India to reach 315 million internet users in 2020
The internet has been connecting the world for decades now, but plenty of global citizens are yet to join the world wide web. India, one of the most impressively growing countries, is expecting a boom in its internet users over the next four years.
While there are currently just 120 million internet users in rural areas, this number is expected to rise to 360 million users by 2020. The entire population of India is estimated to be around 1.25 billion.
According to a study done by the Boston Consultancy Group, the main use for rural internet users in India is social networking. About 70% of Indians overall use the internet mainly for social networking (including email). Other common activities include gaming, listening to music, and e-commerce (buying and researching products online).
The e-commerce section, the main focus of the study, is still a challenge in rural India, especially compared to more urban areas, where people are much more likely to buy products online. People in rural areas are still skeptical about the quality of products and afraid their merchandise will not be delivered properly.
A perhaps less surprising find in the study is that the potential for growth is much greater in young people (those under 40), who are embracing the internet and all its functionalities a lot faster than their older neighbors. In fact, in the age category over 50 years, only 1% of people use the internet or are even inclined to do so in the future. As for the rest of India, it seems like the online community will soon be welcoming millions of new contributors.