Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Indian Opportunity

Hemant Kumar, Asst Manager Online Marketing and Advertising Sales at Mkhoj, offers an overview of the Indian mobile market.

Early in 2008, India overtook the US as the second largest mobile population in the world. The number of mobile users in India recently passed 362 million, more than five times that of the UK. Adding roughly 10 million new subscribers a month, it does seem that the Indian mobile market has become one of the world’s most lucrative, both in terms of its growth rate and overall size.

There are some key reasons why the mobile Internet phenomenon is likely to be more sustainable than the Internet revolution in India. Firstly, mobile presents a lower barrier to entry. A wired web connection is far more onerous, with the cost of the PC, as well as high monthly usage charges. In addition, the mobile Internet, as the name suggests, provides true mobility. Finally, 70% of India’s 1 billion people are below the age of 30. So while mobile Internet connectivity speeds may be nothing to write home about, for most consumers, their first Internet experience is through the mobile.

A report from India’s telecom authority, TRAI, seems to confirm this hypothesis. It reported an increase of over 100% in a 12 month period. We at mKhoj, as the leading mobile ad network for Asia and Africa have seen growth of more than 90% in our India traffic just over the past quarter.

As our CEO, Naveen Tewari, put it recently:
“It is only natural that mobile be a preferred advertising medium in economies like India. The reach is tremendous, targeting cuts down spillage and you have an instant call to action. We have delivered very successful campaigns to some of the biggest Indian and International brands. The key is education and nurturing our advertiser partners. For a lot of clients this is their first mobile campaign or the first attempt in this geography.”

Demand for wireless Internet access is likely to continue to skyrocket. The Indian Cellular Association expects 200 million people to log on to the Internet with their mobile phones by 2010. Even a couple of minutes a day multiplied by that many people spells swelling coffers for handset makers and mobile carriers targeting the Indian market, and greater opportunities for market innovators.

This story is available on mobilmarketingmagazine here.