Satya Yeramsetti is the founder and CEO of Telebu, India’s first UCaaS company. It’s been over 17 years since he started his entrepreneurial journey. In these 17 years he has founded multiple companies, scaled them, sold them, and dared to walk away from a few who lost track of their objective. He is a self-described dreamer and storyteller. Also, he is a serial entrepreneur, visionary, and a man on a mission.
India boasts of possessing one of the largest application markets globally and has been growing significantly over the years. As highlighted by Adjust, a mobile distribution and analytics company, in its report titled Essential insights for 2021, users downloaded more than 19 billion apps in 2019 compared to over six billion in 2016.
The notable fact is that while earlier the app usage was dominantly in the urban areas, the mobile application market is now entering tier 2 and 3 cities. It has been possible thanks to the easy availability and accessibility of technology, especially the internet and a seamless power supply. The pandemic’s occurrence in 2020 became a significant contributor to accelerating the growth of the mobile application industry in India as we were locked in and spent a large chunk of our time scrolling on the mobile screens and surfing social media.
Increasing growth of homegrown apps in tier 2 and 3 cities
However, another major trend that is picking up pace in India’s app market is the increasing prominence of homegrown apps, specifically in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. The nationwide ban on Chinese goods and services further drove domestic apps’ growth, and users now prefer Indian mobile applications due to the credibility and the local flavour. Additionally, initiatives like Atmanirbhar and ‘vocal for local’ have also contributed to giving the required push to the desi tech space, and it has been growing louder than ever. We have a new revolution in producing and preparing everything locally, be it goods or services, applications, payment gateways, e-commerce platforms, content creation services, gaming platforms, etc.
In the present times, the domestic versions rule India’s application market and exhibit remarkable growth. As reported by Apps Flyer, one of the global leaders in mobile attribution and marketing analytics, India’s app market constituted 38.5% of the global mobile application market, surpassing China and the US in 2020. There were approximately 7.3 billion app installations that happened in 2020. It further states that mobile consumption witnessed a surge amongst tier 2, 3, and 4 cities primarily for finance, gaming, and entertainment apps. This increase in consumption leads to a rise in demand for regional content and provides a unique opportunity for the homegrowns to flourish.
All of this contributes to the brands and businesses looking forward to developing apps and posting content catering to the consumers’ needs and preferences in tier 2 and 3 cities due to the growing app markets and realising the mobile application segment’s potential in these areas. While the abundance of apps and variety of content makes it challenging to retain consumers, the app developers are taking this challenge sportingly and are making concerted efforts to deliver the best, especially amidst the tier 2 and tier 3 cities.
We are presently thriving in the digital era wherein everything has been happening in the online space. New ventures are added every day to the start-up ecosystem. The mobile app seems to be a viable option compared to the website development to expand their reach and increase their sales. Various SMEs and MSMEs are being launched and are rising in the count, which further upscales the application market in tier 2 and tier 3 cities.
NowFloats, a location-based content marketing platform, also reported that 90% of small businesses rely on technology for their operations. Hence, with the increasing and proliferating companies, the demand for technological developments also increases.
Businesses require state-of-the-art technical solutions, including seamless power supply, internet connectivity, communication tools, and contact centre software to ensure smooth working.
These operations requirements are the primary reasons why enterprise communication as an industry has shown significant growth and adoption. Owing to its benefits of offering various modes of communication at a single platform, it has become the go-to solution for all businesses, be it in urban areas or tier 2 and 3 regions of the rural belt. This is a critical element and requirement for any business to function smoothly, as communication forms the base for any organisation’s success or failure.
The businesses in tier – 2 & tier – 3 cities have realised that remote working is a viable option in the present and long-term, considering the pandemic’s ongoing recurring wave. Hence, instead of investing in office spaces or scaling IT infrastructure, they opt for the simple route of cloud-based enterprise communication. It offers them a collaborative solution for all of their communication requirements and helps them scale their operations. It helps tie all the loose ends together and provides practical, efficient, swift, and reliable communication tools to ensure their businesses run glitch-free.
They also prioritise digital transformation & adoption at their workplace and are constantly searching for scalable solutions. However, they do face various challenges while trading on the path of technological growth. Despite the mobile penetration & 4g connectivity, infrastructure is still a problem in tier 2 and 3 cities. Additionally, the language barrier is another critical concern area amongst the consumers of these cities that needs to be addressed by the app developers.
On the whole, the domestic apps seem to be ruling the app market in India, especially in tier 2 and tier 3 cities of rural areas. Optimally utilising technological assistance in these regions, the homegrown apps leave no stone unturned to boost the businesses’ growth and cater to the consumers’ needs in these areas. Their growth has been significant, and the market will continue to expand due to digital adoption. The apps in these areas are already giving tough competition to the metros, and in the coming times, there will indeed be a rat race where only the most innovative tech-savvy variant would be able to survive.