IAMAI-organised India Digital Summit had the who’s who of India’s new media sector meet and share their views on various issues relating to the Internet and mobile sectors in the Capital on January 18. An interesting session dwelt on the factors that would drive the growth of Internet in India.
Moderator of the session, Pankaj Aggrawala, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Communications and IT, said “Internet has ushered in a revolution in homes, offices and cafes. Wireless technology is transforming convergence. However, the availability and commercialisation of content is important, and content application is necessary.”
“We need to constantly find out what the consumer wants and what he can afford. Unless we have utility driven content for entertainment and business, we don’t see many people logging on. There are many problems relating to cyber crime, Internet crime,” Aggrawala added.
Rajan Mehra, Country Manager, eBay India, said, “Policy will play an important role in shaping the development of the Indian economy. Less than 3 per cent of Indians have Internet access. It is clear that the Internet has impacted a small section of the Indian society. Education and health are significant areas. The challenges we face include accessibility of the Internet; broadband connection is a mere 0.5 per cent. We need to work with the government on this. We need to provide more regional content in order to get more online users. Awareness is also an issue. We are filing our tax returns online, which is good initiative. We need to address various areas of ecommerce. We need to improve on data security and stop plagiarism.”
Mohit Hira, Director-Marketing, Indiatimes, had an interesting point to make. He said, “In the year 2017, the future will be like ‘khichdi’. Content by itself will have no integral value. It exists only to connect people. Content trusted sites will rule. There will be more exclusive networking sites on which people will review stuff, write stuff. News sites will offer a broader perspective. Content will grow. The future is about content and connectivity, for which broadband connectivity needs to improve. Advertising is the driving source of revenue. There will be market for paid content, but content needs to be exclusive, otherwise newspapers and magazines are so cheap in India. Last but not the least challenge is the value proposition that the online companies face.”