Google’s vice-president for South East Asia and India, Rajan Anandan has been appointed new chairman of Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). He took over charge from FreeCharge’s co-founder and chief executive officer Kunal Shah. MakeMyTrip Chairman & Group CEO Deep Kalra has taken over as vice chairman from music app Saavn co-founder and President Vinodh Bhat. Facebook’s Managing Director – India & South Asia, Umang Bedi has been elected as the new Treasurer of the Association. Subho Ray continues to be the President of the Association, IAMAI said in a statement.
The tenure of the new council is for two years. “Anandan assumes office at a time when the industry is going through a growth trajectory with more than 400 million Internet users and with more than 300 million mobile Internet users,” the statement said. In Rural India, with an estimated population of 906 million, have only 156 million Internet users.
“Thus, there are potential 750 million users still in rural heartlands; if only they can be reached out properly. Thus, the new council will work towards increasing the Internet users’ base, especially in rural areas,” the statement said. Another key focus area of work for the new council would be the promotion of local language content. Currently, much of the content on the Internet is in English.
English language accounts for nearly 56 per cent of the content on the worldwide web, while Indian languages account for less than 0.1 per cent, the statement said. Enabling Indic content on the Internet will lead to a growth of 39 per cent with the current Internet user base of India. IAMAI, which helps Internet based firms in handling industry and policy issues, said that the new council would also work towards promoting the digital startup ecosystem in India.
“The Council believes that apps economy in India will drive the next level of Internet growth, along with Indic. With over 300 million mobile Internet users and more than 200 million local language consumers on the Internet, the growth trajectory for apps development is bound to be exponential,” IAMAI said. The companies in the new council include Times Internet, OLX, Policy Bazaar, Yatra, Paytm, Hungama, Mobikwik, Indiamart, Itzcash and Pepperfry.