Challenges to Enter in the Indian App Development Market

Challenges to Enter in the Indian App Development Market Challenges to Enter in the Indian App Development Market Challenges to Enter in the Indian App Development Market-Market Dynamics[apps development,Indian App Development,app market]
Challenges to Enter in the Indian App Development Market Challenges to Enter in the Indian App Development Market Challenges to Enter in the Indian App Development Market-Market Dynamics[apps development,Indian App Development,app market]

Between the years 2017-2018, India was at the No.1 position, when it came to the sheer number of apps downloaded and used be it on iOS or Android. There was even a spike in the revenues earned from these apps though a substantial numbers were also of those which constituted free downloads. When it came to the earnings the scenario was entirely different with the US and China taking the lead with a huge margin.

India is thirsty for content these days with video streaming and downloading being the No.1 medium of entertainment. Netflix, Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp are some of the apps which have seen most action in terms of downloading. Despite the apparent industrial slowdown affecting the country in the present, apps development and downloading remains on top. The current positive scenario can be attributed to the following points:

  • Availability of good mobile phones in India in the present with decent bandwidth which allows for easy downloading, and streaming of video content
  • Presence of service providers like Reliance Jio which has seen usage per subscriber grow from 60 MBs monthly in 2014 to 1.5 GB per month in 2017-18.
  • Good content is available in loads including Netflix-like streaming services
  • With 30% of smartphone users being women these days, an entirely new thought behind app development is a possibility
  • Playing games on the mobile, paid or otherwise are seen as cool “time-pass” these days with the way games are seen these days.

A lot more positives could have been garnered in this space but for certain minuses we face, like:

  • Good, workable ideas. Sample these facts. India plays a lot of online games with the like of PubG etc which are anything but Indian by built. With the top 10 mobile games being non-Indian, it’s fairly clear that all said and done, somehow the concept of conceivable content is yet to make its presence in India in a large way. Most of the app being developed in India are attuned to satisfy very basic needs instead of looking up to things like games and money-making ideas. Even serious stuff like Netflix etc are not Indian by concept. It’s just that they came into existence outside and India borrowed the similar idea to great effect. When it comes to creating the same on your own, Indians sadly are nowhere.
  • Apps in India, including games are taken to be child’s play i.e., something people are still to take seriously. For this reason, besides some crowd-funding and angel VCs, those with deep pockets are yet to register their presence in funding Apps. Paradoxically, India has the largest reserve of gold which otherwise does not command any value other than intrinsic but look at Indian’s penchant towards purchasing it! Even the poorest WILL find resources to buy gold but not put it into funding great app ideas!
  • Apps which are interactive: Typical Indian apps are nowhere close to those found outside in terms of interactivity. They are at best good to solve every-day problems the way PCs did a while back. When it comes to being instantly interactive, they are nowhere near a PubG in terms of usage. App, by their very definition these days need to be interactive and interesting almost instantly and all that India offers is online shopping apps which by its very nature have inherent lag. Till the time we build totally interactive apps, we shall continue to play second fiddle to foreign-made apps.
  • Bandwidth which allows better downloading of pictures: India’s net connectivity, be it through wired lines, wifi or through data card on most mobile phones is pathetic to say the least. Even the measliest of mobile app needs a fair bit of data interaction in real-time to seem interesting. In India, bandwidth is well, anything but even reasonably wide. Phones can at best manage just about 2 to 3 MBPS which by any standards, is pathetic. China, India’s neighbour with similar population and related issues have taken giant strides to address this issue by rolling multiple 5G networks across the length and breadth of the country. Playing games, using apps for education and similar applications are expected to go through the roof in China in times to come. India is still to even start a pilot project in 5G and till that time, interactive apps could be a distant dream.
  • Bad UX & UI. Indian apps just don’t have the look and feel of an app made by experts in the west. Indian apps are at best good for online purchases and very restricted actions. When it comes to anything seriously interactive which needs great looks, feel and operability, we stand nowhere. Our apps look dated, slow and anything but user focussed. With small budgets for their development, app making is still taken to be child’s play and accorded just the same priority. With the roll-out of 5G by 2020, things might just change for the better.
  • Huge, huge markets which restrict visibility of app: The best of app in India have a tough time standing out of the crowd in India. And India, has a large crowd of apps today. Mediocre they may be, but crowd they are. And like crowds elsewhere, the restrict visibility to those apps which matter and need visibility but get relegated to the back of the crowd. Patience and providence seem the only answer here.

India does give its app makers some very tough times and reasons. But like always, it is these tough times and situations which if taken into account the right way in the right spirit can help develop an app (or apps) which in times to come may take India to the top of the list of countries which produce the best of apps!

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