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.
Omidyar Network India invests in bold entrepreneurs who help create a meaningful life for every Indian, especially the hundreds of millions of Indians in low-income and lower-middle-income populations, ranging from the poorest among us to the existing middle class. To drive empowerment and impact at scale, we work with entrepreneurs in the private, nonprofit and public sectors, who are tackling India’s hardest and most chronic problems. We invest in the areas of Digital Society, Education, Emerging Tech, Financial Inclusion, Cities & Innovation and Property Inclusivity. Omidyar Network India is part of the Omidyar Group, a diverse collection of companies, organizations and initiatives, supported by philanthropists Pam and Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay.