India, with its 560 Million Subscribers (as of September 2018), has become one of the largest and fastest growing markets of digital consumers. In fact, according to a McKinsey Country Digital Adoption Index, between 2014-2017, India was the second-fastest growing country in digital adoption after Indonesia.
As you can make out from the graph above, our digital adoption rate between the years 2014-17 grew at 90%, while our absolute score is still low — 32 on a scale of 100— which means that there is still ample room to grow.
This explosive growth in digital adoption can be attributed to innovative public and private initiatives like Aadhaar, India’s unique identification digital programme, which has 1.2 Billion citizens enrolled, making it the largest digital ID programme in the world, or Jio’s bundling of a virtually free smartphone along with monthly internet plan, which followed suit with other telecom providers bundling similar plans.
Such innovative initiatives have supercharged the digital adoption and growth in India’s rural hinterland. Making it a common sight for a user in India’s small town to read their news online, order food online via an app, chat with a friend online, shop on virtual shops, send money to family via UPI, or stream a movie on their phone.
Add to this fact that only 40% of the population has an internet subscription or that still 90% transaction are made via cash or that only 5% commerce is being done online, compared to 15% in China, makes for a very compelling case that India has a lot more capacity to grow with a very high adoption curve in the future.
Which makes a very good argument to believe the IT Ministry and McKinsey Report when it says that, ‘By 2025, India could create a digital economy of $800 Billion to $1 Trillion', a value equivalent to 18-23 percent of the country’s nominal GDP.
All these factors make it an attractive growth story to invest (time, money and effort) ‘into going digital’ for start-ups, global or local businesses irrespective of whether they have the technical know-how or not.