Internet and Mobile Association of India’s (IAMAI) e-Business Summit, held in Mumbai on November 20, 2006, provided industry players a common platform to discuss the impending problems in the industry and its solutions. The key difficulties identified during the session were the various bureaucratic and administrative problems plaguing the industry. Another major point raised was the slow infrastructural development in the country.
Speaking on the occasion, Anupam Mittal, Chairman, IAMAI and Chairman, People Group, said, “There are 37 million Internet users in the country, of which 14 million spend at least eight hours per week online, making us the fourth largest Internet economy. The population demographics, credit card penetration and the rising Internet usage and its feasibility will help this industry to grow.”
The panelists at the Summit identified bandwidth availability, outdated laws, consumer education, and tax related issues as the main challenges facing the industry today.
Avnish Bajaj, Chairman, eBay India and Vice-Chairman, IAMAI, talked about the factors driving the next round of Internet growth in the country. He remarked, “Internet in India is underserved as not much great content is being generated in the country. We don’t have enough compelling applications that will increase the user-experience.” He also stressed on the importance of creating utility from the Internet for the users.
The various panel discussions of the day debated on the topics ranging from the factors that would impede growth in the next five years to converting offline businesses to online; B2B solutions; and customer experience. The final panel discussion of the day presented some e-commerce success stories.
Concluding the summit, Mittal said that IAMAI had not yet been fully able to answer all the challenges facing the industry, but it would try and find solutions for them with the support of all the key industry players and urged them to join the association.