Anchor | One Big Idea by Srikant Sastri: Broadband reach, multilingual content

25 Jan,2013

By Srikant Sastri, Country Chair, VivaKi India

 

It’s actually two ideas that need to work in tandem, to transform the digital space in India. We’re late by a few years with both these ideas, but the time has come. As soon as service providers expand the reach of broadband, the numbers will explode. Simultaneously, low-cost smart phones, supported by an eco-system of multilingual content, will do for digital what regional TV has done in traditional space.

 

Indian consumers, even at the bottom of the pyramid, have the innate ability to adapt to new technologies and devices as long as it’s affordable, accessible and delivers value.

 

Desktop internet and browsers have not met these criteria, and this has limited digital growth.

 

However, I would bet that the same consumer will lap up content delivered via easy-to-use multilingual apps on affordable smartphones. This will set off a flood of activity and revenues with respect to smartphones, content creation and ad formats, as well as a flurry of start-ups with smart business models.

 

All of us have often wondered why India’s massive base of more than 800 million mobile phones does not translate into ARPUs for service providers, or viable advertising platforms for marketers. Broadband access, coupled with multilingual content, has the ability to make this a reality.

 

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