It’s unusual for me to lead with something like this; however, I couldn’t resist. Being somewhat of a boxing enthusiast, it was with great sorrow to hear about the passing of the “the Greatest” Muhammad Ali last week. Inspirational people tend to transcend into all walks of life, inspiring countless individuals along the way. Mr Ali was certainly one of these people. However, if you don’t believe me just read these quotes that apply just as much today as the day they were uttered and not just in his sport but also for entrepreneurs everywhere.
Staying with entrepreneurs and the start-up eco-system; there are many places where good advice can be obtained for those struggling through the daily grind that is starting one’s own business. For those brave enough to follow their passion and dreams it’s imperative you are not alone and therefore there are no better lessons than from those who’ve experienced the ups and downs themselves. However sometimes this isn’t enough, and you need to know if ‘someone has got your back’. In the case of India, I do believe the government is that ‘someone’ and an excellent example of this is that the powers that be are willing to bear the cost rather than pass them onto entrepreneurs (for patent filings in this case).
I’m not sure about you, but something that always interests me is the mindset of the masses. Now, we all know India is a vast populous nation, however, isn’t it even more interesting to learn what their spending habits might be currently or in the future. Well, friends, wonder no more, this study tells us how India will spend by 2021 and that some of the winners might be education, healthcare and durable goods (which includes mobile phones). The study refers to rural India versus urban India but let’s not forget, for the nation to prosper, rural India will need to thrive. That’s why it’s great to see giants such as IKEA investing in India, now and for the future.
On the topic of consumer spending, and to show how thoughts toward credit are changing in India, it’s good to see retailers being open to taking steps to help greater spending. Inevitably, the technology players in the consumer space will also benefit with Flipkart mentioned here but what’s probably more important is the potential of getting people to spend more to help the economy go from strength to strength. Interestingly regarding e-commerce, Morgan Stanley believes by 2019, Indian online shoppers will be more interested in convenience over pricing. If this transpires it will be wonderful as it will hopefully mean not only has internet adoption improved but more importantly the comfort and maturity of users will make it more a way of life.
While I talk about internet penetration and convenience, let’s not forget, India is a nation likely to achieve both of these largely through smartphone usage. Much of the news on this topic last week discussed how smartphone sales will continue to slow. However, this is a global view, and the statistics are being impacted mainly by mature markets where smartphone penetration is at 90%. India, on the other hand, is still expected to continue its strong growth which is important as smartphone penetration is estimated to be in the mid-teens.
Author: Dishang Patel