Pearls of Wisdom from Rajan Anandan, MD, Google India

Rajan Anadan was the keynote speaker at day-2 of Google Community Summit – Asia 2014 at Sri Lanka, here are some excerpts to take note of, and act upon.

Rajan Anandan at Google Community Summit - Asia, 2014

Rajan Anandan at Google Community Summit – Asia, 2014, Sri Lanka. Aug 2014

    • If you are not mobile friendly, you are not in the radar of tech startups: If you don’t have an App, that’s the first turn off. There’s a second chance, a mobile friendly website. If you don’t even have that, don’t bother to think or talk big.
    • The curious case of technology half-life: Reaching 1 billion users takes half as long with each new technology. It took 110 years for TV to reach a billion users, Telephone 44 years, Internet 22 years, Smartphone 14 years and Wearable may take only 4 years to touch 1bn user mark. The question is, are you building wearable friendly solutions yet?
    • How technology changes consumer behavior: Wearable like Google Glass and Android Wear is going to change the consumer behavior. 20 years back, there were thoughts on how mobile phone will disrupt cameras, it eventually did and caused a behemoth like Kodak to shut shop.

    • The number of steps taken to perform a task is continuously reducing: What took 4 steps through a mobile to get navigation assistance now takes only 2 steps through an Android Wear. Same for taking pictures, it takes just one command to click and share pictures using Google Glass. All of this is leading to the way consumer behaves.

    • Nothing lasts forever: By 2020. We won’t use mobile for taking pictures.
    • A connected world: In 2014 we have 2.8bn people online and 1.75bn smartphones. By 2020 it is estimated to b 5bn people online and 40-50bn connected devices.
    • Asian perspective: In 2009 Asia had 86mn smartphone, by 2014 it has growth to 738mn smartphones. India alone has 140mn smartphone as of 2014.
    • Mobile. Mobile. Mobile. Build for that for next 3 years; peg your business with mobile at the center.
    • TV vs Internet (India): 560mn TV households who watch an average of 5 hours per day whereas 300mn people who have access to Internet spend an average of 3 hours per day and this is poised to grow with the multi screen culture.
    • E-commerce in Asia: Was $301bn in 2012. It is now $525bn and by 2017 it is expected to touch 1.05 trillion, if you put that in perspective, the GDP of India is 1.9trillion. With a trillion dollar potential, this what you should for next 10 years, the blink-and-miss sales of Mi phones in India through Flipkart is a classic example of this emerging trend.
    • Only 5% women in India use Internet. This is a big challenge. Google tried to address this through Helping Women Get Online (HWGO) initiative and its opening new avenues for empowering women with the power of internet.

  • New internet users (India): Are being added at a rate of 5 million per month. Google aims to double it through their Moonshot thinking in India such as the ‘Android One’ which arises out of the question ‘How to empower 500mn users with smartphone?’

Bonus: I was having a talk with him off the stage, one of my question was, “What’s causing e-commerce in India to bleed out cash?” His response was “The price discounts is the only way to get customers buy and loyalty barely exists, this is the major cause of cash drain for e-commerce sites in India”