A beautiful revolution of information broadcast and information exchange is sweeping India as we read this. The revolution is ushering in an immensely strong influence in the lives of many Indians who are blessed enough to be touched by it. Luxuries we didn’t even imagine, merely a decade ago, are now becoming commonplace!
Skype is the magician for parents separated from their kids studying abroad… No more short calls, no hurry to hang up in less than two minutes and no skepticism about whether the kid is losing weight living away from home!
Wikipedia is your modern day Atlas… He carries the burden of pulling out just about any random piece of information. You can keep digging in deeper and deeper until your curiosity gets quenched!
Facebook is everybody’s social messenger… It keeps you connected with your long lost friends and updates you with what people are up to in their life! Who passed an exam, who just broke up, who partied the whole night, who got a baby and who is showing off his new car… A simple login to your account will tell you what the world is up to!
This revolution that we call the “internet” today is the real super power that each and every Indian out there can be empowered with! Sadly, this super power is limited to merely 8.4% of our total population! What about the remaining 91.6% population? Are we going to keep the revolution away from touching them? Will this beautiful revolution that holds the power to transform the nation, by empowering the people with knowledge, networking and awareness, really transform it? Or will it just widen disparity that already exists?
Answering these questions was the inspiration behind insta7.
So, why do only a 100 million people (8.4% of the population) access the internet in India out of our total population of 1200 million? Well, there are 2 major reasons for this:
1. A steep learning curve required to use computers
Think back and try to remember the first time you used a computer! Everything was difficult. Installing software, dealing with a frozen screen, handling sudden errors, things that would simply not work for any good reason, even though they worked perfectly just a few minutes ago… Today, we take our interaction with the computer for granted. But a large number of people have still never used a computer and still remain completely confused when they are first interacting with it. For them, there are just too many little things to understand before they can get anywhere! It’s a steep learning curve.
2. High Costs Involved
A computer with a bare minimum configuration that can handle most applications today will cost between Rs.15,000 - Rs.20,000 roughly. Add to this the cost of installing and registering an internet connection. Finally, you have monthly costs of at least Rs.300 and upwards for your internet connection. The cost therefore still remains a major hurdle for most people.
Unless the computer literacy goes up significantly and the costs of using a computer & the internet come down drastically, these barricades will continue to provide resistance to those 91.6% of Indians who don’t have access to the internet.
But, are we going to wait for the government to improve the internet infrastructure across the country? Bring down costs of computers? Raise the computer literacy among our overwhelming population?
No! The infrastructure to empower the lot already exists today! The solution is right in our pockets.
We have 800 million Indians with access to mobile phone services. That is 65% of the population. A simple GPRS enabled phone, with a monthly GPRS pack of under Rs.100 can empower these millions of Indians with internet access!
However, there is still a big problem.
There is a vast difference in using the internet on the computer and on the mobile phone. The biggest challenge lies in making the internet browsing experience on mobile phones user-friendly and flattening the learning curve.
At insta7, we decided to take on this challenge.