A Micropayments Infrastructure for India: Part 5

My cousin in the US wrote an iPhone app on a weekend. He put it out there. It now makes him $1,500 a month. Those are the kinds of stories that will drive creation at a large scale in India. That is what this idea of leveraging the mobile cash balance for third-party payments can do.

The story for Indian digital entrepreneurs has been one of disappointment. Poor data infrastructure (both wireline and wireless) coupled with a low user base has limited opportunities and investment in this market.

What is needed is a government intervention to change the game for India’s entrepreneurs. Nothing that I have described here increases any kind of risk in the system. Value creation will be additive. If we can even imagine India’s top 20% (10 crore) mobile users spending Rs 50 a month on new services, it creates a new annual market of Rs 6,000 crore ($1.3+ billion).

More importantly, it will create interest in computers, software and the Internet amongst the youth, and out of that we could see the emergence of India’s Tencents and Googles.  A decade ago, many in India were fired up with the potential of the Internet only to be disappointed by the market. This time around, the potential of the market can delight many in India.