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Rural India holds key to growth

Rural India market is going to play a major role in the current year for telecom service providers and various other industries as these industries will be participating actively to offer services to rural consumers to empower them.

Anusha Subramanian        Last Updated: March 16, 2011  | 16:42 IST

Rural India market is going to play a major role in the current year for telecom service providers and various other industries such as IT, media, banking, healthcare and education as these industries will be participating actively to offer services to rural consumers to empower them.
Deloitte TMT Predictions India 2011, an annual report on technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) released recently by the Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) practice at Deloitte, says: "For decades, rural India has been plagued with the problems of illiteracy, poverty, exploitation and lack of specialist care. Poor infrastructure facilities combined with poor doctor patient (1:870) or teacher student (1:40) ratios make the situation worse. As industry verticals like healthcare ($77 billion by 2012), education ($80 billion by 2012), entertainment ($24.04 billion by 2014), banking and finance go digital, interplay within these industries and eventually a convergence could lead to a market opportunity which will be much bigger than the sum of all its parts".

With the teledensity in India reaching over 128 per cent in the urban markets, the telecom industry now has its eyes set on the rural market which holds a great potential with a teledensity of less than 26 per cent. Jolyon Barker, global leader, TMT, Deloitte said, "With most of the population living in villages in India, there is huge opportunity for TMT sector to bring services such as healthcare, education, entertainment, banking and finance to the rural doorsteps."
In its 10th year, Deloitte's TMT Predictions try and project the emerging TMT trends that will significantly impact businesses and consumers in the coming year and thereafter. The 2011 Indian TMT Predictions are based on research, in-depth interviews and input from Deloitte clients and alumni, industry analysts, and leading global TMT executives.

Some of the TMT trends that will impact India in 2011 are

India has been at the forefront in leveraging technology to deliver governance and the thrust of both the government and corporates in areas of technology-enabled citizen services will continue to be the key. In 2011, more than 50 percent of computing devices sold globally will be smartphones, tablets and non-PC netbooks, breaking the PC's decades-long market dominance. The report says that in India, 80 per cent of the smartphone market is still untapped. There will be two main factors that will decide how soon the smartphones proliferate: price of the handset and cost of data usage. Total IT-BPO industry is expected to reach $71.7 billion, accounting for 5.8 per cent of India's GDP. Software and Services export revenues are estimated to grow over 16-17 per cent to reach $47 billion. Direct employment generated by the sector is expected to reach nearly 2.23 million, an addition of 226,000 employees, while indirect job creation estimated at 8 million.

The Indian animation industry is expected to grow at 20 per cent to reach US$ 253 million by 2013 from the current US$ 122 million. The advertisement spends on TV are expected to grow at around 12-14 per cent and the medium will be preferred to other media, what with satellite and cable television making deeper inroads in semi-urban and rural markets, says the report. Traditional print media in India is still playing steady, and is determined to reserve the second spot after TV. The horizontal expansion of the newspapers will continue to grow in 2011 by way of additional supplements to the dailies in the form of pull-outs on finance, health, real estate, entertainment, etc. The estimated size of the India radio industry is expected to reach $360 million by the end of 2014. The story of social networks' growth will continue to be written in 2011 and for few more years to come, in the same tone that it has been over-written in the past few years. The advertisement business on social networking sites will forever involve the concept of innovation.

Deloitte believes that consolidation is inevitable in the telecom sector in the near future. In 2011, consolidation and managing a sustainable business model will get greater impetus and focus. For telecom companies, the increase in churn rate post-mobile number portability (MNP) would be lukewarm to about 5 per cent from the current 4 per cent per month in the initial phase of its launch, but in the long term it will become more stable.

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