Internet is still a niche market segment in India, a point borne out by the numbers. Anand Sridharan, in his analysis of the current state of the Internet in India, captures the reasons behind it and also takes a look ahead as to what it takes to increase the usage of Internet in India.
It is well understood that if the Internet economy is to really take off in India, it has to reach down from the upper (and upper-middle class sections) and penetrate the lower middle class. This is the population segment that the mobile phone market has been able to penetrate and consequently made India one of the fastest growing mobile markets in the world!
If cheap (“Made for India”) handsets and ever-reducing call charges have made the mobile ubiquitous in India, can the Internet (and computing) industry in India ride on the equivalent – cheap computers and affordable internet access? Novatium, a Chennai-based company co-founded by Rajesh Jain and Ashok Jhunjhunwala, seems to think so. Novatium which aims to provide “Computing for the next billion” uses thin computing to reduce costs for end-users. Thin computing, in Novatium’s own words, is “the process by which the complex computing tasks move to a central server (s) and the client desktop is relatively simple to just access what is being processed. The client desktop also becomes the interface between the human and the complex processor of the server. Some of the immediate benefits that this process delivers is a hugely manageable, secure and optimized computing setup”
What do you think? Is this the way computing will reach the next billion? Does Novatium have what it takes?