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July 28, 2022

India, the World's Most Connected Market

First, some data that is relevant when we talk about India. The country’s mobile phone penetration is growing rapidly (from 60 percent in 2022 to a projected 95 percent by 2035). Likewise, in the case of broadband penetration, while India has only around 23M fixed broadband subscriptions today, it has over 700M wireless broadband subscribers. (Source: Statistica 2022). What is even more striking is the cost of advanced broadband and services. At $0.10 for 1GB of data, India is one of the cheapest digital economies in the world. 

While governments in India were historically known for adoption of technology at the pace of molasses, in a stroke of genius, the Modi government lent its support to an obscure IT project from the previous government called Aadhar–a simple and universal identity system. This decision and its subsequent evolution, alongside the Jan Dhan program (establishing bank accounts for millions who did not have them), have catapulted India in less than six years to be the #1 country in digital payments. This has largely been driven by the adoption of software architecture called “India Stack” aided by a national biometric identify system, a payment infrastructure, and a data governance model that restores the ownership and control over user data (a version that rivals the European GDPR model). These are the foundational pillars on which India’s digital future is going to be built – a large penetration of mobile devices with 4G/5G broadband, a universal biometrically driven authentication system, peer-to-peer distributed payment infrastructure, and an open software architecture that can be extended through APIs by industry for a variety of applications and services. Most importantly, this will be at the lowest cost per byte in the world. 

This reminds me of the early days of the Internet, when a mobile service called i-mode, launched in the early 2000’s by NTT Docomo, pioneered the delivery of digital services. That visionary concept where disaggregated content and services were created and combined with a Near-field communication (NFC)-based payment system resulted in widespread adoption of digital technologies in Japan ahead of any other country at that time. In fact, this was the pre-cursor to the iPhone and the Android devices and their associated app store ecosystems that we take for granted today.  

India has created a similar pioneering framework upon which a slew of digital products and services will be delivered instantly. Whether this gets subsumed by a truly distributed Web 3.0 architecture or stands separate from it, has yet to be seen. But this much is clear:  any government interested in delivering a G-2-C (Government to Consumer) service or a B2B or a B2C business wanting widespread adoption can take a page out of the Indian playbook for great outcomes in the years to come.  

This development of India into a ‘Mobile Broadband First’ economy has profound implications for a variety of industries – Agriculture, Healthcare, Education, Retail etc. They are all going to experience explosive transformations that will make India not only a shining spot for deep technology adoption and proliferation but is likely to make India unrecognizable in the next 10 years. 

And it is for this reason, Celesta is excited about India. Here are the forward-thinking Celesta companies in India that are driving this transformation: Arzooo, Clairvolex, Connect & Heal, Healofy, IdeaForge, Questt, Pixis, Rizzle, and Stellapps.

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First, some data that is relevant when we talk about India. The country’s mobile phone penetration is growing rapidly (from 60 percent in 2022 to a projected 95 percent by 2035). Likewise, in the case of broadband penetration, while India has only around 23M fixed broadband subscriptions today, it has over 700M wireless broadband subscribers. (Source: Statistica 2022). What is even more striking is the cost of advanced broadband and services. At $0.10 for 1GB of data, India is one of the cheapest digital economies in the world. 

While governments in India were historically known for adoption of technology at the pace of molasses, in a stroke of genius, the Modi government lent its support to an obscure IT project from the previous government called Aadhar–a simple and universal identity system. This decision and its subsequent evolution, alongside the Jan Dhan program (establishing bank accounts for millions who did not have them), have catapulted India in less than six years to be the #1 country in digital payments. This has largely been driven by the adoption of software architecture called “India Stack” aided by a national biometric identify system, a payment infrastructure, and a data governance model that restores the ownership and control over user data (a version that rivals the European GDPR model). These are the foundational pillars on which India’s digital future is going to be built – a large penetration of mobile devices with 4G/5G broadband, a universal biometrically driven authentication system, peer-to-peer distributed payment infrastructure, and an open software architecture that can be extended through APIs by industry for a variety of applications and services. Most importantly, this will be at the lowest cost per byte in the world. 

This reminds me of the early days of the Internet, when a mobile service called i-mode, launched in the early 2000’s by NTT Docomo, pioneered the delivery of digital services. That visionary concept where disaggregated content and services were created and combined with a Near-field communication (NFC)-based payment system resulted in widespread adoption of digital technologies in Japan ahead of any other country at that time. In fact, this was the pre-cursor to the iPhone and the Android devices and their associated app store ecosystems that we take for granted today.  

India has created a similar pioneering framework upon which a slew of digital products and services will be delivered instantly. Whether this gets subsumed by a truly distributed Web 3.0 architecture or stands separate from it, has yet to be seen. But this much is clear:  any government interested in delivering a G-2-C (Government to Consumer) service or a B2B or a B2C business wanting widespread adoption can take a page out of the Indian playbook for great outcomes in the years to come.  

This development of India into a ‘Mobile Broadband First’ economy has profound implications for a variety of industries – Agriculture, Healthcare, Education, Retail etc. They are all going to experience explosive transformations that will make India not only a shining spot for deep technology adoption and proliferation but is likely to make India unrecognizable in the next 10 years. 

And it is for this reason, Celesta is excited about India. Here are the forward-thinking Celesta companies in India that are driving this transformation: Arzooo, Clairvolex, Connect & Heal, Healofy, IdeaForge, Questt, Pixis, Rizzle, and Stellapps.

India, the World's Most Connected Market

First, some data that is relevant when we talk about India. The country’s mobile phone penetration is growing rapidly (from 60 percent in 2022 to a projected 95 percent by 2035). Likewise, in the case of broadband penetration, while India has only around 23M fixed broadband subscriptions today, it has over 700M wireless broadband subscribers. (Source: Statistica 2022). What is even more striking is the cost of advanced broadband and services. At $0.10 for 1GB of data, India is one of the cheapest digital economies in the world. 

While governments in India were historically known for adoption of technology at the pace of molasses, in a stroke of genius, the Modi government lent its support to an obscure IT project from the previous government called Aadhar–a simple and universal identity system. This decision and its subsequent evolution, alongside the Jan Dhan program (establishing bank accounts for millions who did not have them), have catapulted India in less than six years to be the #1 country in digital payments. This has largely been driven by the adoption of software architecture called “India Stack” aided by a national biometric identify system, a payment infrastructure, and a data governance model that restores the ownership and control over user data (a version that rivals the European GDPR model). These are the foundational pillars on which India’s digital future is going to be built – a large penetration of mobile devices with 4G/5G broadband, a universal biometrically driven authentication system, peer-to-peer distributed payment infrastructure, and an open software architecture that can be extended through APIs by industry for a variety of applications and services. Most importantly, this will be at the lowest cost per byte in the world. 

This reminds me of the early days of the Internet, when a mobile service called i-mode, launched in the early 2000’s by NTT Docomo, pioneered the delivery of digital services. That visionary concept where disaggregated content and services were created and combined with a Near-field communication (NFC)-based payment system resulted in widespread adoption of digital technologies in Japan ahead of any other country at that time. In fact, this was the pre-cursor to the iPhone and the Android devices and their associated app store ecosystems that we take for granted today.  

India has created a similar pioneering framework upon which a slew of digital products and services will be delivered instantly. Whether this gets subsumed by a truly distributed Web 3.0 architecture or stands separate from it, has yet to be seen. But this much is clear:  any government interested in delivering a G-2-C (Government to Consumer) service or a B2B or a B2C business wanting widespread adoption can take a page out of the Indian playbook for great outcomes in the years to come.  

This development of India into a ‘Mobile Broadband First’ economy has profound implications for a variety of industries – Agriculture, Healthcare, Education, Retail etc. They are all going to experience explosive transformations that will make India not only a shining spot for deep technology adoption and proliferation but is likely to make India unrecognizable in the next 10 years. 

And it is for this reason, Celesta is excited about India. Here are the forward-thinking Celesta companies in India that are driving this transformation: Arzooo, Clairvolex, Connect & Heal, Healofy, IdeaForge, Questt, Pixis, Rizzle, and Stellapps.

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