The Digital Future of India
January 19, 2015
So we were at the 9th Indian Digital Summit (#9IDS) held at The Lalit Hotel (@TheLalitHotels) on January 14th and 15th this week. It was a wonderful opportunity to hear the digital glitterati speak about the forces that are shaping India’s digital future, and I have to say, I left the conference with a lot of hope and pride.
If we want to strengthen our digital future, India’s the place to be because digital is where it’s at.
netCORE Solutions (@netCORESolution) summed it up pretty well.
We agree. Day 1 of the conference also ended with a second mantra presented by Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, MOS Comm:
- Life-altering (literally)
The country is rapidly warming up to a digital world, making laws and policies that invite investment and growth opportunities. While there’s a lot of hope and energy surrounding digital adoption, we’re also dealing with a number of challenges.
For one, India clearly has inadequate infrastructure – if you’re reading this post on a mobile device, then you need no introduction to the frustrations of a stalled 3G network. And for a country with 3 million software engineers, we’re woefully unprepared for the analytical thinking and creativity required to propel ourselves into the global market.
But we can overcome these challenges, especially if we stay focused on the things that matter.
Things like these:
For India, the next steps also involve engaging the rural market, because by 2018, the user segment in India will be more mobile, much older and more rural, have a lot more women with data access and this expansion will be inclusive across the board.
In other words, digital will be democratic.
Which also means the only way to engage the rural audience needs to be founded in their vernacular. Local SEO is going to take on a very different connotation pretty soon.
The imperative to tap the rural market means that we need stronger infrastructures which allow for expedient means of reaching the populace in far-flung areas. And in a country like India, where online purchases still come with trust issues (Flipkart debacle, anyone?), we need to leave ourselves open to options.
And the trickle-down effect doesn’t end there. When we begin to create new ecosystems, we look at strengthening all touch-points of the said ecosystems.
Touch-points like customer service models, for instance. Let’s face it, India may have caught on with a lot of things, but client servicing definitely isn’t one of them. I think one of the strongest takeaways from the Digital Summit is that brands need to work really hard to delight the customer.
And that customer delight can’t exist in silos. If a single customer interacts with a brand through their website, their social media channels, their customer service team and their content, then they begin to expect a singular and stellar experience that cuts across the board.
As social begins to become a larger indicator of the customer “delight” we’ll also have to find a better solution for measurement and analytics; until which time, we’ll have to handpick our KPIs and stay focused on them.
We can forecast many issues and the corresponding solutions right now and as we grow, we’ll have to learn to leave ourselves open for unforeseen situations that will decidedly crop up.
And that’s where the leaders, the game changers, the people who mould policy and shape the ideas of a generation will be found – in the solutions.
It’s not an easy road, but the good news is that the future is looking very bright.
Where do you want to go from here?
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