‘Internet in India – 2006’ Part 2

Small towns are growing the internet user base

I believe that one of the biggest drivers of interent adoption is already in place in India. It is the fierce pent-up demand in non-metro India to keep up with the Sharmas in Delhi and the Raos in Hyderabad. An innate desire of all parents is to ensure that their children have greater educational opportunities than they ever had which (hopefully) translate into a higher standard of living. That is why purchasing a computer is pretty high on most parent’s list of priorities followed by access to the internet; even in small towns. Or should I say especially in small towns, since access to information is perceived to be a great socio-economic leveller.

The Internet in India survey reveals that between 2001 and 2006, the percentage of non-metros logging onto the internet has shot up from 27% to 39% on a total absolute base moving from 9 mn to 32 mn. Whilst the top 8 metros will continue to be the biggest contributors to internet adoption in  India, the non-metros will provide their distinct regional flavor in terms of localisation and language.

>>  Town Class Distribution

Another point worth noting is that not only are non-metros logging in, but there is a higher adoption over time from the middle and lower middle classes (49% in 2001 to 56% in 2006). Greater affordablity of the PC and internet connection is making it easy for many people to benefit from the global information age. 

>> Socio Economic Class Distribution

Not surprisingly the third key element in the internet equation in India is demographic. The youth (18-35 years old) is the key driver accounting for 50% of all users on the internet. Similar to their western counterparts they are early adopters of technology, and are aggressively wooed by internet content providers. According to the study, two segments to watch out for over the next two to three years will be non-working women (currently 9% of the user population), and school children aged 12-17 (14% of user population)

I am personally excited about the school children segment as there is a huge untapped market of hungry minds with increasingly higher disposable household income. Young kids embrace high technology like fish to water and are not intimidated with new ways to do things, since they do not operate from a precedence.

I hope you found this post informative. Drop a line to let me know. Cheers!  

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