| | November 20188EXPERTS TALKOver the past few years, India has witnessed a widespread adoption of technologies with mobile being the most prevalent. Today, smartphones have become an indispensable part of our lives and deeply ingrained across the spectrum of activities we undertake ­ whether it's online utility payments, shopping or even knowledge gathering. The Indian Government's active focus on `Digital India' has led to the introduction of various services & apps with mobile phones being the mainstay of this digitization. A PAN India revolution This national migration towards digitization has traversed across both the urban and rural populations of the country, with smartphones providing a popular gateway towards accessing the internet. For many, smartphones have been the first screen, which has given them a glimpse of the world. India is currently home to around 300 million smartphone users. This number is expected to touch 500 million by the end of 2018. In tandem, internet penetration continues to rise in the country at a steady pace with mobile internet and first-time internet users being the driving force behind this. Conservative estimates fore-cast a 55 percent rise in the usage of internet in the country by 2020. Industry figures report that Indi-ans spend an average of around 4.5 hours a day accessing the internet on their smartphones, about 37 percent more than the time they spend watching television! How-ever, a comparison between urban and rural usage of internet paints an interesting picture. While 86 percent of urban India uses the in-ternet for online communication services, in contrast, 58 percent of rural India uses the internet for entertainment. Post demone-tization, financial transactions on smartphones spurred across all age groups from 25-35 (94-97 per-cent), 35-45 (88-95 percent) and 45-55 (68-90 percent). The government too has taken the lead to develop and roll-out app-based services that allow democratization of information and easy access to public services. A prime example of the usage of smartphone-based applications can be seen in the agricultural sector in the country. India is primarily an agrarian economy and represents a significant portion of the GDP. Empowering this section of the economy is extremely important to inclusive economic growth. A number of agri-tech solutions deployed by the government use smartphone-based applications to deliver precision farming, post-harvest technology, smart machines and e-Commerce solution to farmers. Additionally, financial transactions through smartphones are promoting financial security to ensure fair trade and profit to farmers in India's hinterland. The healthcare sector presents another example of effective MOBILE PENETRATION: AIDING DIGITIZATION & IMPACTING LIVESBy Nipun Marya, Director ­ Brand Strategy, Vivo IndiaVivo India is a global smartphone company which develops & manufactures smartphones, smartphone accessories, software, and online services.THOUGHT LEADERSHIPNipun Marya
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