Indian Internet economy contributed Rs. 3.2 trillion to the overall economy in 2010, representing 4.1 percent of GDP, and is projected to rise to Rs 10.8 trillion by 2016, according to a new report in The Boston Consulting Group’s Connected World series. According to the report, by 2016 the total size of the G-20 Internet economy will be USD 4.2 trillion, equivalent to 5.3 percent of GDP, up from USD 2.3 trillion or 4.1 percent in 2010.
The Internet Economy in the G-20' finds that if the Internet were a sector, it would be the 8th largest in India – larger than mining and utilities. It is driven especially by exports of IT services: net exports make up 59 percent of the Indian Internet economy, while consumption is only 20 percent.
India's Internet economy growth rate of 23.0 percent places it as the second fastest across the G-20 and ahead of many other developing nations in the G-20, which are growing at an average of 17.8 percent. Projected growth rates elsewhere are: 24.3 percent in Argentina, 18.3 percent in Russia and 15.6 percent in Mexico. In 2010 developed markets contributed 76 percent of the G-20's Internet economy; by 2016 that will fall to 66 percent.
“Consumption is the principal driver of Internet GDP in most countries, typically representing more than 50 percent of the total in 2010. It will remain the largest single driver through 2016. China and India stand out for their enormous Internet related exports- China in goods, India in services – which propel their internet-economy rankings toward the top of the chart,” said Arvind Subramanian, a Mumbai-based BCG Partner. He further added, “In emerging countries like India, social media are fast becoming the Internet medium and mobile the access medium of choice.
Commenting on the report, Rajan Anandan, VP - Sales and Operations & Managing Director, Google India, said, "India is seeing one of the fastest rates of Internet adoption across the globe. It is up to all of us- users, businesses and the government -- to leverage the potential of the Internet to deliver value and wealth. We see emerging opportunities for innovation in areas like mobile, e-commerce and cloud and are committed to growing the market by offering more locally relevant services."
In 2010, the share of total retail carried out online in India was only 0.9 percent but is projected to reach 4.5 percent by 2016. What's more, the Internet influences only an additional 0.8 percent of total retail from connected consumers researching online and purchasing offline ('ROPO'). These numbers compare to 3.1 percent for online sales and 4.0 percent for ROPO in Brazil, 1.7 percent and 4.8 percent in Russia, and 5.0 percent and 9.6 percent in the U.S.
Consumers are the big winners of the Internet economy and BCG's study highlights just how essential it has become to everyday life and the value which consumers attach to it. Asked how much they would have to be paid to live without Internet access, Indian respondents said an average of Rs. 21,436 per year, or 2.8 times what they pay for access and services. When asked whether they would forgo showering for a year in order to keep Internet access, 36 percent of Indian online consumers said they would; 64 percent said they would forgo chocolate; 63 percent coffee; and 70 percent would give up alcohol.
SMEs – The Growth Engines of the Economy
BCG report finds that “High web” companies in India – ones that use the Internet for marketing, sales and interactions with customers and suppliers – grew their revenues 19 percent over the past three years, compared to only 13 percent for those who made low or no use of the Internet.
"Around the world SMEs which embrace the Internet are growing faster and adding more jobs than those that don’t. By encouraging businesses to adopt the Internet, countries can improve their competitiveness and growth prospects," said David Dean, BCG Senior Partner and co-author of the report.