In 2017, our publication “Innovating for the Next Half Billion”* (NHB) laid out a thesis on the internet journey of India’s NHB population – starting with them coming online, then moving forward step-by-step to eventually making commercial transactions on the internet for aspirational products and services. The NHB differ in many ways from the initial waves of mobile internet users – they have very different income profiles, education levels, language skills, and social/cultural milieus. We had outlined seven barriers that the NHB face in their internet journey and how addressing them could create exciting business opportunities for purpose-driven entrepreneurs wanting to serve this segment.
Since then, there has been considerable progress in addressing these barriers, thanks to entrepreneurs and various government initiatives. Consequently, the “Next Half Billion” is now at an inflexion point for online shopping. E-Commerce 2.0 will expand the market beyond the relatively small 40-50 million sticky customer base of E-Commerce 1.0. We believe that the E-Commerce 2.0 world will look, feel and operate differently from the first wave of online shopping in India.
Read more about our thesis here.