Over-the-top telecom applications created consumer surplus of Rs 6.3 lakh crore in India this year, estimates a joint study by broadband India Forum with Germany based consultant WIK. “Our study has established that the RIA’s (Rich Interaction Applications) play a substantial role in India from a socio-economic perspective creating a consumer surplus of Rs 6.3 lakh crore in India equivalent to 4.3 percent of India’s GDP of Rs 147 lakh crore in 2016,” WIK, Head of Department Markets and Perspectives, Rene Arnold said while releasing the study.
A chart in the report, ‘The Economic and Societal Value of Rich Interaction Applications (RIAs) in India’ showed that estimate is for the year 2017. Consumer surplus indicates economic welfare that people gain from buying and consuming goods or services. “We multiplied finding to the total internet users in India who are using RIA,” Arnold said.
It used the term RIA to separate applications like Google Hangouts, iMessage, WhatsApp, as well as India-based applications such as Hike Messenger, JioChat Messenger, Lookup, Flock and Nimbuzz from general OTT category, which includes other applications like banking and government services. The company clubbed-apps that allow ordinary calling, video calling, texting, sending pictures, sending videos, and group chats as RIA.
The study estimates each user saves on average of 803.9 minutes per week by using RIA which translates into an average of Rs 16,185 of consumer surplus annually estimated based on the average annual income of Rs 94,130 in India. “Applied to the entire population — not just RIA users — this results in Rs 4,810 per capita. Globally, a 10 percent increase in RIA usage lead to Rs 6,500 crores in additional GDP daily,” the study said. The company based its study on an online sample of 1,019 internet users.
“This is first of its kind study which has looked into granular details of the use of the application. It gives us a snapshot of what is happening to the economy with apps. The study will be further expanded,” BIF Chairman MF Farooqui said. BIF President TV Ramachandran said that the regulatory ecosystem in India is evolving and is focused on the ease of doing business and ease of facilitating innovation. “Considering the significant impact of Apps ecosystem on the country’s economy, a constant dialogue between policymakers and the industry stakeholders will be critical to unlocking the true potential of the internet and app ecosystem in India,” he said.