October 16

Analysis: How Indian Companies Are Using Technology To Reach New Consumers

By Vijay Mahajan

A couple of years ago, I was standing on a platform in the New Delhi train station and noticed several
men watching a big Mumbai-Delhi cricket match on a crystal-clear video feed streaming from their smart phones. The service worked as well as any live stream I could pull up at home in Austin, Texas. Yet in some ways the scene was right out of the 19th century — the air was dusty and hot; there were far more passengers waiting than benches for them to sit on; and it was impossible to ignore all the aromas that waft through India’s public spaces.

This tension between 19th century challenges and 21st century opportunities creates interesting dynamics for the 86 percent of global consumers who live in developing countries and the businesses that serve them. The majority of Indians don’t have access to indoor plumbing or electricity; many rural citizens, in particular, don’t have access to high-quality health care and school — but digital technologies have the potential to address many of those challenges.

Photo courtesy of Xresch

Source: Cornell Chronicle (link opens in a new window)