‘Internet in India – 2006’ Part 1

A couple of months ago, IMRB International released its annual syndicated research called “Internet in India” in association with the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). The study covers 16,500 households covering 65,000 individuals across 26 cities and small towns. Clearly no mean task.

In this post, let’s take a look at some of the key findings and their implications:

  1. Based on the NRS (National Readership Survey) 2005, urban India’s population is approx. 243 million.
  2. Off the 243 mn. 203 mn. are literate and 77 mn. of them are English speaking.
  3. Three-fourth of the english speaking population, and a cool 59 mn. of the urban population are PC literate, but only 55% of them ( 32 mn.) have experienced the internet!
  4. Finally as of Sept ’06, IMRB estimates that there are 38 mn. internet users in India. This is a significant figure by any stretch of imagination, and is growing rapidly as we will see later.

To put 38 million internet users into perspective, let’s make some comparisons, based on latest data from www.internetworldstats.com:

Country-wise Internet Users 

  1. United States- 211mn.
  2. China – 137 mn.
  3. Japan – 86 mn. 
  4. Germany -50 mn.
  5. U.K. -38 mn.
  6. India – 38 mn.
  7. Italy – 31 mn.
  8. France – 30 mn.
  9. Russia – 24 mn.

  > > Internet Users Graph

As you can see at 38 million, both the United Kingdom and India have the same number of internet users, BUT the similarity ends there. The internet user population in India is currently just 3.5% of the total population, and has grown by 700% between 2000 – 2007, whereas the respective figures for the U.K. are 62% and 144%.

There is a HUGE potential on-line market in India waiting to be tapped!

In the next post we take a look at where these users are logging in from, what they are using the net for and importantly who they are – thus enabling savvy marketers to tailor their offerings to suit them.

I’d be delighted to hear from you about this set of data and your take on it. Do feel free to leave your comments and start a lively dialog!



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