Highlights

  • Digital landscape reflects India's complex demographic: Ajit Mohan
  • Digital allows you mass personalisation, which was not possible before: Ananth Narayanan
  • More young people reflect willingness to embrace new things: Ajit & Ananth

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India’s digital landscape reflects the country’s complex demographic: Ajit Mohan & Ananth Narayanan

Ajit Mohan & Ananth Narayanan discuss the digital landscape and how it reflects the complex demographic of India at the Ascent Conclave 2022. They also talk about how it enables mass personalisation for brands.

The change in India’s digital landscape reflects the complexity of the country, Ajit Mohan, former Meta India head said at the Ascent Conclave 2022.

Ajit Mohan and Ananth Narayanan, founder, Mensa Brands, discussed 'Super Charging A Digital Future' in a fireside chat at the Ascent Conclave 2022 held in Mumbai on 24 November. They spoke about how the changing landscape of India's digital audience cuts across states, languages, cultures, and religions. They also advised the entrepreneurs and interpreneurs on starting digital businesses and how to deploy the available capital smartly, to enable consistent growth.

‘If you look at the 800 million people online, you know that it is all of India. It cuts across states and therefore it cuts across languages. It cuts across different degrees of urbanization, and income classes. So, all of the differences that were there in the real world are showing up here as well,’ said Ajit Mohan. ‘I think there are multiple Indias for sure,’ added Ananth Narayanan.

Mohan and Narayanan further discussed the young demographics of our country and how it is reflected in people's willingness to embrace new things. ‘Think when you have a product or a format that hits the bull's eye, you don't get friction from people resisting adopting something new that is different from how they've done it before. Whether that is how they discover a product, whether that's how they get in touch with a doctor,’ Ajit Mohan said.

Mohan said that this phenomenon is because the average age of our country is 26, ‘if you look at the aging curve, we get younger for a few more years before we start aging, which is quite different from almost every country in the world.’

Mohan further spoke about how this also enabled the massive explosion of the usage of the messaging platform WhatsApp in the last two or three years. ‘I think what's interesting is, the digital journey allows you to segment better, to target better, and to deal with them in a more personalized manner, whether it's through WhatsApp... But it allows you mass personalisation, which was not possible before,’ added Narayanan.

Mohan maintained that the younger demographics are a big advantage for the growing digital landscape of India but, ‘some of the old stuff continues to remain relevant.’ ‘I think it's a country that is growing fast, but it's still a country with a lot of disparity in income. So, the classic cliche about you having to get the value equation right continues to be true, I think, even in this new world. But digital is playing a huge role, and that hasn't changed. So, I think it's as complex as the country is,’ he said.

Ananth Narayanan agreed and shared how this has changed the way brands have to think about inventory and product assortment. ‘It's a very interesting opportunity to actually build products that create real value for consumers and being able to personalize both the shopping experience and the assortment for each customer.’

Also read: In the last 6 years, even China hasn't seen the kind of internet access growth India has: Ajit Mohan

Also read: Ajit Mohan & Ananth Narayanan’s advice for entrepreneurs on building digital businesses

Editorji was the exclusive media partner for this panel discussion at this Ascent Conclave 2022.

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