A Micropayments Infrastructure for India

Even with India’s 500+ million mobile connections and a dozen operators, there has been limited innovation in the non-voice space. When one talks to some of the content and mobile companies, there is a growing feeling that things are just the way they were three years ago. Is there something that can be done to get us out of this stagnation and unleash innovation?

Before we start to address that question, let us take a look at some of the latest numbers from China (as of 2009-end):

  • Internet users: 384 million (+28.9% year-on-year)
  • Broadband users: 346 million (+76% yoy)
  • Mobile Internet users: 233 million, doubled in the past year. (IAMAI’s latest report puts India’s mobile Internet user base at all of 2 million.)

The market cap of China’s largest Internet company, Tencent, is $40 billion. While I haven’t calculated it, the market cap of China’s digital companies would probably be in excess of $75 billion.

India needs that kind of wealth creation. That is what can help spur entrepreneurship and innovation across the country.

Tomorrow: Part 2

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.