Consider this:

  • Population of India: around 1.2 billion people
  • 81 million Internet users (Source for above two facts)
  • Facebook: 21 million (as of July 2010) Twitter: 3.5 million (Source)
  • Mobile user base: 270 million
  • Mobile internet makes more than 50% of total internet usage and number of mobile phone users is more than 7 times higher than the number of people accessing internet. (Source)

Not sure how valid these numbers are since I heard many variations. Frankly, it doesn’t really matter. One thing is clear: It’s early. Many people told me that their digital marketing budget hovers around 2% of the overall marketing spend. 3G is not common yet.

In many ways, the environment resembles the US digital landscape around 2004-2005. That’s an amazing opportunity for Indian start-ups, media companies and agencies. They can learn from the mistakes we made in the US and Europe. The toolbox for brands is much bigger and better developed compared to 2005. There’s a vast library of case studies – successes and failures. There are many people that have been through the digital wars of the last 10 years than can help Indian marketers make their case for bigger budgets, for a seat at the table, for becoming the centerpiece of any digital marketing initiative and for transforming companies into social businesses.

These are exciting and often breathtaking times. While I encourage Indian marketers to get as much insights from their  European and American counterparts, I also urge everyone to create their own path.

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

I’ve met numerous innovators, bright minds and passionate people during Click Asia Summit 2011. The world better listen up. We’ll hear from them very soon.

(Above is the presentation I gave about Social CRM and VRM this morning.)