The recent Mary Meeker (KPCB) report began, surprisingly for many, with the news that overall internet growth in 2015 was flat. And that global smartphone unit shipments were slowing dramatically. Growth is, of course, still growth but, after years of astronomical percentage increases, ‘The Queen of the Internet’ at last reported that things are plateauing. With one very important exception: India.

India will have more than 500 million web users by 2017: Google

According to a Google report (February 2016), India will have over 500 million web users by 2017 of which 80% will be via mobile devices. India has already surpassed the US (in 2015) in terms of active smartphone users (220 million) to become the second largest smartphone country in the world. Facebook has 110 million users in India.

With a Growth of 51% Indian Ecommerce Revenue is highest in the world: ASSOCHAM-Forrester

Research by ASSOCHAM-Forrester reveals that India’s e-Commerce revenue is growing at an annual rate of 51%, the highest rate of any country in the world, and revenue is expected to reach $120 billion in 2020 from $30 billion currently. <>

Online Ad Spend in India to exceed Billion Dollars in 2016: GroupM

A report from GroupM in January 2016 revealed that of all advertising spend in India, digital will account for 12.7%, up from 9.9% in 2015. Digital spend will grow to over Rs 73,000 million in 2016, i.e. over a billion $, while overall ad spend will grow to Rs 574,860 milion by the end of 2016.

Meanwhile in January 2016 the annual report from We Are Social painted a similar picture of the accelerating growth in this digital powerhouse region:

All figures for India (compared with January 2015)

  • Active Internet users up 19%
  • Active social media users up 15%
  • Active mobile social users up 16%

These numbers explain the dramatic growth of digital marketing in India. And it seems that we ain’t seen nothing yet. The trend is set to continue. This is, of course, exciting news for professionals already working in the industry, for students aspiring to a career in tech/ marketing and especially for budding Indian entrepreneurs looking to launch a tech start-up in the Subcontinent.

Adoption of new technologies is itself interesting to some people; but what really excites marketers is changing human behaviour which is exactly what is happening in India right now. Smart marketers are already tuned in and ready to take full advantage of the many opportunities this trend is providing.

I’ve always believed that it’s best to be in ‘The Eye of The Storm’ rather than observing from afar; so I’m really looking forward to my upcoming visits to Delhi and Mumbai; thanks Programic Asia.


Mike Berry is an internationally-recognised Digital Marketing Lecturer, Trainer, Author and Consultant.