Internet usage in India has risen sharply and more than doubled in the last 5 years. It would not be an exaggeration to say that Internet connectivity is an essential service almost at par with electricity and telephony. According to the World Bank, as of 2014, Iceland lead the world in terms of internet penetration- a whopping 98% of its population is connected. Among large developing nations, Brazilâs progress has certainly been impressive. At 58%, itâs the leader in the group. Half of Chinaâs huge population is online. At 18%, India is a laggard among developing nations but the size of the connected population is massive at close to 240 million.
The rate at which the nation has been gaining Internet users has been encouraging. Most of the 80% offline population should het connected over the next decade. This has important implications for several sectors of the economy. The online retail sector is experiencing unprecedented growth currently with several startups receiving frothy valuations. How many of these will be successful remains to be seen but online retailers will invariably gain a bigger share of the total retail pie. The banking and finance sector too will see significant gains. The government will hope for the gains to spread to the agriculture sector through price transparency, easy access to market for farmers etc. The newly connected population will hope for the government to provide information and services virtually which in itself could lead to tremendous gains in efficiency, productivity, and transparency.
*Chart renders best on Desktop. We publish a modified version for phone.