India’s App Market Potential Remains Untapped

by Sohini Bagchi    Apr 28, 2014

mobile apps

A steady rise in the adoption of smartphones and tablets in India is resulting into a huge market for mobile app in the country, which has around 3 lakh app developers and is seeing about 100 million app downloads every month. Despite this optimism, the mobile apps market remains largely untapped, believe experts.

The untapped opportunity

IT decision makers believe that upgrading and optimizing their existing enterprise apps remain a major challenge, especially in an ecosystem which is still nascent and fragmented – mostly dominated by a handful of vendors.

“One way companies are coping with this challenge is by keeping away from customization, which is very expensive and time consuming. Many companies are instead going for configuration of their apps,” says Venki Muthanna Founder, CEO AppPoint Software Solutions. He believes that this approach lets customers modify their application functionality or adding capabilities as per their business needs.

However, others believe configuration has its own set of challenges. The often diverse and layered applications may not work for all businesses.

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Ralph Simon, CEO and founder, Mobilium Global notes that until now, the local apps market stayed highly untapped in India unlike in China and it needs to be explored. “Local app developers need to create apps having local relevance. For example, news content apps can be published in a number of local languages,” he says adding that it is time India should create an eco-system where indigenous apps developers can not only create apps having colloquial and contextual relevance and also have the expertise to showcase their products globally,” he states.

High level of optimism

While at present the app economy in the country is worth Rs. 900 Crore, a recent report by Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) states that the market is likely to grow over four times to Rs. 3,800 Crore) by 2016, with paid apps contributing Rs. 2,065 Crore – which is a big number.

“What can favor this app revolution in India is the existence of developers, a billion connections and a competitive mobile market combined with a serious attempt to address regulatory constraints,” ICRIER Director and Chief Executive Rajat Kathuria states adding that Indian players need to act to make this a reality.

Another survey by Research2Guidance also notes India is slated to become one of the biggest players in the global app market by 2016, overtaking leading smartphone app markets in the US and Europe markets. However, it also states there must be an integrated approach and an eco system to offer successful apps. “Operators must interact with customers to understand their needs and build apps accordingly,” says the report.