Digital Transformation of India

Digital Transformation

Apology to my readers who do not understand Hindi. Let me translate this for you. ‘Roti’ means Bread, “Kapda” is Cloth/dress and “Makaan” is House/Shelter. And these three essential things had remained the quintessential Indian demand since the country’s independence in 1947. However, the last 5 years, especially after the launch of Jio by Reliance, Digital is added on the essential need for almost every Indian household.

In the Oscar winning Korean film Parasite, Wifi signal had played an important role. Internet has represented a class difference in the society. However, in India, Jio and followed by other brands like Vodafone and Airtel had broken this class difference over the last 5 years. Data usage in India rose from merely 500 MB per month in 2016 to 10.6 GB last year. In today’s India, Internet is no more a need but necessity.

Media Consumption

In September 2019, that is much before the global pandemic hit the world, KPMG released an interesting white-paper. Their research suggested a few significant changes in the media consumption in India. The white paper emphasized on the rise of OTT platforms over conventional Media. I was quite amazed to see the flattening graph which depicts there is no class or age difference while consuming data in India. It shows the acceptance of Digital is equal in across Society and ages.

I think the pandemic in a way has anchored the advent of Digital and flatten the divide more over the society. According to KPMG, India has the second highest per capita consumption of online video in the world. Needless to say, India has the cheapest mobile data, and a huge growth of Internet penetration in the rural area (24%). The average download speed in India had amazingly increased to 11.93 Mbps (Jan 2020) from 8.88 Mbps in Nov 2017.

Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation in the Media and Entertaiment

It is no wonder that director Shoojit Sircar decided to release his upcoming film, Gulabo Sitabo starring Amitabh Bachchan on an OTT platform or the Aarogya Setu app crosses 100 million downloads over 40 days. As per KMPG, by the end of 2023, The Indian OTT market is expected to grow 45% to ₹138 billion (~18Billion USD). According to a report by Ernst & Young, the number of OTT users in the country will reach 500 million by 2020, making India the second–biggest market after the US.

Digital Retail

It is difficult to write an article without mentioning the retail industry. Digital Transformation and Omnichannel had been a priority of retailers for years. Now for most of the CIOs, this has become the topmost priority. The Pandemic has proven the importance of having online channels supporting the physical warehouse and stores. Digital has made retailing an experience which is more connected so that the consumer enjoys every step in the shopping process. Retail however, is going through possibly the biggest disruption post the World War 2. And I am sure, Digital will empower the industry to become more agile and powerful.

Digital F&B

Similarly, the Food and Beverage industry is going through a huge transformation. While small restaurants are struggling to remain operational, large chains are facing the humongous tasks of a digital transformation. The industry is quickly realizing the need of creating their own digital presence. The over-dependency on aggregators like Swiggy or Zomato has somehow prevented restaurants to establish their brands. The dilution of brand presence is creating havoc to smaller restaurants. Especially now, when aggregators have started changing gears and focussing more on delivering essential goods and groceries. It is high time for smaller restaurants to create their brand presence locally using digital media and remain relevant.

Digital Marketing

A huge disruption is awaiting in the field of Marketing and Advertising. Digital Marketing has established Data as the most powerful tool. Therefore, assumption to predict is no longer a valid process. As consumers are more accessible digitally, marketers need to take accurate decisions based on analytics. So, the marketers need to choose the right channel and bring more personalization while promoting a product. I recently had an interesting chat on the impact of Covid-19 over advertising and marketing with some of the stalwarts in the field. The discussion opens up a lot of new thoughts on the way forward. I see traditional advertising agencies may get a real challenge from technology companies in the long run.

Impact on Advertising and Marketing

Digital Transformation was probably the most talked about topic in the technology circle for the last 10 years. As a result of the pandemic, the topic has become more relevant than ever. I think the pandemic has made a huge impact on our lifestyle and as a result of that, I see a paradigm shift in the attitude of brands and business towards Digital. As I pointed out at the beginning of the article, Digital is not an option anymore. It is a part of our daily living, a necessity. From a small kid to senior citizen, digital is the new method of consuming information and getting entertained. The sooner we adjust and adopt to digital, the more relevant we remain to the world.

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