India expected to have 730mn internet users by 2020

By : |August 18, 2016 0

India is expected to have 730 million internet users by 2020, with more than seven out of 10 new users coming from rural areas, according to a new report by The National Association of Software & Services Companies (NASSCOM) and Akamai Technologies Inc. released on Wednesday.

The report, “The Future of internet in India”, launched by Mr R. Chandrashekhar, president, Nasscom, and Dr Tom Leighton, co-founder and chief executive officer of Akamai Technologies, aims to understand the impact of the internet on the way people live, learn, work, shop and connect; and focuses on the future trends that will change the landscape of India by 2020.

Currently, India has over 400 million internet users. While 75 percent of next 300 million users will be those living in rural India, the equal number of new Internet users will consume data in local languages, it said.

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India, which already has second largest internet user base after China, will remain the fastest-growing internet market, the report said. Globally, by 2020, more than half the population will have access to internet, with total user base reaching 4.170 billion.

Speaking at the launch, R. Chandrashekhar stated: “India’s internet consumption has already exceeded US to become No. 2 globally. Keeping into consideration the massive impact that the internet is creating across sectors, it has become the greatest disruptor of our age by changing the way we work, interact socially and live life in general. By 2020, the internet is expected to penetrate deeper in the hinterlands of the country, helping to create more opportunities for everyone.”

The report also highlights how the rapid growth of the internet has impacted the key verticals that include e-commerce, travel and hospitality, financial technology and media.“With the rise of digital natives and the increased adoption of smartphones, Internet penetration in India will stretch beyond the large cities, as more services and devices come online. This is also a great opportunity for enterprises to harness the power of the Internet to innovate and scale operations,” said Sidharth Malik, Vice President and Managing Director, India, Akamai Technologies.

According to the report, the overall e-commerce market in India is valued $17 billion in FY 2016. By 2020, India will have an estimated 702 million smart phones in use which will emerge as the preferred device for shopping, accounting for 70 percent of total online shopping, the report said. As for the travel sector, 50 percent of travel transactions will be online by 2020. Another key impact of rapidly growing internet will be on financial technology (Fintech) segment, which is expected to grow 1.7x between 2015 and 2020.

“In times to come, while mobile will be a key access device, larger devices will continue to be important in areas like education and business,” the report said. “Multiple stakeholders will need to work in tandem to bring the next generation of Internet users (rural based, mobile centric, local language focused) online in India.”

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