Global Online Marketing Profile Forecast 2010 – India

Market opportunity

India is the second largest country behind China, with an estimated population of over 1.14 billion. Ranked by the US dollar exchange rate, the Indian economy is the 12th largest in the world. The vast and growing market of India presents itself as a major competitor in the global market.

During one of the biggest recessions the world has ever experienced, India is weathering the economic storm to post solid growth numbers across all sectors leading to impressive growth in its GDP. According to the CIA Factbook, India had a GDP of US$1.237 trillion in 2008, achieving a GDP growth of 6.6%. India’s per capita income is US$4,542 in the purchasing power parity context. Data from the Ministry of Finance show that India’s exports grew by 7.3% in dollar terms during April-February 2008-09, while its imports increased by 19.1% in April-February 2008-09. The unemployment rate currently stands at 6.8% from 7.2% in 2007 with an inflation rate of 7.8%.

The Indian economy has been stable and reliable in recent times, while in recent years it has experienced a positive trend of upward growth. It has consistently produced an 8-9% annual growth rate that is supported by a huge inflow of foreign funds, growing reserves in the foreign exchange sector, a real estate and IT boom, and a buoyant capital market.

According to State Department statistics, there is a large and growing middle class of over 50 million Indians with disposable incomes ranging from Rs 200,000 to Rs 1,000,000 per year (US$4,166-20,833). Due to the weakening of the US dollar over the past two years, the Indian Rupee has been steadily appreciating against the US dollar with USD 0.020837 equivalent to 1 Indian Rupee (

Best segments in the industry

India’s economy is as diverse as it is large, with a number of important sectors including manufacturing, agriculture, textiles and handicrafts, and services. Data shows from that agriculture is a major component of the Indian economy, with over 66% of the Indian population making a living in this area. As reported by the CIA Factbook, the top imports are textiles and ready-made garments, Internet-enabled services, agricultural and related products, gems and jewelry, leather products, and chemicals.

Furthermore, the Indian-speaking population in India is growing by the day, which means that India has become the hub of outsourcing activities for some of the world’s leading economies, including the United Kingdom and the United States. Outsourcing to India has been primarily in the areas of technical support and customer services.

Regulatory and tariff overview

Tariff increases in sensitive categories, including agriculture, and incremental progress in economic reforms still hamper foreign access to India’s vast and growing market. According to, on April 1, 2007, India reduced the tariff applied to most non-agricultural products from 12.5 to 10 percent. It also lowered the duty on medical equipment from 12.5 percent to 7.5 percent. Since India’s economy thrives on agriculture, there are many laws that govern the food processing industry. Food laws in India are enforced by the Director General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India (GOI). The Prevention of Food Adulteration (PFA) Act of 1954 focuses primarily on establishing regulatory standards for primary food products.

online marketing

Signaling gradual growth, India’s total Internet population for 2008 stands solidly at 81 million Internet users, according to estimates by, ranking fourth globally after the United States, China and Japan. During the last 8 years (2000-2008), India has experienced a growth rate of 1520%. However, Internet penetration is only 7.1%, notably lower compared to the other top twenty countries.

Many of India’s largest companies are thriving in the global IT market and their executives are becoming more influential. India, it seems, is well placed to become a major force in the online world. Still, as BBC News reports, compared to the mobile phone market, where some 350 million people use cordless phones, it is clear that the online market has a long way to go before reaching saturation.

Online language preferences

Although there are fifteen official languages ​​in India, Hindi is the main and most widely spoken language by 41% of the population. Hindustani is a popular variant of Hindi/Urdu that is widely spoken in North India, but is not an official language. English is widely used in business and administration and has the status of a subsidiary official language; those who could speak English generally received higher education.

JuxtConsult reports that vernacular website users have increased to 34% from 12% last year. English is the preferred reading language for only 28% of Internet users, indicating the potential of vernacular content. With English rapidly gaining popularity in India, we can expect to see an increase in the use of English websites by the Indian population.

search engine profile

Data from a recent comScore release shows that Google India ( reigns as the top search engine among Indians online. Google follows in second place with Yahoo, and Rediff in third, fourth and fifth places.


One of the main challenges facing the Indian economy is to eliminate economic inequalities. Although poverty remains a problem, these levels have decreased considerably in recent years. However, with growth and advances in its economy, services and technology, India is gradually emerging as a world leader. All these positive changes have resulted in establishing the Indian economy as one of the largest and fastest growing in the world. Based on current and future market potential, Princeton Consulting International classifies India as a Tier I market for global online market opportunities. .

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