India’s internet growth slowing down
For the second year in a row, growth in India’s internet user base has been muted. While the figures recorded for 2016-17 were 12%, those for 2017-18 were 8%. It is estimated that the final figures for 2018-19, which will be released by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) in mid-August, will be even lower than the last year’s growth rate. This weakening growth in internet user base has been attributed to the fact that for many millions, going online is still an expensive proposition and the adoption of smartphones, too, is not high. The fact that most of the digital content is in English complicates the virtual experience for those proficient in vernacular languages.
At the same time, the proportion of internet users engaging in digital commerce is not showing an upward trend. For instance, out of an internet user base of around 500 million, just around 120 million people are using digital payments according to IAMAI.