In the next few years, India will account for roughly half of all new users who get connected to the Internet, said Graeme Beardsell, managing director, Asia Pacific & Japan, Akamai Technologies Inc. Akamai is an Internet services company.
In the last 12 months, India displaced the US to become the country with the second highest number of Internet users for the first time, according to Akamai estimates. The country is currently estimated to have about 481 million Internet users and that number is growing 17% annually.
“India is a terrific market for growth opportunity and the country will soon catch up with the China’s 900 million Internet users," Beardsell said at a keynote address at EmTech India 2018 on Thursday.
“It is essential that businesses and governments get ready for this because the expectation from these incoming new users is going to be very high," he said.
With so many new users joining the Internet, the opportunities in the Internet-of-Things space is going to explode, Beardsell predicted. According to estimates, India will have 1.9 billion smart devices by 2021, translating to a $9 billion revenue opportunity.
Such emerging opportunities also fit into existing government programmes like the Smart City Mission, Beardsell said. “Cities like Pune and Surat have already been at the vanguard in introducing citizen services via the Internet. Andhra Pradesh also has exciting new plans to put sensors in every water pipe to monitor water quality," he added.