Here's report on economic, societal value of RIAs in India

ANI | Updated: Nov 16, 2017 21:22 IST

New Delhi [India], Nov 16 (ANI): WIK, Germany's leading research and advisory institute for communications services and broadband India forum, a policy forum working towards the proliferation of broadband services in India on Thursday, unveiled a report on, "The Economic and Societal Value of Rich Interaction Applications (RIAs) in India".

The study finds that RIAs create a consumer surplus of USD 98 billion (Rs. 6.3 lakh crores) in India.

This is equivalent to 4.3 percent of India's GDP of USD 2,264 billion (Rs. 147 lakh crores) in 2016.

According to the study, each user of RIAs in India receives on average USD 249 (Rs. 16,185) of consumer surplus annually.

Moreover, applied to the entire population, and not just the RIA users, this results in USD 74 per capita (Rs. 4,810).

Globally, a 10 percent increase in RIA usage lead to USD 1 billion (Rs. 6,500 crores) in additional GDP daily.

The report unveiled by the Telecom Secretary, Aruna Sundararajan and senior dignitaries of the Broadband industry is the first to focus directly on the value added by RIAs for consumers in India.

RIAs, as defined by the study, include applications such as Google Hangouts, iMessage, WhatsApp, as well as India-based applications such as Hike Messenger, JioChat Messenger, Lookup, Flock and Nimbuzz, which have become increasingly popular means of personal and business interaction.

"As India continues to be the third largest app economy globally, we decided to study the impact of Rich Interactive Applications on the socio economic landscape of India. At the outset, our study has established that the RIA's play a substantial role in India from a socio-economic perspective creating a consumer surplus of USD 98 billion (Rs. 6.3 lakh crores) in India equivalent to 4.3 percent of India's GDP of USD 2,264 billion (Rs. 147 lakh crores) in 2016," said Head of Department Markets and Perspectives, WIK, Dr. Rene Arnold.

"Interestingly, India as compared to other Asia-Pacific (APAC) countries is set to reap additional benefits from RIA's considering a consistently larger share of internet subscribers in India using these applications as compared to other APAC countries," he added.

The study establishes that these applications play a disproportionately important role in India when compared to other Asia-Pacific (APAC) countries.

In fact, a consistently larger share of internet subscribers in India than in any other APAC country uses these applications.

A survey of internet subscribers in India further confirmed that RIA users typically utilise at least five out of six RIA functions. The six core functions of RIAs analysed in the study include ordinary calling, video calling, texting, sending pictures, sending videos, and group chats.

The analysis of the survey further established that RIA usage on average saved 803.9 minutes per week.

"The regulatory ecosystem in India is evolving and is focused on the ease of doing business and ease of facilitating innovation. Considering the significant impact of apps ecosystem on the country's economy, a constant dialogue between policy makers and the industry stakeholders will be critical to unlock the true potential of the internet and app ecosystem in India," said President Broadband India Forum, TV Ramachandran.

Further, the study established that each new and innovative RIA entering the Indian market will create many new jobs.

RIAs are simplifying trade, job searches and citizen participation in policy formation. They are also helping new businesses enter the market, increase their visibility and connect them to potential customers.

RIAs can bridge the digital divide by offering new options to individuals who otherwise have limited access to telecommunications services and little knowledge about more complex computers.

Indeed, if used well, RIAs could be a critical tool to drive the Digital India Programme. (ANI)

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