet growth, driven mostly by mobile.

India has a reported 700m mobile subscribers, with around 200,000 being added each day (many in rural areas).

The opportunity for social brands to capitalise on this boom is huge, if they get it right.

The e-commerce market in India: infographic

With a population of 1.21bn, you would think that India would be a massive market for e-commerce, but it is worth just $10bn. 

By comparison, the US e-commerce market is worth $167bn while in China, with a population of 1.33bn, online retail was worth around $83bn

This suggests that there is still plenty of room for growth, and this infographic from ReferralCandy has some useful stats on the barriers to growth…