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Employment under Indian app industry to double by 2016

  • The Indian app industry employs 75,000 people
  • Smartphone penetration in India less than 20%
  • India clocks 100 mn app downloads every month
  • 272 million 3G sims in India by 2017

India’s app Economy is witnessing exponential growth. A study published by ICRIER and IAMAI  estimates direct employment in this industry to range between 151,230 and 159,010 by 2016. Currently it accounts for 75,000 jobs in India.

Accordingly, the increase in direct employment attributable to India’s app economy is expected to range between 76,230 and 84,010 jobs from 2014 to 2016. Besides, apps create downstream jobs in sales and marketing and in customer sales management. They also cause income growth that has its own secondary impact on jobs. These indirect and induced effects could result in an increase in total employment by up to eight times during the period 2014 to 2016. The study also uses existing data to estimate the size of India’s app economy at INR 1964 crores in 2016.

Speaking at the launch of the report, R Chandrasekhar, President – NASSCOM said, “Digitisation of data at source is critical and therefore mobile is the way forward to speed up the implementation of projects. Mobile apps offer an interesting way of digitisation and save both time and money but the challenge is to create a conducive ecosystem. Harmonious commercial synergies between app developers and telecom operators have to be created. App development coupled with infrastructure development will lead to the growth of the app economy.”

The Report illustrates four scenarios that determine the range of potential employment that can be generated by the app economy in India. The report has defined it as – Business As Usual (BAU) with no regulatory intervention, Mature Industry (IM) with high smartphone penetration and data usage, Government Intervention (GI) providing digital infrastructure enabling demand, and Aggressive Government Intervention (AGI) and Mature Industry (IM) playing pivotal role in the process.

Smartphone penetration in India is estimated at less than 20 per cent. Meanwhile, the country experiences 100 million downloads per month placing it amongst the top five regions for Google Play, according to the report.

The number of 3G sim cards in India is also expected to increase from 35 million in 2012 to an impressive 272 million by 2017. India also significantly contributes to app development as roughly ten per cent of apps worldwide are developed by Indians either based abroad or at home.

Rajat Kathuria, Director and Chief Executive Officer at ICRIER, said, “The increase in start-ups coupled with an enhanced ecosystem could create employment opportunities. At present the app economy has created approximately 75,000 direct jobs, and has the potential to reach 6,00,000 over a period of time, due to indirect and induced impacts of App development.”

Speaking at the launch of the report, Dilip Chenoy, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at National Skill Development Corporation, said, “NSDC looks forward to partner with the digital industry to help augment skill development. We are happy to support IAMAI to develop competency frameworks and explore how to create exponential growth in the apps market in newer areas.”

Providing insights on the report, Subho Ray, President of IAMAI said, “India’s app economy is at the cusp of exponential growth. With ecommerce companies going mobile only and unprecedented growth in the hyperlocal segment, the industry will not be surprised to witness a faster growth rate than projected in the report.”