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45% of internet users will be women in next three years, says Rajan Anandan at Subhas Ghosal Memorial Lecture

Anandan says data affordability has totally changed the dynamics of internet usage and about 330 million Indians have access to the web through smart phones

Rajan Anandan at Subhas Ghosal Memorial Lecture

Rajan Anandan, Vice President, Google India and South East Asia, enlightened the audience about the new Internet User and what to expect from them in the future. He presented this year’s Subhas Ghosal Memorial Lecture, organised jointly by The Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) and Subhas Ghosal Foundation (SGF).

According to him, data affordability has totally changed the dynamics of internet usability.

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There are about 390 million people in India who have access to internet on monthly basis. But this number is changing daily. Today, about 330 million Indians have access to internet through smart phones.

“If you had asked me about this growth, I would not have anticipated it a few years back. But, Reliance Jio has revolutionised the way India consumes internet. Recent statistics show that about 45% internet users will be women in the next three years," said Anandan.

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Talking about the internet in rural areas, Anandan mentioned that two years ago, a study showed that only one out of ten women had access to internet.

“It was because of lack of awareness about the internet and smart phones and most importantly, societal pressures. Google and Tata Trust initiated ‘Internet Sathi’, under which rural women are trained and deployed to train other rural women. At present there are about 500 internet Sathis throughout 200 thousand villages,” he said.

Anandan also mentioned the hindrances that block India’s way to becoming a digital country; the most important being the connectivity issue.

Talking about the latest trends in internet consumption, Anandan mentioned that video- streaming is gathering a lot of new users. About 95% of the mobile traffic is attributed to online video. Besides video, voice search is very popular among the consumers. There is around 270% in voice searched in English and 400% in Hindi language. “There is an explosion in the non-English usage of voice search,” he added.

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Explaining the trend of e-commerce and digital payments, Anandan mentioned that around 95 million people are active product buyers in the e-commerce market. Users of digital payments by UPI are also growing rapidly. Moreover, digital lending is also taking off in India. “Around 48% customers will buy digital loans by 2023,” he said.

Anandan concluded his lecture by speaking about the advantage that internet holds for start-ups through AI (Artificial Intelligence.) He also focused on how this growing trend can be used for the betterment of the people as a whole. According to him, internet can solve the country’s real problems related to agriculture, financial institutions, and health and education system.

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