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India's 400 mn smartphones generate 80% data traffic: FB's Umang Bedi

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MUMBAI: India has 400 million smart phones that account for 80 per cent of internet data traffic at present and when many non-feature phones will start getting replaced or include features facilitating internet access, it will change the way how data is accessed, according to Facebook managing director, India & South Asia, Umang Bedi.

Speaking at the IAMAI event here on Tuesday, Bedi, while highlighting how over a decade back (united) Reliance brought in revolution in India by introducing cheap mobile handsets and competitive plans for consumers, said the launch of Jio service by Mukesh Ambani-promoted Reliance Industries earlier this year is bringing about a similar revolution by employing disruptive marketing tactics and pricing that is again changing the way India consumes data.

Bedi, who was speaking extempore at the event, said there are three Indias that needs watching and from where growth likely to come.

The first India, he mentioned, is the one that subscribes to books on e-retailers like Amazon, shops on Flipkart and rides on Ola cabs rides, which is similar to what is happening in the West. According to Bedi, India today is a growing digital market registering a 35 per cent growth worth USD 1.8-2.8 billion.

The second India, according to Bedi, is the mass India that lives in tier 2 and 3 cities /towns where people have money and aspirations but no access to affordable Internet. And, the third India comprises about 25 million people living in rural areas for whom new solutions and methods to reach them are needed. Reason: It’s this huge mass that will become a big consuming market in near future.

As disruption seemed to be the underlying theme of the digital economy, Bedi dwelt on the disrupters theory, fathered by Clayton Christensen, saying disruption is happening in the digital sector and it’s being done by the likes of Amazon (from selling books to etailing electronics appliances, smart phones, etc) and Uber.

Pointing out that Amazon and Uber were the “biggest disrupters” in today’s world, Bedi also issued a warning to all marketers saying that unless business people remained “humble”, they themselves may find disrupted.

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