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ET SpotlightAt MAMA India: The Digital Bharat 2.0 event – the day-long India edition of AppsFlyer’s iconic MAMA (Mobile Attribution and Marketing Analytics) event series, which took place in Mumbai on December 2 – top leaders in the Indian startup, tech, product, and marketing ecosystem underscored the growth opportunities in India’s mobile app economy and Digital Bharat landscape.
Buoyed by a thriving digital mobile ecosystem, an online user base of over 900 million people, a tremendous opportunity for growth and innovation in the form of billions of untapped users from Bharat, India’s mobile app economy presents a sea of opportunities, said top leaders from the Indian app ecosystem in a series of impactful and engaging discussions with and talks by product leaders, marketing heads, startup founders, marquee investors, and policymakers.
“I think we all sitting here – entrepreneurs, business leaders, policymakers – agree that India is a part of the new world order. And if we talk about this decade being a decade that will be driven by any nation, I believe India will be a key player,” said Ronen Mense, President & Managing Director – APAC, AppsFlyer, during his keynote address where he highlighted the tremendous opportunities for growth of Indian app developers, as a result of the void created by the Indian government’s ban on over 250 foreign apps.
Echoing these views, Ajay Sawhney, Former Secretary, Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), Govt. of India, also spoke about how the government’s clampdown on foreign apps due to data privacy issues had created an enormous room for growth for Indian apps and lauded Indian service providers and app developers for stepping up to fill this gap and seize the opportunities created.
Speaking about the national app challenge launched by the Indian government for Indian app developers to develop innovative apps across nine different categories, Sawhney elaborated on how this initiative brought to light some really innovative and revolutionary ideas from the Indian startup and app ecosystem.
Further, Sawhney detailed the vast opportunities available in the Digital Bharat space and elaborated on the Bhatiali project (Bhatiali.gov.in), which aims to provide an API that can be integrated within the apps to remove language barriers and cater to a user base that speaks only the local language of their region.
“One thing that might seriously ignite our own app ecosystem is bridges across languages… effort is going on to build a national platform across languages called Bhatiali. What this is attempting to do is to create capabilities through a national platform of speech recognition of translation from English to any of the Indian languages or from any Indian language to other Indian languages… So, an app, which today is confined to addressing those who know English and Hindi, can not only look forward to being able to serve the pan-India market but also those who use only the audio route… Imagine what that does to unify and imagine the multiple that you get out of this. That is the next exponential that we can kick off or bring into our app ecosystem,” said Sawhney.
Sanjay Trisal, General Manager of INSEA/ANZ, AppsFlyer, also delivered a presentation on the ‘State of App Marketing in India.’ Trisal elaborated on how India’s Tier-II and Tier-III cities are increasingly becoming the driving force behind the growing app usage in India and shared key insights on the increasing number of app installs in India along with the key aspects businesses need to keep in mind for user acquisition and remarketing.
The event also featured a series of insightful roundtables, including a CPO Roundtable, CMO roundtable, and investor roundtable. The investor panel with Alok Misra, Operating Partner & COO – India, General Atlantic, Shweta Bhatia, Partner & Head of Technology Investments, Eight Roads Ventures India, Amol Warange, Director- Investments, Omidyar, moderated by Kamlesh Bhatia, Head – Digital Innovation, Amazon Web Services – India, focused on ‘The Great Startup Reset Of 2022: Outlook, Opportunities, Outcomes,’ where panelists decoded the growth playbook and strategies that Indian startups will need to adopt in a tough macroeconomic environment.
The Growth Marathon: Entrepreneurship and brand building lessons from top startup founders
One of the key highlights at the event was ‘The Growth Marathon’ session wherein top startup leaders like Shally Modi, Co-founder, Pratilipi and Aprameya Radhakrishna, Founder & CEO, Koo, elaborated on their entrepreneurial journey wherein they talked about the issues they are helping solve for India, and how their products are helping solve these issues. They also shared deep-dive insights into the mistakes they made and their learnings from those mistakes.
In another fireside session, Naiyya Saggi, Co-Founder, the Good Glamm Group, delved into what it’s like to be a woman entrepreneur in today’s time. She also talked about the journey of the Good Glamm Group, which is building a content-to-commerce D2C house of brands, and its plans to expand into international markets in the next leg of growth for this leading D2C brand.
Talking about the rise in the number of mobile-first users from Bharat, Saggi called it an “incredible opportunity.” “Two things have happened – one is, of course, the data democracy. For the first time post-Jio you have seen a lot more women come online, you see new demographics come online, smartphones and also like… so overall like a digital democracy, data democracy that has happened with decreased smartphone cost and reduced data costs and so new audiences have come online in terms of demographic of women but also equally tier II, tier III, tier IV audiences. They are still consuming the same kind of content, for the most part, I mean, of course, there are different variations of it, but the aspirations are set by what they consume online, and I think that is the big opportunity,” Saggi added.
Poonam Bhatt, EVP – Digital, Vodafone Idea, Suchi Mukherjee, Founder & CEO of Limeroad, and Rashmi Chadha, Founder of WoVoyage also decoded what it takes to build businesses and solutions with a diversity agenda in Digital India, in a panel discussion moderated by Ritu Sharma, Country Manager, India, AppsFlyer.
For app developers, mobile marketers, startup founders, and product managers building and scaling innovative apps from India, the MAMA India – The Digital Bharat 2.0 event provided a platform to rub shoulders with the who’s who of the mobile app marketing ecosystem. The event also served as common ground for key stakeholders of the Indian app ecosystem to meet, connect, and network with some of the leaders from the regulatory, marketing, and technology spheres of the Indian app marketing ecosystem.

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