I attended a talk recently by business analyst & strategy consultant, Mr Mohit Chhabra, (currently, Business Head at Skillment Edu) on the rise of the digital consumer in India. Mohit, who is also closely associated with TED gave his audience great insights on the digital revolution that is sweeping the country aided by the penetration of mobile phones in India. Contrary to the general perception that social media/digital platform is an urban phenomenon what emerged during the talk and discussions was that the growth of the digital medium in India will, in fact, be pushed by demand from rural India. According to Census projections of 2010, Government of India, there are 164 million households in rural India - 70% of the population - and this group loves their mobile phones!
There are 3 Indias according to Mohit:
- The Metropolitan India
- Rur-ban India
- Deep Rural India (the group that loves their mobile phones the most.)
In a really interesting example, it was demonstrated that while consumers in India rarely pay (or prefer to pay) for their own education but when it comes to entertainment, have no qualms in spending. In 'deep rural' India, there is a huge demand for entertainment and it has been found that the favorite entertainment device for rural India is the mobile phone. This demand for entertainment according to Mohit will drive adoption of social media and rise of the digital consumer in India. Communicating to 'deep rural India' digitally is more effective if it serves this most important demand - something that communicators must be aware of - the plank of entertainment. I have included Mohit's presentation below: