A giant in the digital revolution
The un-equivalent potential of India
In a nutshell
Soon to be the third largest economy in the world, India is an expanding market filled with potential. The projected GDP growth for 2023 is 6%, an impressive number when considering most nations are still reeling from the impact of the pandemic.
India is the second largest online shopping market in the world, with 350 million people boosting a USD 148 billion digital commerce market. India is also the fastest growing region in the world for digital buyers.
With over 800 million internet subscribers, a financial account penetration of 80%, and the largest instant transfer system in the world (UPI), India is leading a tech revolution that transformed a cash-based economy into a digital payments powerhouse. The nation serves as a worldwide blueprint for tech-based social inclusion.
The uptake: From a demographic and economic perspective, India is a must-have market for global companies looking to expand internationally. The nation has recently raised financial inclusion to record levels and is pushing adoption and growth in the online industry.
In just four years, India is set to become the third economy in the world. No nation is growing faster. With an impressive USD 3 trillion GDP, the country holds a projected growth of 9% annually up until 2027, according to the IMF – the highest rate among large economies.
As a result, Goldman Sachs projects that India could surpass the United States by 2075 to hold the position of the world's second-largest GDP.
The country has reshaped its trajectory after major Covid-19 losses and embarked on a path toward recovery. The economy is thriving, with consumption and investment trajectories surpassing pre-pandemic levels.
More than this, the nation’s rising internet connectivity and a government-led initiative to promote financial inclusion are pushing digital adoption and opening a new and burgeoning digital market in a country poised to be one of the top economies in the world —which poses a huge opportunity for global companies.
The country’s demographic landscape is expected to drive sustained economic expansion. The Indian age pyramid is characterized by a burgeoning youth population that remains closely connected to the digital realm. Half of its population is under 30, and over two-thirds are of “working age” (between 15 and 67).
This means that the most populous country in the world is also the one with the highest number of young consumers, a distinction that will maintain for many years ahead and makes India a top priority for global companies expanding internationally. By 2030, 1 in every 5 consumers under 30 will be from India, according to World Data Lab projections.
India’s middle class surpasses the United States population by nearly 140 million
The Indian middle class, consisting of those spending over USD 12 per day, stands at around 470 million people —higher than the total US population. Consumer expenditure witnessed 17% growth from 2017 to 2021, per the World Bank, and continues to rise.
In 2024, the country will add more people to its consumer group than Europe, the Americas, and Africa combined. By 2030, projections suggest the Indian middle class could double, reaching 800 million people.
122 million people
will be added to consumer class in 2024 globally – with 33 million of them being from India
The fastest-rising young digital buyer population since 2017
The growth of the Indian middle class is also reflected in the online market. According to Insider Intelligence projections, around 350 million Indians are considered digital buyers (individuals aged 14 and above who have used any digital platform to make at least one purchase within the year).
This makes India the second-largest online market in the world, behind China. It’s also the region with the fastest-growing number of digital buyers since 2017, and the projections estimate over 400 million in this category by 2027.
Despite being the world's second largest digital buyers market, only 32% of the Indian population shops online – indicating a potential for future growth with the expansion of the country's economy and purchasing power.
According to a Bain Company report, 40 to 50 million new online shoppers were added to the Indian landscape in 2021, and one in every three is 25 years old or younger. By 2027, some projections estimate, there will be 422 million digital buyers, making up nearly 40% of the population.
The online seller base is also expanding, with the number of online merchants in retail increasing by 35% from 2020 to 2021, according to a Bain & Company report. Notably, 40% of the new sellers come from smaller cities, indicating the widespread expansion of digital commerce throughout the country.
Fueled by technological progress and both private and public investments in infrastructure, the cost per shipment in digital commerce showed a year-over-year reduction of 7% to 9% from 2018 to 2021.
Accessibility has expanded substantially, now covering 99% of India's postal codes, a commendable effort considering half of the Indian consumer class resides outside of major urban centers.
How the Indian diaspora shapes consumption in the homeland —especially for digital industries
Besides being the world’s most populous nation, India is also the country with the most nationals living abroad. There are at least 18 million Indian migrants, according to the United Nation
The Indian diaspora is perceived as a highly educated, entrepreneurial, and well-connected group, particularly those residing in the West.
Exerting their dominance in technology and science, they maintain robust connections with innovation hubs like Silicon Valley. This dynamic interaction not only propels the fintech and startup ecosystem within their home country but also enhances their impact on these sectors.
In the US, for example, 80% of Indian immigrants older than 25 have at least a bachelor's degree, according to a study from the Migration Policy Institute. They also hold the majority of employer-sponsored temporary visas designated for highly skilled professionals, and the Indian family median household income is twice the US national average.
It is a community that maintains strong ties with family and friends in the homeland. In 2021, nearly 40% of international arrivals at Indian airports were from Indians living abroad or second and third-generation Indians visiting relatives. Remittances from the diaspora hit over USD 100 billion last year, the equivalent of 3% of the GDP.
45% was the increase in personal remittances to India from 2017 to 2022
This underscores the potential of those residing abroad on India's future path, with an emphasis on the digital and consumer markets. Endowed with both influence and financial resources, they possess the ability to galvanize change among their compatriots, thereby shaping the nation's engagement with global enterprises, ideas, and consumption habits.
A strategic push for digital advancement
India’s growth path is fueled by a digital landscape that has been gradually developing over the past two decades. The country has made a concerted effort to bolster its technological infrastructure, marked by a series of strategic investments aimed at advancing digital connectivity and innovation.
The country's main initiative on this front is called Digital India, an ambitious program paving the way for a technologically empowered nation by integrating digital solutions into various aspects of governance, economy, and society.
It all started with a fundamental issue: digital identity. Prior to the mid-2000s, India did not have a universal identification system, resulting in countless individuals lacking official records. This problem was especially acute in a country with a population exceeding 1 billion, characterized by linguistic diversity, and with a substantial amount of people residing in smaller towns and rural areas, with limited access to government services.
In response, the Indian government launched a transformative initiative in 2007 to register every citizen, leading to the creation of Aadhaar, a unique digital identity linked to personal information like name, birth date, fingerprints, and iris scans. This initiative extended to 91% of the population, covering around 1.3 billion people, and is recognized as the world's largest digital identity program. Aadhaar’s technology architecture is open source, so other nations can be inspired to develop their own ID system.
Over the past decade, the government has harnessed Aadhaar for a range of digital services, including payments, e-signatures, and health applications, collectively known as India Stack. This journey from identity challenges to digital empowerment has positioned India as a global leader in technology-based social inclusion.
Digital India has also been instrumental in creating a digital ecosystem, facilitating access to government services, and fostering a conducive environment for tech-driven entrepreneurship.
This goal is underpinned by the progressive reduction in mobile internet data costs, resulting in an eightfold surge in the average monthly mobile data usage in 2022 compared to 2018, per the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.
India ranks fifth globally with the most affordable mobile data costs, according to a worldwide comparison by the British company Cable.co.uk.
The results are impressive: in six years, the number of internet users more than doubled, growing from 334 million to 825 million subscribers between 2016 and 2022. The government aims to achieve a noteworthy milestone of 1 billion users by 2025, covering 71% of the population.
This would make India the leader in internet users worldwide, surpassing China.
Indicative of technology's widespread adoption, the National Family Health Survey reports that 93% of households in India own a cell phone. Furthermore, the proliferation of smartphones has surged from 26% in 2014 to 61% in 2022, a notable shift in technology access.
Over 800 million people own a smartphone in India —about 60% of the population
As the Indian digital landscape continues to evolve, the trends indicate a promising future for digital commerce, driven by a tech-savvy and mobile-oriented consumer base that is expanding rapidly.
India's digital efforts led the way to economic transformation
India's national digital ID not only resolved the identity challenge in the country but also paved the way for addressing financial inclusion issues by creating a path for digital accounts, card ownership and, ultimately, digital payments.
Back in 2011, only 35% of India's adult population owned a financial account. To address this issue, a program named JanDan was introduced. It facilitates access to account and card ownership while ensuring compliance with KYC (Know Your Customer) guidelines based on Aadhaar.
Each ID was linked to a bank account, and each account had access to a RuPay debit card —a government-led card scheme with over 300 million users and widespread acceptance by both offline and online merchants.
This enabled secure digital transactions nationwide, authenticated by Aadhaar, in a decisive moment for India's digital commerce to flourish.
“Essentially, several hundred million people have had bank accounts open under the JanDan program and what would normally have taken 47 years took 9 years”, said Nandan Nilekani, one of the creators of Aadhaar, in a talk about Digital India.
"What would normally have taken 47 years took 9 years.”
One of the creators of Aadhaar, about the opening of bank accounts through the Digital India program
In parallel, regulation changes opened the door for fintechs to offer bank services. Debit card penetration rose from 8% to 27% between 2011 and 2021, and the share of Indians with access to a financial account grew from 35% to 78%.
Credit cards are still mostly reserved for the elite, with a 5% penetration. Nevertheless, official data reveals a 15% upsurge in credit usage over the past year, and it is expected to show continuous growth.
With only 5% of Indians owning a credit card, the scope for solutions solely relying on cards becomes severely limited.
Enabling local debit card payments expands access to 27% of the country (around 370 million people).
Accepting UPI and bank transfers provides access to the nearly 80% of the population who own a financial account, a potential market of over 1 billion people.
The rise of digital payment transactions
But the great leap in India's payments market was still to come: in 2016, UPI, a real-time payment system developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), was first introduced, providing a seamless and efficient way for individuals and businesses to conduct transactions digitally.
UPI revolutionized the payment landscape by offering real-time transactions facilitated by QR codes, mobile numbers, and virtual IDs (read more in the next part of this study).
Its user-friendly interface and interoperability across various banks and financial institutions have made it a preferred choice for millions of Indians, driving the shift from traditional cash-based transactions to digital modes of payment.
With UPI as the central pillar of a solid payment system, digital transactions have surged to unprecedented heights, changing how individuals transfer funds, make purchases, and engage in financial activities.
Digital payments in India grew 527% from 2017 to 2023, reaching 130 billion transactions and more than USD 4 trillion in value.
As per a report from India's Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, UPI accounted for a significant 64% share of all digital transactions in the country during the 2022-2023 financial year (the period starting from April 1st and ending on March 31st of the following year).
However, five years earlier, this percentage dwindled to a mere 4%, underscoring the remarkable pace at which the system has evolved.
was the growth of digital payments
in India from 2017 to 2023
UPI played a significant role in transforming a cash-based economy into a digital payments-driven one, inspiring other emerging countries to follow a similar path toward economic growth through technological advances. Ultimately, the rise of digital payments in India contributed to broader economic development and the surge of a powerful digital economy.
the rise of UPI
Digital payments for a booming digital commerce
In a nutshell
UPI stands as the paramount payment method in India, wielding significant influence in reaching Indian consumers. As the world's premier instant transfer system, it commands over 40% of global real-time transactions and serves as a model for numerous countries in developing their own payment systems.
As inherently app-agnostic, UPI is designed to foster competition. Due to its extensive user base, there’s a fervent race among various digital wallets, third-party apps, and bank apps to seamlessly integrate UPI.
RuPay, a domestic card scheme, plays a pivotal role in financial inclusion and enhances usability for those who do not have access to international cards. In the past year, it facilitated transactions worth USD 10 billion in digital commerce.
The uptake: The extreme digitization of India's payments over the past years, especially through UPI, has made the country a prime market for digital industries looking to a young, digital-savvy consumer.
The UPI revolution: propelling India's digital payment surge
Introduced in 2016, UPI (United Payments Interface) has emerged as a transformative real-time payment system in India, facilitating instant and secure transactions. Over 300 million people have adopted it. By linking financial accounts to unique UPI IDs and employing QR codes, users can seamlessly complete peer-to-peer fund transfers, bill payments, and online purchases.
With over 473 integrated banks as of July 2023, UPI's accessibility has surged, resulting in more than 70 billion transactions valued at a third of India’s GDP in the past year. Just last August, more than 10 billion transfers were recorded.
It is the biggest instant transfer system in the world and represents 46% of all real-time transactions worldwide, as reported by ACI.
The equivalent of 30% of India's GDP was moved via UPI
According to official data from NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India), the entity that created and regulates UPI, it had 344 million active users in October 2022. The interface is ready for expansion: there are plans to process 1 billion transactions per day and register 300 million new users in the next three years.
UPI is highly adopted by businesses, with about 270 million merchants accepting its transfers as a payment method. Its integration with banks, digital wallets, and other third-party apps enhances user experience and accessibility. A single mobile application can be used for accessing different bank accounts.
This widespread adoption of UPI has significantly promoted digital payments, strengthened financial inclusion, and reduced reliance on cash transactions nationwide.
Currently, UPI represents 64% of all digital payments in India, and the share is growing. From April 2022 to March 2023, payments in retail through UPI amounted to USD 1.6 trillion.
344 million Indians
use UPI to make payments in the country,
and this number should double in three years
UPI can operate through QR codes, which customers scan to initiate transfers. It integrates with various digital wallets, third-party apps and banks, allowing payments through any compatible app. For instance, a customer can use PayTM or PhonePee to pay a merchant with a GooglePay QR code. Over 100 applications are compatible with UPI — even WhatsApp supports the feature.
Fuelled by their integration with UPI, apps such as Paytm, Google Pay, and PhonePe have gained widespread acceptance among consumers, offering a wide range of functionalities beyond simple peer-to-peer transfers and card storage. They enable users to pay utility bills, book tickets, and, in some cases, even make investments, making them an integral part of daily financial management.
Over 40% of purchases in digital commerce in India are made through those apps.
Payments can also be made using a key, like an e-mail address, which is linked to the recipient's account.
Security is implemented through a streamlined 1-click 2-factor authentication mechanism, wherein the UPI PIN serves as the second factor of authentication. It’s instantaneous and works 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
More than 100 apps are integrated with UPI
UPI’s QR Codes can be found in every kind of Indian business, from big stores to mom-and-pop shops. It’s possible to pay for a tuk-tuk ride, purchase groceries, or buy a television using the real-time payment method. There are over 280 million working QR Codes across the country.
The transfers are free of cost, but the value is limited to 100,000 rupees (around USD 1,200) per day. High-value remittances, therefore, must be made through different rails, like NEFT (also a bank transfer) or cards.
The relevance of UPI in Indian digital commerce lies in its high popularity and expansive capability. Potentially, it can reach any citizen with a bank account, or nearly 80% of the population.
Consequently, adopting UPI into digital commerce checkout opens up a potential market of over 1 billion people, making it a pivotal player in the nation's growing digital economy. Major marketplaces operating in India, like Amazon and Flipkart, have already adopted UPI.
Many Indians also perceive the UPI as a safer alternative to credit cards. This is rooted in the fact that disclosure or storage of card information is not required for transactions, a feature that is often associated with enhanced security.
Adopting UPI into digital commerce checkout opens up a market of over 1 billion people, making it a pivotal player in India's growing digital economy.
Since the launch of UPI Autopay, in July 2020, it is also possible to schedule payments. This feature is proving particularly beneficial for subscription-based services like gaming, streaming, and software, enabling individuals without credit cards to conveniently utilize their bank accounts for payment.
According to NPCI, just in July 2023, there were over 10 million scheduled payments, with an average approval rate of 92%.
In its effort to make UPI even more accessible, NPCI also launched an extension for feature phones, called UPI 123PAY, that doesn’t require an internet connection. It caters to approximately 400 million users in remote rural areas, fostering even greater financial connectivity and convenience.
Over 10 million UPI Autopay payments were scheduled in July 2023, with an average approval rate of 92%.
Soundboxes announce UPI payments and make digital transactions more accessible
UPI Soundbox is a small speaker that is linked to a financial account and reads out payment confirmation messages when a UPI transaction is received. The service is subscription-based and is provided by companies like PayTM and Bharat.
The soundbox aims to make digital transactions more inclusive by catering to individuals with visual impairments or those who prefer auditory cues. It is also handy in busy shops, where there’s little time to check cell phones for confirmation. This advancement aligns with ongoing efforts to broaden the accessibility of digital payments for a diverse user base in India.
UPI goes global: expanding cross-border payments and remittances
UPI's reach extends beyond India's borders, demonstrating its international viability. Singapore recently established cross-border payments between PayNow, its national payment system, and UPI.
This partnership has facilitated a significant flow of funds, surpassing USD 1 billion, as reported by TechCrunch. Additionally, neighboring countries like Bhutan and Nepal have integrated UPI into their financial systems, and shops in the United Arab Emirates, the country with the highest number of Indian migrants, already work with UPI QR Codes for payments.
As part of its expansion strategy, UPI is positioned to facilitate remittances across more than 10 destinations, such as Australia, Japan, Thailand, and Hong Kong.
“UPI-PayNow linkage is expected to be a significant milestone in the development of infrastructure for cross-border payments between India and Singapore, and aligns with the G20’s financial inclusion priority of enabling faster, cheaper, and more transparent cross-border payments.”
Beyond UPI, cards and transfers are soaring in India
India's payment landscape goes beyond UPI. When it comes to cards, one notable player is RuPay, a homegrown card payment network that has rapidly gained prominence, with a 30% increase in new issuances since 2020. RuPay, a fusion of "rupee" and "payment," has established itself as a key contributor to financial inclusion in India.
It provides a viable alternative to global payment networks like Visa and Mastercard, offering debit and credit cards to Indian consumers and integrating with UPI. According to NPCI, RuPay sales in digital commerce accounted for USD 10 billion between March 2022 and April 2023.
Despite its penetration being restricted to approximately 5% of the population, the Indian credit card market commands a significant presence, catering to around 70 million individuals — about half of those use RuPay.
Recent official data reveals a noteworthy 15% overall upsurge in credit usage over the past year, and NCPI plans to reach a 100-million user base soon.
70 million people
use credit cards in India, and about half of those use RuPay
In addition to debit and credit cards, the National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) system plays a vital role in high-value transactions in India. NEFT allows for seamless and secure fund transfers between bank accounts, offering a convenient solution for individuals and businesses involved in substantial financial transactions.
This method is prevalent in various business sectors, including real estate, where high-value property transactions often take place through NEFT for added transparency and security.
As India continues on its path of digitalization, these diverse payment options are expected to further fuel the growth of digital commerce across the nation.
The digital commerce paradise
In a nutshell
India's digital commerce sector is on a rapid trajectory, poised to achieve 35% growth over the next four years. By 2027, it is projected to surpass the milestone of USD 200 billion in volume. This extraordinary growth positions India as one of the planet's fastest-growing markets, brimming with future opportunities.
Nearly 80% of purchases in India are conducted through mobile phones, underscoring the substantial influence of the country's widespread smartphone usage and robust internet penetration in propelling the growth of online sales.
Despite a vast market of 350 million potential users, digital commerce in India currently stands at a 32% penetration rate. This highlights substantial untapped prospects, particularly if efforts are directed toward improving payment access for India's diverse population
Online retail and the SaaS market are prime examples of the flourishing digital commerce landscape, both set to experience double-digit growth over the next four years.
The uptake: Due to limited card penetration in India, alternative payment methods are essential to harness the immense potential of the second-largest digital market and enhance sales opportunities in the most populous country in the world.
The Indian digital commerce market is one of the fastest-growing in the world, with projections to reach USD 200 billion in two years, according to Statista. In 2023, the estimated volume is set at almost USD 150 billion, a number more than three times higher than in 2017.
In the next four years, India's digital commerce should grow at a strong 16% annually, higher than the worldwide rate (11%). By 2027, the market should reach over USD 260 billion in volume.
It is noteworthy that over 90% of e-commerce users in India are under 45 years old, with a striking 77% of all purchases made on mobile devices, according to Statista. This trend underscores the increasing significance of mobile commerce in a nation where mobile data costs are consistently among the most affordable in the world, ranking fifth globally.
"As the Indian market warmly embraces digital payments and digital commerce continues its rapid growth, we see great opportunities for businesses, and meaningful partnerships being fostered.”
President of Global Payments at EBANX
Not surprisingly, mobile-led industries such as gaming and streaming are some of the fastest-growing of India's digital market. The massive number of online buyers in the country, though, turns more traditional industries such as retail and travel into a massive opportunity for online sales.
Moreover, beyond its vast market of 350 million people, digital commerce in India has achieved a penetration rate of only 32%. This figure underscores the immense untapped potential for further expansion, particularly if efforts are made to enhance payment access and provide affordable methods that cater to the diverse Indian population.
of online purchases in India are done through mobile phones
Alternative payments are key to unlocking online sales in India
With the increasing number of Indians engaging in online shopping, the percentage of individuals without cards who require alternative payment methods is set to rise.
The low credit card accessibility (only 5%, per the World Bank) highlights the significance of offering alternative payments (or APMs) like UPI to tap into the vast potential of the Indian market. Debit is more common, but still limited to 27% of the population. On the other hand, 78% have access to financial accounts.
More than 70%
of online purchases in India are made through APMs
Widely adopted by Indian consumers, platforms like Google Pay, PayTM, PhonePe, and Amazon Pay contribute to 45% of digital commerce transactions (UPI transfers are included in this share).
Some, such as PayTM, operate as digital wallets, allowing clients to store money in their accounts. Others, like Google Pay, function as third-party apps that facilitate transactions by integrating with bank accounts.
UPI is also included in the share of account-based transfers, which is 12%.
USD 1.6 billion
was the reported amount of UPI transactions in retail from April 2022 to March 2023
Enabled by these two different rails, UPI is becoming increasingly important in digital commerce in India. According to NCPI, UPI transactions in retail (both online and offline) amounted to USD 1.6 trillion from April 2022 to March 2023.
Other methods, such as cash on delivery, Buy Now Pay Later and gift vouchers, account for 15% of online purchases. Cards are 28%.
"India is such a powerful market for global digital commerce. The country saw its digital payments grow four times over the last six years, solidifying a very diverse, customer-centric payments landscape that has access at its core.”
CEO and Co-founder of EBANX.
Retail: a thriving and transformative online industry
The online retail sector in India has surged to impressive heights, boasting a staggering market worth of USD 102 billion in 2023, per Insider Intelligence. This is just the tip of the iceberg, as the industry is poised for continued growth with an estimated CAGR of 15% forecasted until the year 2027.
In a remarkable turn of events, India is projected to outpace South Korea by 2026, ascending to the coveted position of the fifth-largest online retail market globally, up from its current ranking as the sixth.
One of the defining characteristics of this impressive rise is the dominant role played by mobile purchases, which command 82% of the total market share. This underscores the immense potential of India's highly connected population, where smartphones have become the gateway to a world of digital commerce and convenience.
is the expected growth of online retail
sales in India from 2023 to 2027
According to Insider Intelligence, the digital retail market in India is set to outperform offline sales, with a revenue growth rate of 17% expected this year. In contrast, the total retail market is anticipated to witness an 11% increase in revenue.
Moreover, these double-digit annual growth rates are projected to persist, providing a robust foundation for the online retail industry's continued expansion, a trajectory expected to extend at least until the year 2027.
In essence, India's online retail sector is not only thriving but also reshaping the nation's retail landscape. Its rapid growth, driven by mobile commerce, is poised to propel the nation to the forefront of the global arena, further cementing its status as a burgeoning market of immense significance.
Enhancing cross-border sales opportunities in India
Currently representing 8% of online retail purchases, cross-border transactions hold a market value of nearly USD 10 billion in India. These figures are relatively modest when weighed against India's vast market potential and enthusiasm for global brands, underscored by initiatives like the inauguration of Apple's first store and the market launches of prestigious names like Valentino, McLaren, and Balenciaga.
Ultimately, this poses a huge opportunity for global companies to seize the cross-border online market in India, a challenge in which localized payments play a pivotal role.
The majority of cross-border shopping occurs with merchants from the US, United Kingdom, and China. Additionally, marketplaces like Amazon and Flipkart play a pivotal role in connecting Indian consumers with overseas brands and products.
These high-volume sellers have successfully managed to drive down prices on a wide range of consumer goods. The affordability factor has significantly influenced price-conscious Indian buyers, leading them to favor larger retailers.
Prospects are also good in the B2B sector. According to a survey conducted by Mastercard, almost three-quarters of small and medium-sized enterprises said they significantly ramped up their utilization of cross-border payments following the pandemic.
75% of small and medium businesses in India increased usage of cross-border payments in the pandemic.
Nearly half of them also reported that recurring to international suppliers was an important means to alleviate disruption in product distribution experienced during Covid.
Nevertheless, it is important to mention that Indian APMs are still rarely supported in cross-border, mostly credit-card-based transactions. Expanding payment options, therefore, can enhance sales opportunities.
SaaS: a diverse tech ecosystem fueling demand
The SaaS (Software as a Service) market in India is a dynamic and thriving landscape, brimming with growth opportunities that beckon both local and foreign companies. This vibrant environment not only facilitates the expansion of homegrown tech enterprises but also entices global corporations to establish their presence in India, drawn by the immense potential of tapping into the vast Indian consumer base.
As of now, the Indian SaaS market has achieved USD 3 billion, and its trajectory is pointed skyward. Notably, between 2017 and 2021, the SaaS sector demonstrated a CAGR of 35%, a rate nearly twice what was achieved in the US, the largest market in the world. This sustained and robust growth is a compelling testament to India's ever-evolving digital landscape.
What sets India apart in the global SaaS landscape is its diverse and expansive tech ecosystem. With a multitude of companies spanning various industries, there is a substantial demand for SaaS and cloud services to meet the ever-evolving technological needs. As a result, India naturally emerges as a prime market for global SaaS companies looking to make their mark and capitalize on the burgeoning opportunities within this rapidly evolving digital ecosystem.
The intersection of India's tech sector, the constant innovation, and the increasing demand for software solutions in various industries make it a natural and thriving ground for SaaS companies.
As the country continues to ride the wave of digital transformation, it remains a compelling destination for enterprises seeking to expand their footprint and contribute to the nation's digital evolution.
Travel: India is set to become the third-largest travel market by 2032
The Indian online travel market is projected to reach USD 31 billion in two years, with digital channels contributing to 51% of the sector's sales and signaling potential for further growth. In 2022, travel apps revenue accounted for USD 9 billion, making the country the 12th largest market in the world.
Amidst international travel restrictions in 2021, domestic tourism thrived in India, with 678 million Indians opting to explore the beauty and diversity of their own country. This trend revealed the resilience of the Indian travel industry and the importance of catering to the needs of domestic travelers.
is the projected annual growth rate
of India’s travel market by 2025
In the international sphere, 2022 saw 1.3 million Indian tourists heading to the United States, with an additional 258,000 visiting the United Kingdom. By 2032, India is set to become the world's third-largest travel and tourism market, surpassing Germany.
The numbers showcase a considerable opportunity for travel providers to capture the Indian market by offering seamless booking and payment solutions that align with local preferences.
India's market should double revenue by 2027
India’s video streaming market is worth USD 3.8 billion, with projections to nearly double revenue by 2027, per Statista. Competitive intensity is set to grow between global giants and newly capitalized local players.
In this landscape, the significance of telco reach remains paramount, alongside the prevalence of AVOD (Advertising-Based Video on Demand) business models.
Remarkably, the market will largely be shaped by five prominent platforms —YouTube, Meta, Disney+ Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, and Netflix— collectively contributing to 82% of the total online video revenue for 2022.
Around 70% of users are under 35 years old, with average spending of USD 20 per client. Increasing incomes and the expanding middle class have played a pivotal role in enhancing affordability.
of streaming users are under 35 years old
India poised to the surge to 442 million gamers in 2023
The online gaming industry in India reported a 39% increase in sales in 2022, soaring to USD 1.6 billion and underscoring the nation's burgeoning interest and evolving landscape, according to India’s national agency for investment promotion.
The future looks equally promising. Forecasts point toward sustained growth, with an anticipated 20% rise by 2025, aiming to reach USD 3.1 billion in revenue. This projection showcases the potential that the Indian online gaming sector holds and its ability to continue captivating audiences in the years to come.
India's status as a gaming powerhouse extends beyond revenue statistics alone. It boasts the distinction of hosting the largest fantasy sports market globally, boasting a user base of 180 million enthusiasts.
This prospering ecosystem signifies not only the popularity of sports-related gaming but also the engagement levels within the Indian gaming community. As digital sports platforms continue to evolve and innovate, they are poised to become an even more integral part of the gaming experience.
Furthermore, the sheer size and reach of the online gaming community are nothing short of remarkable. In 2022, the market swelled to 421 million participants. Looking ahead, the gaming community is projected to further expand, with expectations for 442 million members in 2023.
421 million people
is the size of online gaming community in India
Africa: where payments unlocking digital commerce
Emerging markets like Africa offer higher growth rates, new users, and an untapped market opportunity for global companies, which are starting to keep an eye on the region and target African countries in their expansion plans.