One clear opportunity in India is in the eCommerce space. As the Internet user base grows, the convenience of shopping from one’s home (or office) combined with attractive deals will grow the market. The key determinant for success for hard goods will be the efficiency of the value chain (logistics of speedy delivery). Winners are already starting to emerge in the space, but these are still early days.
The second opportunity will emerge in the mobile data space. With the combination of high speed networks (3G), smartphones with high-resolution displays in the $100-$200 space (watch for Android to make a big impact in the coming months) and nearly-flat-priced data plans (Rs 100 per month for almost unlimited usage), the mobile data space is going to see rapid growth in the coming years.
One obvious monetisation approach is advertising. But, the bigger opportunity will come from consumer micropayments. What is needed is a revenue share model akin to the AppStores – where 70% of what end users pay goes to the application developer. In India, the figure for VAS is much less than half of this, on average. This is what needs to change to create an innovation cycle that can drive a new billion-dollar market.