Fuelled by a rapidly rising demand for services and content as more and more Indians go online using smartphones, the country’s app economy is poised for a strong growth, with the number of application developers being expected to surpass those in the US by 2024.
According to the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI), India is expected to overtake the US as world’s largest developer population centre by 2024. A report by PPI reveals that India has 1.674 million app economy jobs as on August 2019, a growth of 39% from 1.208 million in 2016. By comparison, the US had 2.246 million similar jobs as on April 2019 and the European Union, including Switzerland and Norway, had 2.093 million jobs as of July 2019.
The findings were revealed on Thursday at an event organised by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). To estimate the number of core app economy jobs, the report uses a multi-step procedure based on data from online job postings. Bangalore was the leader with 362,000 jobs, followed by Delhi at 248,000 and Mumbai with 137,000. Hyderabad created 128,000 jobs, while Pune’s figure stood at 113,000.
The IAMAI said the growth of the app economy is likely to continue, as people are increasingly using mobile apps as their interface to their home, cars, schools, and healthcare providers. The rise of Internet of Things (IoT) will guarantee the need for more highly functional and sophisticated apps, serving an essential role in interacting with the digital environment. India is already one of the leading countries for mobile app usage, given more than 500 million smartphone users.
PPI in its report said, “We anticipate fast-growing demand for a new generation of apps to act as the human interface for increasingly-digitised physical industries. Companies will need internal apps for their workers, and external apps for their suppliers and customers.”
A study by policy think tanks – ICRIER and Boradband India Forum – in July 2017 suggests that a 17% growth in total internet traffic in India during 2015-16 contributed to an increase of Rs 7 lakh crore in the GDP, of which at least Rs 1.36 lakh crore or $20.4 billion was due to Internet-based app services. It estimated that the internet economy could contribute up to $537.4 billion to the GDP by 2020, of which a minimum of $70.9 billion or Rs 18.28 lakh crore could be attributed to apps.