Businesses can’t expect to compete with the likes of Google or Facebook in India anytime soon.
But the country’s largest technology and media companies are betting that their presence in the digital advertising market will help propel India into the next wave of digital growth.
The country’s biggest tech companies, including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance Communications and Idea Cellular are now pushing for digital growth, with a focus on digital content and advertising platforms.
These are among the top five markets for digital advertising in India.
And the push is on to find a way to scale up their presence, with some of the largest internet service providers, including Vodacom, Bhartipati Birla and Reliance Communication, joining the race to launch apps in the country.
In the latest step in the push, the two biggest players in the sector, Religare and Vodak, have launched their own apps.
Religar and Voda are both owned by Tata Communications, which has been trying to get its digital business off the ground.
Vodach is owned by Reliance Jio, a company which recently sold its stake in its Indian arm to US telecom giant AT&T.
In the US, ReliPay and Snapdeal are two companies that are also part of the Indian Digital Media Growth Alliance (IDAGA).
The IDAGA is set up to create a platform for the digital media ecosystem in the Indian market, which is dominated by Religis Jio and Vora.
These two companies have been active in the market since the mid-2000s, when they first launched mobile apps.
These companies are also active in China, where the two companies are part of an alliance that has invested $100 million in China since 2011.
In India, the growth of the digital ad market is a significant opportunity for India’s tech companies.
According to research firm IAB, digital ad spend in India reached $20.8 billion in 2019, a rise of 22 per cent from the year before.
The growth is partly driven by the fact that digital ad spending in India has exploded.
This has enabled companies to offer mobile apps, allowing users to interact with advertising in real time, a process which makes it much easier to reach people.
According to IDAG, digital ads were an estimated 4.9 per cent of the total ad spend of India’s online consumers in 2019.
This was an increase of 2.9 percentage points from the previous year, with total ad spending increasing by 2.2 percentage points.
But India is still a relatively small market.
While there are over 4.8 million people online, only one-third of the country is covered by the countrys digital advertising platform, said IDAG.
This is due to India’s large population of internet users and the high number of mobile users.
“We are a small market and therefore we can do a lot of work on our own and that has resulted in a lot more adoption,” said Manish Jain, managing director at Vodavision, a Bengaluru-based advertising agency.
Jain said India needs to do more to become a more digital hub.
“We have the best talent in the world in India and the rest of the world is looking for us,” he said.
The push to grow digital advertising also comes as the country has seen a surge in online shopping.
The country is also a global market leader in digital advertising.
In 2019, online sales of goods and services rose by 6 per cent, according to IDG.
The rise in online ad spend also comes after the Indian government announced a series of digital ad policies that will see a new category of digital advertising being launched in 2018.
This will include online and offline advertising.
As per IDG, the government plans to launch a digital ad campaign called “Hike the Hill” that will highlight the benefits of physical stairs.
The government is also developing a digital advertising programme called “Tendra”, which will launch in 2021, that will provide free digital ads to farmers and other consumers in the next five years.