The advent of the Internet has made the world a global village. There is thus some poetic justice to the fact that more and more villages are going global today with the help of internet connections. As the world moves towards holistic and integrated tech-lead lives, the promise of deeper internet penetration in India is an advantageous reality. It has enabled a greater bout of connectivity across regions, territories, and unstructured parts of the nation. The internet dispersion is strong and the infrastructure is rapidly building up which has enabled tier-2 and tier-3 cities to revolutionise their presence and become digital.
The impact of reliable and fast internet in tier-2 and tier-3 cities have made them more digitally literate and has helped establish their virtual holdings. The benefits that can be scavenged with a speedy internet connection are numerous, but one that takes the cake is entrepreneurship. It has provided home-grown entrepreneurs the ability to grow and evolve while addressing a wider set of niche, thus eventually making inroads with metro cities.
A recent study conducted by Instamojo highlighted that entrepreneurs, especially in tier-2 and tier-3 locations, are increasingly understanding the significance of having an online presence. These businesses are ready with agile, dynamic models that function in a hybrid online-offline environment and focus on a particular problem statement with distinctive solutions.
Not just limiting their interaction to https in the world of wide web, these budding enterprises are also expanding their presence on social media pages that facilitated e-commerce growth in other tier-2 and tier-3 cities. With accounts on social networking platforms like Instagram and Facebook, businesses are able to post real-time updates of their products, services and the reviews which helped create a regulated and revered audience and quicker customer interactions and acquisition.
The examples of unique business ventures that stem out of and are a clear indicator of technical growth in tier-2 and tier-3 cities in India are multifold. For instance, GenRobotics, a Trivandrum-based business made its first product—a robot called Bandicoot that automates manhole scavenging and eliminates manual involvement. A company called Inntot, based out of Cochin has an affordable way of digitizing analogue radio and is rendering services in India as well as in multiple international markets. Another interesting case study is of a Bhubaneshwar-based establishment named Milk Mantra where you can digitally buy milk along with other dairy products.
While these regions are big on innovation, they are big on spending too! Some research data suggests that smaller towns now account for 46 % of the Indian e-commerce sector, up from 32% in the fourth quarter of 2020. Furthermore, user consumption and expenditure on the internet has increased from 26% to 43% in these cities.
With these statistics, ISPs should aggressively expand into more and more tier-ii and tier-iii cities. These cities are currently the gold mine of ideas that have the potential to become the next popular start-up but the only piece missing from the puzzle is seamless interconnectivity.
As we go online and look for opportunities, we shall also strive to provide them for small businesses from small towns and cities.