India’s Internet User Base To Touch 730 Mn By 2020: Report

India’s internet user base will touch 730 million by 2020, the latest report by Nasscom and Akamai Technologies has revealed. According to ‘The Future of Internet in India’ report, India, whose Internet user base is second largest after China, will remain the fastest growing market.

Globally, the number of Internet users is expected to touch 4170 million by 2020. The growth of the Internet has successfully created a strong ecosystem for new businesses to tap into growing markets and create solutions to address their demands.

Speaking at the launch, R Chandrashekhar, President, Nasscom stated that, “India’s Internet consumption has already exceeded USA 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.”

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“The rapid growth of the Internet and its expansion into verticals including e-Commerce, Travel and Hospitality, Public Sector, Financial Technology and Media is a clear indication of the state of things to come,” said Chandrashekhar.

According to the report, the overall e-Commerce market in India was valued $17 billion in FY 2016, and by 2020, India will have an estimated 702 million smart phones in use and mobile phones will emerge as the preferred device for shopping, accounting for 70 percent of total online shopping. The fashion and lifestyle segment will emerge as the largest e-tailing category with a 35 percent contribution to e-Commerce GMV by 2020, overtaking the consumer electronics segment which dominates the sales of Indian e-Commerce industry at present.

“The start-up ecosystem in India, coupled with the government’s initiatives make the Internet accessible to every citizen across the country, is helping India set the stage to enable large numbers of ‘netizens’ to reap the benefits of the Internet. 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.

Travel across India, for social visits, leisure, shopping and holidays is all set to increase and more people will be booking online, taking advantage of competitive pricing offered by online travel agents (OTAs) and aggregators. An increasing amount of user-generated content online (views on social media, reviews on websites, etc.) is driving aspirational travel, tipping the scales in favor of trips that were once only contemplated, never undertaken.

The availability of affordable smartphones and tablets has encouraged the second screen phenomenon. With the rapid adoption of smartphones and next generation networks, content consumption patterns and consumer engagement channels are rapidly evolving. Even in its nascent phase, the video-on-demand (VOD) market is highly competitive in India.

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According to the report, India’s fintech market is expected to grow 1.7x between 2015 and 2020. While cash-on-delivery may remain the preferred mode of payment for newer users, keep in mind that use of mobile banking and e-wallets is surging.

The report stated that with multitudes of people using e-Commerce and transacting online, there is a huge need for technologies that can prevent data theft. India is witnessing a huge demand for security professionals (technologists and analysts, alike). In line with these growing demands, security has become one of the key focus areas for Nasscom Sector Skills Council, working towards creating the right cybersecurity skill sets for Indian IT professionals.

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