Elysha Young
Elysha manages the Asia Pacific Mintel Trends team made up of expert analysts and trend spotters. She currently oversees content for Mintel Trends as well as client servicing for the region.

In a recent move, Google has announced it will invest $10 billion over the next five years to accelerate the adoption of digital services in India. Following a $5.7 billion investment by Facebook in India, the ‘Google for India Digitisation Fund’ will be disbursed as a mix of equity investments, partnerships and investments in operations, infrastructure and business ecosystems.

Large Indian companies, small-scale start-ups as well as infrastructure houses such as data centres are set to benefit from the fund. Google-backed firms like Dunzo, Practo and Freshworks have proved the success potential of innovations that start in India.

However, India’s own digital journey is far from complete. Google’s fund will take forward the work in making the internet affordable and useful for over one billion Indians. From improving voice input and computing for a host of regional Indian languages to enabling digital transactions and supporting a new generation of local entrepreneurs, the fund is expected to rearrange lifestyles, make services more accessible and enable ease of doing business.

With India still reeling under the effects of lockdown, digital channels are providing a much-needed respite for consumers and businesses. According to research from Mintel’s Global COVID-19 Tracker in the week of 17-21 July, close to a third of Indians say they are likely to spend more on technology and communications compared to last month.

Mintel Trend ‘Click and Connect’ highlights how technological devices and digital platforms are being used to connect consumers and enhance their relationships. Using technology and digitisation to rethink how we work and live will help mitigate the dual challenges of health and economy.

What we think

Enabling affordable access and information for every Indian in their own language, whether it is Hindi or a regional language, will be the key to intensifying internet penetration in rural and semi-urban areas. Brands that work to build new products and services that are deeply relevant to Indian consumers’ needs will gain wider recognition and acceptance.

Although urban India constitutes a huge chunk of consumerism, the untapped potential of rural and remote areas will be essential for brands looking to expand and capture under-served markets. Mintel Trend Driver ‘Rights’ predicts consumers will move towards a more conscious approach to data sharing. This makes it imperative for the government and technology giants to empower businesses as they continue or begin a digital transformation.