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Rise of rural India

Rise of rural India

Neelkanth Mishra, a classmate of mine from DPS Bokaro and IIT, Kanpur opines on India’s rural growth story, provides some recipe for betterment as well in an Indian Express article – Rethinking Rural.

Rural roads, cellphones and electrification lead to better
productivity, phone penetration, electricity usage and vehicle ownership

He currently serves as India Equity Strategist for Credit Suisse. I have seen him being quoted in newspapers, TV channels many times earlier, but a great full article.


Web and mobile presence for SME

Consider this fact: There are 18,000 pearl dealers in Hyderabad. But, only 3 are present in web searches. Given the fact that there are 125M internet users and 70M mobile internet users in India, there is a missed opportunity for these businesses.

  1. Users: According to eMarketer reports, emerging economies saw 88% growth in internet user. There are 70M mobile internet users, which represents 60% of total internet users. In 2015, these figures will be 300M and 180M respectively. These users are moving their times from other media like TV and newspaper to mobile and internet now constituting 30% of their media consumption on an average.
  2. eCommerce opportunity of India will be 40B representing 6x growth over current numbers. 80% of eCommerce is projected to be travel. While, only 1/10 of total online users buy online, it will jump to 1/3 in 2015.
  3. Habits: On internet, a user has 7hr purchase decision time, which is only 1hr on mobiles for categories like restaurant etc.
  4. With growth rate of 463% between Q1, 2011 and Q1, 2012, India is among the world’s fastest growing countries in terms of mobile app sessions. Also, with increasing smartphone adoption (smartphones are expected to be ~15% of total mobile device sales in 2012, doubling from 2011), India is emerging as a potential target market for mobile apps.

Today there are almost 2 billion Internet users worldwide. In 2000, there were 361 million worldwide. But go back even farther in time and you’ll find out that back in 1995, the Internet had a worldwide user base of less than 40 million.

For perspective:

  • The Internet user base of today is 50 times larger than it was in 1995.
  • Facebook today is 15 times larger than the entire Internet was in 1995.

Some businesses enabled by internet to compete with big businesses having big marketing budget.

  1. Dollar Shave Club started in Jan 2011. It raised $9.8 million in Oct 2012for international expansion. A true internet company ready to disrupt gillettes and Bics Here’s the video:
  2. Red Tomato Pizza has come up with VIP Fridge Magnet to revolutionize home delivery of pizza. When hunger strikes, Red Tomato Pizza to rescue.
  3. Beatlabs
  4. Kissflow

Some cool Google products are:

  1. Google Business Photo – Philips Light Studio, Hyderabad has piloted this.
  2. Apps in Google Hangout – e.g. Cacoo lets you share diagrams.
  3. Google+ Events leaves any event site to dust with part mode picture sharing letting attendees post and share pictures seamlessly.
  4. OCR and image search is baked into Google Drive.

Smartphone growth and LBS opportunities in India


Mobile Local Search is experiencing unprecedented growth in India and is poised for increased adoption in the years to come.

MobileLocalSearchSocial Local Mobile
Globally, there 6B mobile subscribers. 1B out of which are smartphone users. We are seeing a proliferation of mobile apps. 80B apps were downloaded in year 2011. GPS is standard (97%). This is Fuelling demand for LBS technology and application. It is bringing about  a paradigm shift. There is a greater demand than ever for serving relevant info based on location, be it biz listing, restaurants, reviews, events and what not. We are using mobile to shop, not just search for listings. 3 utmost important things with regard to LBS (Location Based Services) are performance, privacy and relevance.

  1. What performance means is to provide intuitive, fluid, and quick experience. Speed (3G, 4G) is increasing for mobile internet. 45% population is covered by 3G network. 150 countries have 3G adoption. Wifi is another ways of connecting. These high speeds enable dynamic and rich content to be delivered to mobiles. Still there are substantial users on Edge or 2G.
  2. Privacy – A user must be cognizant that they share location and what they want in return. There are operators, who misuse client’s location by flooding them with spam. An LBS needs to be very transparent with how they are using client data.
  3. Relevancy – Accurate. Evolve, constantly navigate. Easy to navigate on smartphone device. minimize time and cost. Contextual relevance – time of day. Search queries. Time of day, day of week, holiday. LBS now needs to go specific. Instead of just searching for restaurants, a user could be searching for pizza place. Getting recommendation for diff venue.

Poynt Overview

Poynt started in June 2008 as a Blackberry app in North America. It has rich listing and actions – Reserve a table, add to calendar, saving on smartphone for future reference. Local theatre, watch trailer. Actionable search experience. It continues to evolve based on billions of interactions. It is pushing itself into Ad publishing space. It is present in 9 countries with India being latest launch. It has following ways of doing location detection – wifi hotspots, cell tower, triangulation, are used first while activating GPS.
China is going to be their next geography. Cost and effort to enter new market can be taxing. Carrier, OEM, users, marketing, monetization need to be put in place, so Poynt has been using a partner to enter a new geography. In India, it found right partner in Timescity. It established relationship with OEMs like Blackberry, Samsung, Nokia, Apple. It brought global experiences and learning during launch in EU, adoption to the table. India is culturally different. Gave a leg up on competition. Globally, Poynt has 15M users, 70% of which come from North America. India is also doing significant growth rate. User retention (> 80%) in India is standing out. Nokia Lumia 700-800 devices have it preloaded in India. 85% users come from such preloaded phones. Average retention of rest of geographies is 60-70%. with the result that other OEMs are showing  interest. Samsung will pre-load timesPoynt soon.

Smartphone Market in India

Currently there are 20M smartphones in India and growing at 100% rate. In first quarter of 2012, 2.5 M smartphones were sold out of a total 50.2 M. 6M smartphones were shipped in 2010. That figure grew to 12M in 2011. Mobile internet has a high uptake in emerging market like India. According to Google MD, Rajan Anandan, 40% of Google search queries in India come from mobile, which is higher than US (14%), UK (6%) and Russia(11%).
Usage Pattern:

Behavior of 15-24 will not change, so when they hit 31+, internet use will become higher for that age group as well in 5-8 years. Source of data – Industry sources and reports. Newspaper articles.
Network capabilities, smartphone adoption, relationship with OEM’s are current barriers to quicker uptake of LBS apps.

iPhone Apps Stats For India

  1. A total of 103.29 Million iPhone apps were downloaded in India.
  2. 12.92 million iPhone app downloads in India in August 2011.
  3. Of the 12.92 million, 11.74mn were Free Apps and 1.18 million were paid.
  4. 20,493 new iPhone apps in India in August 2011.
  5. Downloads of iPhone apps with in-app purchase in India in August 2011 stood at 4.23M (32.77% of all downloads).

LBS app showcase: timesPoynt

Best of breed Data needs to meets LBS technology for the growth of LBS app. Restaurants, nightclubs, bars, events, movies and more categories need to be served. More content to make it useful to users. As a brand advertiser, how do you get involved? Banner. Dynamic and rich is challenging on 2G/Edge. Getting eyeballs, adoption is first priority. monetization will come later. What do you see it going in 1 year? Android platform growth has been phenomenal. We have barely scratched surface. Poynt is device-agnostic. So, it sees device differences in different geographies. Their main competitors are Google generic search among others. Actionable, transactionable and Hyperlocal search is the new frontier. Sometimes, demographic assumption can be made on the basis of phone. Blackberry vs iPhone user. Jaguar case study. Blackberry is communication device, not video. While iPhone is also a good video consumption device. Keeping these in mind can help to get high CTR and ROI.

Airtel SBI JV has a huge potential

पिछले साल, भारतीय रिजर्व बैंक (भारतीय रिजर्व बैंक) को मंजूरी दे दी बैंकों BCS व्यापार (संवाददाता) के रूप में लाभ के लिए कंपनियों को नियुक्त करने और यह एक दूरसंचार अंतरिक्ष में सबसे गरम बहस के बंद कर दिया है – टेल्को एक बैंक के रूप में सेवा करना चाहिए (और इसके विपरीत) . भारत, भारत के सबसे बड़े वाणिज्यिक बैंक स्टेट बैंक, भारती एयरटेल और एक संयुक्त उपक्रम (जेवी) को भारत के लाखों लोगों के लिए उपलब्ध unbanked बैंकिंग सेवाओं बनाने के समझौते में प्रवेश किया है. नवगठित इकाई, राज्य बैंक की ताकत और एयरटेल के मोबाइल टेलीफोनी की शक्ति का उपयोग करने के लिए बैंकिंग और वित्तीय सेवा क्षेत्र के लिए मूल्य जोड़ने जाएगा और आर्थिक रूप से लाखों देश में बाहर रखा करने के लिए अपनी आजीविका और जीवन की गुणवत्ता बढ़ाने के लिए सशक्त. संयुक्त उद्यम unbanked और अन्य क्षेत्रों में नागरिकों के लिए सस्ती कीमत पर ई.पू. (यानी बिजनेस संवाददाता) भारतीय स्टेट बैंक और प्रस्ताव बैंकिंग उत्पादों और सेवाओं में से एक बन जाएगा. व्यापार संवाददाता के रूप जेवी चरणबद्ध तरीके से पूरे भारत में ग्राहक सेवा अंक (सी एस पी) के रूप में एयरटेल के खुदरा विक्रेताओं संलग्न है. इस के साथ, मौजूदा और नए एयरटेल मोबाइल ग्राहकों के लिए इन दुकानों और खुले नए एसबीआई बैंक खातों और अन्य बैंकिंग उत्पादों और सेवाओं CSPs पर उपलब्ध का लाभ उठाने के यात्रा करने में सक्षम हो जाएगा. इसके अतिरिक्त, मौजूदा भारतीय स्टेट बैंक ग्राहकों को भी इन दुकानों पर सर्विस्ड मिल जाएगा.
Eko Financial Services

Get Birth Certificate Online

[Update: Nov 2015] You may go to one of several VLE in your locality obtained from MahaOnline to get your birth certificate. Not only that, citizens can obtain various useful documents such as 7/12 Extract, Residence Certificate, caste certificate etc. through these Maha-E-Seva centers. Source – Times of India news of Sep 10.

[Update: Apr 2012] The online system is completely broken for citizens. Even though decentralization was done in 2009 and 14 ward offices were supposed to ease Kasba Peth’s burden, the same is not effective from my personal experience.

[Update: May 2011] According to Times of India report: Citizens have said that the status of complaint does not change for months, on the online redressal system once it is forwarded to the departments concerned. I have used to pay my property tax. They have a demo for the same as well. There is a lot of utility on PMC corporation site, but most are non0fucntional, incl online birth certificate. PMC has claimed since May 2008, that online birth certificate is possible.

[Update: March 2011] The site has not been accessible for a couple of years now. So, I decided to file a complaint at PMC e-governance site. They have given me a complaint number. I was quite impressed actually. I immediately got an SMS and they mentioned GRS helpline number – (020) 6634 4203.

Number :751666360
Complaint about :Statistic & Computer
Complaint Description  : is not accessible.
Resolution time : 2 days
Date of Registration  :3/11/2011 8:23:52 AM
Complaint assigned to  :Vishwanath Sabani
Ward Office number :25501000
Ward Office address: Pune Municipal Corporation, Shivaji Nagar, Pune.

[end of Updates]

According to Pune Municipal document, it is compulsory register birth and death within 21 days. Pune Municipal Corporation has improved it site for birth certificate. Now you can can not easily print birth certificate, even though the eGovernance report says so.

Following details are required.

  • Normal & Delayed Registration
  • Child Details – Gender, DOB, Time, Weight, Name, Birth Place etc.
  • Parent Details – Name, Address, Qualification, Occupation
  • Delivery Method, Informant Details, Attachments in case of delayed registrations

If you have not received your income tax refund?

The Income Tax Department has put on its website the list of income tax refunds of all salary tax payers which could not be sent to the concerned persons for want of correct address.

Salary taxpayers who have not received refunds for assessment years 2003-4 to 2006-7 can click on the link below and query using the PAN number and assessment year whether any refund due to them has been returned undelivered from the menu `undelivered salary refund management system’. If any refund has been returned undelivered due to change in address, then the taxpayer can enter the present address and the refund will be sent to the taxpayer at the new address.
The link to the website is as under:

Please pass this to your friends, colleagues and clients – this could be of great help / use to them.