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India - The Internet's Next Billion

Arjun Nair

Everyone seems to be talking about how the big boom is set to happen in India for domain names, and there are significant factors to ensure that this growth happens. The internet spends and E-commerce usage is fast becoming the face of modern India, a part of everyday lifestyle. Although awareness is still the biggest barrier domain name Registrars face with consumers, there are signs of significant improvement in trust, usability and the adoption of web services.

For instance, as of the end of 2010, the Indian 'online buyers' base has actually increased by 33% over the year. Another interesting fact is that mere 'window shoppers' are giving way to the 'serious' buying-intending shoppers, with 40% online shoppers actually 'buying' online (Source: JuxtConsult). Simultaneously, the rapid strides that the internet infrastructure in India is taking today are more than encouraging. Broadband internet penetration is pegged at around 11 million subscribers who are mostly using DSL as of 2010, displaying a massive 43% growth. The 3G subscriber base in India will reach 41 million by the end of this year (Source: Maravedis, TRAI Reports). These developments have set the tone for the path that the Domain industry is set to chart out in India.

There are close to 100 million internet users in the country today, which is a drastic overhaul compared to the mere 5 million back in 2000. It accounts for 6.8% internet penetration in the country, compared to the saturated US market (71% internet Penetration). It gets even more interesting when we take a look at the growth that this Indian market is set to experience. India's internet population is expected to reach a staggering 237 Million by 2015 at a CAGR of 20%, resulting in 19% internet penetration. The US on the other hand will most likely grow by a mere 3% CAGR over the same period, taking the number to around 238 Million (73% penetration) (Source: BCG — The Internet's Next Billion). The rapidly falling broadband prices, the emergence of mobile internet usage as a major contributing factor, and wireless broadband fast becoming a dominant and cheap offering validate these projections. It's anybody's guess then as to which market you'd rather be investing in :)

If we dive further into the "Domain Penetration Ratio" (DPR), which we define as the number of Domain names Registered per person (Internet User), the numbers again mark out India as the place to be for a Domain name Registry. The ~200 million Domains registered worldwide brings to light a world average DPR of about 10%. The US is already at a 35% DPR, and even if that were to go up to 40% by 2015, which is arguably optimistic, that would see only around 16 million Domains added to its geographic namespace in that much time. Now, India exhibits a mere ~2% DPR with around 1.9 Million Domain names registered (1.2 Million gtlds+ 750k ccTLds; source: WebHosting.info). By 2015, if we were to consider the Indian DPR moving close to say 7%, which is a shade under the current world DPR and a realistic scenario, that itself accounts for close to a 15 Million increase in the Geographic Domain name base. This is probably the bare minimum number we're looking at.

Now if you were a Domain Name Registry, aren't all the roads leading to the Indian Market? It's time to start reading the signs, gentlemen.

By Arjun Nair, Registry Liaison, LogicBoxes
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If India's cellphone users get on the net this figure would be mind boggling. Virendra Gandhi  –  Sep 19, 2011 8:03 PM PDT

Transition from IPv4 To IPv6 is still incomplete as P2P is not enabled. If Indian cellphone users starts using the net certainly the Domain Registries could make a killing.

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