Will India’s Generation Z Lead the M-Commerce Revolution?

I have recently been to India. This amazing country is both full of differences and of a dimension that us Europeans can find hard to comprehend. Some cities in India, for example, have a similar population to Sweden.

Previous to going to India, I was already aware of the hard financial regulation in the country. This got me thinking: How will mobile money become a success there? Is it like in Europe, where we need to find the right catalyst for it? In this case, does India face the same situation as Europe? Possibly, but I think India is different. It might be tougher because of the strict regulation, but it should be easier there to scale a small catalyst into something big because of the size of the country.

One example of the potential of mobile money in India comes from my colleague there. He belongs to the middle class and the number of cash-based micro payments he has to do everyday annoys him. For example, he pays 1 Rn (approx. 0.01 EUR) on toll roads twice on the way to the office. Later, he spends a few Rn to buy a company-subsidized lunch and then twice more on the toll roads on the way home. He told me that needing cash bothers him and that he is prepared pay twice the amount if he can pay smoothly with a mobile wallet. Admittedly, we are talking about extremely small amounts, but given the size of India, this could actually fly!

And then there’s Generation Z… In a country of 1.2 billion, there’s a huge youth population. 70 percent are under 35 years of age. What this means for India's society is that less people are in full-time employment but there’s massive potential for the future. So, as early adopters of new technologies tend to be younger generations - will mobile money be popular among the young people of India first? And when (I don’t doubt if, I just wonder when) this happens you can imagine it will go fast!

In the Ericsson ConsumerLab report and the infographic, we can see some of the trends, consumer demands and general economy of youth mobile consumers in India.

My conclusions from the trip to India is that bringing mobile money to India is a challenge but I strongly believe in there is a good chance that we will see it there quite soon. And in an economy like India, the opportunities are fantastic.

What do you think about m-commerce in India? Share your thoughts below!

Posted by Herwig Stockl on 15 Mar, 2013
Herwig Stockl's picture

Written by: Herwig Stockl

Herwig is M-commerce's Head of Design & Deployment at Ericsson. He is a passionate leader with 20 years of international experience. He has worked for two different global high-tech companies and now forms part of the Ericsson M-commerce team. Herwig is originally from Austria and has now settled in Sweden. He lives with his wife, four children and two dogs. He believes that mobile wallets will never be more complicated to use than Twitter.
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