Indian weddings used to be a very sober affair. You would normally be lectured on the importance of being a good husband, on saving up to buy a house, and to make sure to attend temples every week. Which is why I had a bit of a shock when my elderly relatives started asking me to add them on facebook at my wedding last week, instead of bashing my head with advice on marriage! How on earth is my aunty in her late 60s, who first went on the internet three years ago, now stalking me on Facebook?
Having spent the last two weeks in India, this phenomenon isn’t rare for the country. Instead, the country is increasingly digitizing. The advent of the smartphone no longer necessitates a laptop or desktop computer in order to access the internet or use social media. Cheap smartphones allow even the most basic of users to access social media apps. The result of this is a population of over one billion that is increasingly sharing and increasingly connecting. The opportunity is boundless for marketers and businesses to communicate to an increasingly wealthier populace through this important medium.
This infographic indicates that the opportunity is just starting. India has only 100 million regular internet users relative to its large population, and this number is forecast to increase dramatically in the following years. Of these 100 million users, over 50% use social media. The relative importance of social media as a marketing channel is likely to be higher in India than other countries as a result.