Rajan Anandan, Vice-President, South East Asia and India, Google, has been elected as the Chairman of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). Anandan takes over from Kunal Shah, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, FreeCharge.
Deep Kalra, Chairman and Group CEO, MakeMyTrip, is the new Vice-Chairman of IAMAI. Kalra takes over his new role from Vinodh Bhat, Co-Founder and President, Saavn. Umang Bedi, Managing Director, India and South Asia at Facebook, has been elected as the new Treasurer of the association. Dr Subho Ray continues to be the President of the association.
The other companies in the new council include Times Internet, OLX, Policy Bazaar, Yatra, Paytm, Hungama, Mobikwik, Indiamart, Itzcash and Pepperfry among others. The tenure of the new council is for two years.
Anandan assumes office at a time when the industry is going through a growth trajectory with more than 400 million internet users and with more than 300 million mobile internet users. Rural India has only 156 million internet users against an estimated population of 906 million. There are still 750 million potential users in rural heartlands; if only they can be reached out properly. The new council will work towards increasing the internet users’ base, especially in the rural areas.
Another key focus area of work for the new council would be the promotion of local language content. Currently, much of the content on the internet is in English. English language accounts for nearly 56 per cent of the content on the worldwide web, while Indian languages account for less than 0.1 per cent. Enabling Indic content on the internet will lead to a growth of 39 per cent with the current internet user base of India.
The council would also work towards promoting the digital start-up ecosystem in India. The council believes that apps economy in India will drive the next level of internet growth, along with Indic. With over 300 million mobile internet users and more than 200 million local language consumers on the internet, the growth trajectory for apps development is bound to be exponential.
IAMAI was established in 2004 by the leading online publishers, but in the last 13 years has come to effectively address the challenges facing the digital and online industry, including mobile content and services, online publishing, mobile advertising, online advertising, ecommerce and mobile and digital payments among others.