This guest column is by Anjli Jain, Managing Partner at EVC Ventures.
On Tuesday Times of India, as per official App Annie data announced that India is the 4th largest app economy in the world only behind US, China, and Brazil. The annual figure for India is projected to grow by 92% to reach 7.7 billion downloads by the end of this year and further to 21 billion by 2020.
Delightful but not surprising. India’s startup layer fully embraced the possibilities of the app ecosystem and the fact that the majority of the startups starting as mobile first platform signifies the confidence (75% of all Indian retail apps are mobile first). However the success is not accidental but rather result of well-coordinated efforts between government initiative and the vigour of the young Indian entrepreneur.
Here are some of the factors that have led to it:
Being one of the central pillars of the Make in India and Digital India programs, the iMade initiative is set to target the students and innovators of 35,000 education institutions all over India. Various app base projects are created and published by students daily. The program offer a ready to use cloud based dashboard, training in advanced mobile app development technologies and assistance in publishing apps across app marketplaces.
Minimum App Store Purchase
Google has been one of India’s staunchest supporters and promoter of the ideology of growth when our people were still ridden with self-doubt. Recognizing the immense potential India’s app ecosystem holds, Google has reduced the minimum app purchase value to only Rs. 10, the lowest in the world. This has brought a strong wave of experimentation with Indians finally embracing in app purchases and fuelling an entire wave of new innovation in payment tools and app development.
This is another government driven program for imparting skills. Reinforced with the recently voted decision of the Indian government to invest Rs 10,000 crores for early stage startups, the digital economy in India is all set for bold moves.
Facebook’s free basics program would have seriously impede the free flow of innovation and competitively so needed for a growing economy like the Indian. When called upon the people of India raised their voices and emerged victorious with a petition against TRAI to provide free (sponsored Internet) for the lower stratums in India. This depicts maturity of thinking and understanding of the basic fundamentals that gives birth to innovation.
Proliferation of Budget Smartphones
Tech behemoths have also recognized the brewing potential of the Indian app economy and aggressively attacked Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities where still majority of untapped potentials lie. Combining both affordable prices and vernacular phone UI were applauded and rewarded by the micro producer the bearer of India’s growth.
The amount of time Indians spend on mobile apps is mostly applauded and cited for the opportunities it will generate for app makers and digital enthusiasts. The App Annie report further adds that 25% of all Indian Android users actively use at least 1 ride sharing app. A figure defying highly developed economies like US and UK.
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Image Credit: App Annie