The internet revolution has had a profound impact on the world we know, but few countries have taken to this epochal technology more than India. Ever since the internet was first introduced to the Indian public in 1995, its usage has only grown exponentially into nearly every sector we can think of - from entertainment to education, from the sciences to businesses, and from finances to social media. In fact, according to Statista, India is second only to China in its number of active internet users.
In this post, we’ll look at what the Internet Revolution entails, especially in Tier-2 and Tier-3 regions in India.
Demographic Shifts: A Digital Awakening
Rural India's Ascent
By 2025, a staggering 56% of new internet users in India will hail from rural areas. This shift is a testament to India’s digital divide being bridged, ensuring that Bharat doesn't remain on the periphery of the Internet Revolution.
Empowering Women Online
Another promising trend is that the proportion of female internet users in India is projected to increase to 65% by 2025, up from 57% in 2022. This change not only reflects gender inclusivity but also a broader societal transformation.
Changing Internet Access Patterns
Beyond Mobiles and PCs
While mobile phones remain the primary means of internet access for 100% of both rural and urban Indian users, the landscape is evolving. In 2022, 8% of users accessed the internet through devices other than mobiles and PCs. Fast forward to 2023, and this figure has risen to 13%, signifying a diversification in internet access choices. These devices include tablets, streaming devices, smart speakers, and smart TVs, reflecting a more tech-savvy Indian population.
Digital Payments Boom
India has embraced digital payments with open arms. In 2023, the country boasts 338 million digital payment users, a 13% increase from the previous year. Moreover, 36% of these users reside in rural India, indicating that digital financial services are permeating even the farthest corners of the nation.
Social Media's Resonance
Rural India's Social Surge
In a surprising twist, rural India now boasts more social media users than urban India. The digital age is enabling rural populations to connect and share experiences, marking a substantial shift in the Indian internet landscape.
Social Commerce's Meteoric Rise
Social networking platforms have extended their influence into the e-commerce world. As of 2023, 77 Million Indians shop through social commerce, marking a 51% increase from the previous year. This confluence of social media and e-commerce is propelling India into the future of digital retail.
India's Internet Growth Trajectory
The projections for India's internet usage are nothing short of staggering. By 2025, the country is estimated to have 900 million internet users. Urban and rural internet usage will reach 360 million and 399 million, respectively, by the same year. This exponential growth underscores India's status as a digital powerhouse.
To gain a deeper understanding, it's essential to look at state-wise statistics. Goa, Maharashtra, and Kerala lead the pack, with the highest penetration of active internet usage at 70%, 65%, and 60%, respectively. These states serve as beacons of the digital revolution, setting the pace for the rest of the nation.
Shifting Internet Habits
Indians now spend almost 2 hours (100 minutes) daily surfing the internet, reflecting the increasing role the digital world plays in our lives. While 85% of Indian users still primarily use the internet for entertainment, the fastest-growing use cases are net commerce and online shopping, growing by 14% and 19%, respectively. This demonstrates a growing inclination toward digital transactions and e-commerce.
Challenges and Opportunities
Not everything is rosy in the Indian internet landscape. 29% of rural Indians still don't use the internet due to a lack of connectivity, while 23% of urban Indians abstain because they lack interest. These challenges represent opportunities for innovation and infrastructure development.
Lightstorm: The Digital Revolution Catalyst
Today millions of Indians, especially from Bharat, are taking their first steps on the internet by streaming OTT content, trading in stocks, shopping, playing games, etc.
Lightstorm enables enterprises and businesses across different categories to connect to the Cloud seamlessly, thereby providing Bharat with a robust, resilient and scalable network to meet the increasing demand.
With its state-of-the-art network, the Lightstorm Digital Architecture enables businesses to connect to the Global Cloud and Internet Infrastructure, providing the robust infrastructure required to seamlessly serve the needs of the world's most populous nation.
Additionally, Lightstorm's digital services - centered on its utility-grade fiber infrastructure, intelligent software-defined network, and an on-demand Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) platform - use 'utility-grade' secure fiber infrastructure and software-defined architecture, offering enterprises a simple, easy, and intelligent way to connect to data centers, cloud, and internet exchanges no matter where they are in the country.
As the digital world continues to evolve, Lightstorm is lighting the way forward, ensuring that India remains at the forefront of the Internet Revolution with a next-gen infrastructure platform that empowers businesses to meet the demands of an ever-connected world.