India’s digital future looks bright despite (or even because of) the challenging times we live in. What are the main technological sectors which will experience significant growth in 2021 and beyond?
Digital and Tech Industries on the Rise
The Digital India campaign, launched in 2015, was aimed at developing infrastructure, improving government services and promoting digital literacy, especially in less developed regions. Ultimately, the Centre initiative was intended to position India as a leading factor in the global digital future.
Paradoxically, however, predictions on the development of some industries might have been underestimated, as technological growth has been fueling many sectors. Even back in February of 2020, estimates placed IT growth at 7.7%, led by Mumbai and Bengaluru.
With COVID-19, many offline businesses had to adapt: companies were forced to learn and grow through digital channels, remote service provision and smart logistics. Inevitably, others were forced to scale down or even close.
Having put in considerable efforts in ensuring an increase in internet connectivity, Indian tech businesses were largely prepared for such a paradigm shift. And while not all digital market niches grew in 2020, consumers largely rewarded online and tech companies with increased confidence in exchange for more personal comfort.
Media and Entertainment is a prime example of a sector going through intensive changes. While print media, films and other out-of-home experiences are currently struggling somewhat, the only two sub-segments which are going through a positive phase are digital and Over-the-Top (OTT) media services (forecast at +17% for 2021) and the gaming sector (+10%).
Higher consumption during lockdown is only expected to continue, as KPMG reported in a recent study. Users are developing a taste for streaming media and online gaming services which are conveniently brought to their homes and mobile devices. A growing range of online entertainment options makes the sector globally competitive and sustainably growing for the foreseeable future.
New Tech Irrupts into Online Entertainment
Affordable mobile phones and cheap data packages have proven true milestones in allowing Indians to access and enjoy more online entertainment. An increasing number of urban and rural users are able to engage in a range of digital services ranging from streaming to casino, from social gaming competitions to eSports.
In turn, Indian IT companies provide much needed support and the encouraging economic results which are able to further facilitate digital adoption by almost all users nationally. Digital advertisement is also on the rise, measuring online consumption during and after lockdowns all-across the board and among practically all socio-economic classes.
Online gaming in particular has become a hit among young working Indians. Increased traffic and search trends about famous casino days India reviews and online guides shows both the demand and the increased accessibility of such top online entertainment choices such as 10Cric.com. Gaming Apps lead download charts and prove that Indians love social gaming with friends and family, even at a distance.
Investing in All Things Digital
Naturally, spillover effects of widespread digitisation have led to consistent advances across a range of businesses, scientific applications and service sectors. Indian startups are investing in VR and mixed reality capabilities to deliver innovative forms of added value in personal experiences. Tech giants like Tata are entering the ePharmacy business after having expanded in the eGrocery segment, much like Amazon Fresh already has across several Indian metropolises.
The socio-economic impact of COVID-19 merely accelerated some advances in the Indian IT and tech industry that had been boiling for some time. The average consumer is digitally savvy and open to exploring technological means and channels to improve their lives. Currently with over half a billion online users, India can expect to grow and accelerate the digital adoption of products, services and consumption patterns. As the country’s growing digital ecosystem becomes more competitive, local operators and international service providers will increasingly offer targeted local contents to India’s ever more competent and demanding users.