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Saturday, December 12, 2009

The growing cyber universe in India and the Elderly: Study

“Internet is so vast & influential that it surpasses the differences of age, SEC, gender and town class” .

People have started to realize the importance of Internet in their lives where it is not just a communication mode to email, chat and get information but has become an enabling tool to perform various tasks over Internet like learning, networking, shopping, gaming and expressing themselves in the form of blogs to the extent of establishing a virtual world for themselves.

Thus, it is important to map the Indian market for its cyber movements. IMRB International along with IAMAI had taken a pioneering role and presents a reports bouquet ‘Internet in India 2007’, which captures the minutest details of how and where Internet is heading.

Internet in India (I-cube) reports are based on a primary survey conducted across 30 cities, amongst 65,000 individuals, making it one of the largest researches in the domain.

Looking at the Indian population from the perspective of Internet usage, urban population forms the relevant mass.

As most of the content available over the Internet is in English, familiarity with English acts as a major factor driving Internet usage.

India being a home for 22 odd regional languages, Internet is largely limited to those familiar with English. This opens an opportunity for vernacular content to increase and thus tap the non English speaking literate people.

Exposure to PC usage acts as another factor limiting the growth of Internet users in India. A significant increase is expected in Internet penetration due to increasing focus on literacy, PC education and vernacular content in the coming years.

More and more people are now experiencing Internet. 70% of the people who know computer have used Internet in their life which is a very healthy sign for Internet in India. It shows that people are becoming aware of the Internet and are moving ahead to experience it.

People have started realizing that Internet can serve as a one stop point for all their needs. Be it communication, entertainment, shopping, information search, Internet serves as a panacea for all their requirements. This has led 70% of the ever users to glue themselves to the Internet and access it on a regular basis.

Youth forms the major chunk to the growing Internet user base in India. This may be due to the fact that all the sticky applications which are present today are focusing on youth and youth forms the segment which can adapt easily with the changing times and changing applications.

There has been an unexpected decrease in the share of older men and non working women in the Internet user pie This might be due to the lack of sticky applications for this segment and greater growth rates of other segments clouding out growth in this market.

The cyber café continues to rule as the most prominent point of Internet access.

Internet usage Statistics:
Young Men : 33%
Older Men: 15%
Non working women: 6%

Preference for the primary access point is a function of the following 3 C’s: Convenience, Cost & Content sought.

School going kids and college students find it more convenient to use cyber
café as it is the cheapest source of access & also gives them more privacy
regarding content.

On the other hand, home and office has gained popularity amongst young men, older men and working women as they find these access points to be more convenient & cost effective over others.

The content they seek also involves e-commerce applications which need a secure network. This acts as a limiting factor for them to the use of cyber café as point of access.

Non working women like to access from home as it is more convenient for them.

Share by point of access for Older people:
45% : Office
34% : Home
16%: Cyber Cafe
5% :others

‘Internet presents a gamut of activities which makes it a second life’

Communication remains the key application over the Internet.

In this role the Internet is squeezing the share of traditional media. With the sprouting of applications like gaming, news, blogs etc users find Internet a substitute to library, TV, newspaper and radio.

Online banking, online ticketing, e-tailing are some of the emerging applications which act as hooks to make the users stick to the Internet.

Main application for using Internet for Older people:
58% Email
6% Chat
15% Information
15% Entertainment
6% E commerce

This suggest further actions are required to keep the older men and non-working women hooked on to the Internet.

‘Wisdom lies in not just converting Internet non users to Internet users but also to convert them into active Internet users’

Even though Internet traffic has increased significantly, there exists a larger untapped area which need to be targeted. This requires an understanding of various essentials required to increase the Internet penetration.

The four key essentials are: Technology, Access, Content and Awareness. These four need to be targeted collectively in a balanced way to expand Internet usage in India.

Read detail report here: http://www.iamai.in/Upload/Research/I-Cube-2007-Summary-Report-final.pdf

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