Tag Archives: #USA

Indian Smartphone Market: Where David is Goliath

Indian Smartphone market 1

India is ready for Apps. 5% of the handset base is smartphone. Are international developers even looking?

There are certain preconceived notions about the Indian smart phone market as seen by international app developers (iOS, Android). These has come across during my many interactions with international companies. The main fallout of these misconceptions is that India is not on the priority list of the markets the international app developers want to target.

Indian Smartphone market is negligible in size. They make up only a puny 5% of the handset base compared to developed countries. International biggies of the app world continue to focus on the north American, European and certain south-east Asian economies. This is only sensible logical thing for you to do as a savvy marketer. Put your money where your mouth is. Why customize for low priority markets? Why invest resources in a low smartphone penetration market. WRONG !

The problem is we are looking at the Indian smartphone market through the wrong lenses. There are very strong reasons why international developers should focus on India. Let me explain.

indian smartphone market

Singapore is considered a key market by International developers. Indian market is more lucrative.

1. Larger than Singapore: Singapore is considered the role model when it comes to describing target markets by app developers. All south-east Asian developers are focused on this market. There is a lot of M&A activity happening on the App front in this country. If this is an ideal market then India defeats it hands down. Singapore has 8 mn subscribers (includes all types of mobile phones)Singapore IDA Report. The puny 5% penetration of India mobile market translates into a Goliath 45 mn smartphones. The Indian smartphone market is more than 5 times larger than the Singapore mobile market. Even with lower ARPU, the total revenue outstrips the Singapore market. This in itself is reason enough to start locating the country on the map and find local go to market partners.

indian smartphone market

22 Official languages, ~2000 mother tongues. But all smartphones users know English

2. Tower of Babel: There are 22 official languages recognized by the Constitution of India. There are almost 2000 mother tongues. Unlike Philippines whose script is the English Alphabet, each of them have the Indian languages have their own scripts. As a result, many companies believe that only a small “English educated” percentage of the 43 mn smartphone users can use the apps. So the Indian market is not worth targeting as real user base will be much smaller. However thanks to the British, anyone who can afford to buy a smartphone today in India, knows enough English to use apps and services on it. Obviously there is a for higher usage or engagement if vernacular scripts are used, but it is not a show stopper if a developer wants to target India. Indian smartphone users are English “aware”.

indian smartphone market

25 Bn App downloads in India in 2012. The exponential growth will continue as smartphone growth is estimated at 100%

3. Growth rate: There are 2 growth rates which as a developer should make you jump of the fence if you are still undecided. Last year 25 Bn apps were downloaded in India. The rate of download is only accelerating thanks to the growth rate of smartphones. In 2012, 15.2 mn smartphones were sold by Apple, Samsung, Nokia, LG, Micromax, Sony along with others. That is a huge 20.8% growth rate over 2011. It is estimated that the Indian smartphone market will sell 44 mn units in 2013 which comes to a whopping 100% growth. It will be driven by sub $200 smartphones and these will in turn lead to exponential app download growth. The market has forced Apple to revamp its distribution while existing market leaders Samsung and Nokia push smartphones to even smaller and smaller towns.

So what are you waiting for? Be the early movers before the market becomes totally cluttered and you fight to find space for your amazing apps!

Big Data Opportunity in India

big data opportunity in india

Big Data with its 3Vs; Volume, Variety, Velocity and now Veracity ; is now touted as the next growth industry globally

Big Data opportunity in India versus Big Data opportunity in USA. All American corporates are hailing Big Data as their savior. The next batch of billionaires and billion dollars are predicted to come from this industry. Companies will better understand correlation between customer’s online social and buying behavior. This will help them to offer better targeted products/ solutions for even better profits. The days of human search for causality are over. Large, in fact gigantic super computers will find hidden gems among huge mass of unstructured and structured data and monetize the same. As all things from USA go, even India has caught the Big Data fever.

I did a Google trends dive into where “Big Data” searches were coming from. And this is what I found. India tops the list followed by USA, Australia and the rest of the developed countries pack. This seems to prove my point that there should be a big Big Data opportunity in India. 100 means the country where maximum search terms for “Big Data” has originated.

But a closer look shows the very different nature of the opportunity existing in both markets. USA is the “Adopter” land. Companies are embracing Big Data or are creating the Big Data solutions. Venture Capitalists are funding these start ups. Money is been poured into this sector for a hopefully brighter tomorrow. India on the other hand in trying to cash in on this wave. Not by providing solutions. Neither by adopting Big Data as a way of doing business. But by selling it professional maintenance services. India sees the opportunity to do the back end management of this vertical too which has been the corner stone of its IT industry. That is the nature of Big Data opportunity in India. So in India, the searches are sky rocketing as companies and their employees read up on what is Big Data and search for opportunities in the other markets for deals.

So what does this imply for the Indian behemoths who are at the forefront of the Indian Big Data wave.

Big Data opportunity in India

Low skill set, low wages engineers will be the basis of the Big Data opportunity in India

1. Low Cost model: The whole managed services industry is built upon low cost model. Each of the Indian companies will have to offer maintenance services at ever lower margin levels with Forex rates, wage inflation playing havoc. The American companies will not see any incremental value differentiation in these maintenance deals versus existing.So they will pay more or less the current existing rates for maintenance.

2. Lesser skill job creation: Big Data is all about super computers. Number crunching giants. The core technology code will reside with the companies creating the solutions abroad. Mostly the Indian IT companies will get Big Data deals which will be viewed as additional projects from existing client relationships.

3. Opportunity lost once again: The last internet wave saw giants emerge in USA. Google, FB, Amazon, Oracle, IBM.. the list is endless. India completely missed the wave as it played the low cost out sourcing model card. It was appropriate then. Now there is a technology startup culture developing in the IT hubs across India. However the way the IT behemoths are approaching this opportunity will mean that we are sure to miss the boat again. Instead of developing a world class Big Data solution which they can sell easily continuously with only a focused sales and development team, they are again going in for the world of endless negotiations and nominal profits

So there is a Big Data opportunity in India, but the current approach is a suboptimal one. Start ups and IT behemoths alike need to rethink, realign and ride the crest of the Big Data wave.