The internet Services Sector in India is valued at $33.8 billion and is expected to reach $76.4 billion by 2022
The internet services sector is estimated to grow to a $124 billion market by 2022, with the potential to create 12 million new jobs by 2022, according to a new study by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). Currently, the internet services sector in India which includes e-tail, fintech, food tech, digital classifieds, digital advertisements, e-travel, and ticketing, is valued at $33.8 billion and is expected to reach $76.4 billion by 2022.
However, the report suggests that the sector can reach $124 billion if certain critical factors are realized. These include supportive government policies, better infrastructure for widespread internet connectivity, developed distribution network enabling better reach and connectivity to customers in Tier II/III cities for e-commerce, and adoption of digital and advanced technologies across the ecosystem.
The report maps digital payments as a sector but has not been included in the total estimate given the challenge of double counting, as it serves as a facilitator for many of the other services. Similarly, new technologies like the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence are expected to shape the future of internet services but have been kept outside the ambit of this study because the real impact of these sectors is difficult to determine at present.
The study also attempts to map the socio-economic impact of digital services in terms of livelihood generation and claims that employment generation from the proliferation of Internet services will be at three levels; with the primary level referring to direct employment generation in fields that include product design and development and sales and marketing. Secondary employment generation will occur in the forms of self-employment generation for sellers, cab drivers, utility service providers and content creators who will be able to generate employment via online platforms. The third or tertiary level of employment generation will be by allied industries in the ecosystem providing on-ground field support to the internet service providers like third-party warehouse and logistics handlers. The internet sector is estimated to employ around 10 lakh employees currently and is estimated to create 12 million Net jobs by 2022.
Finally, the report concluded by saying that there is a conscious effort by government agencies and internet businesses to digitize small and medium enterprises, and this trend is expected to generate immense benefits. With advances in digitizing existing offline businesses, promotion of industry 4.0, digital onboarding of micro-entrepreneurs, the impact of the internet services can potentially be greater with newer service categories emerging in the near future.