Drive the Change

Social Media Week Bangalore Day 5
Thursday 21st February 2014
2:30 – 3:00 PM
The Leela Palace, Bangalore
Speaker – T.V. Mohandas Pai

The grand finale for Social Media Week kicked off with Mr. T.V. Mohandas Pai taking the stage with his talk explaining how Social Media is driving economic change. The scenario around the world is that though America is currently valued at $15 trillion, however the growth rate is only 2 to 3 per cent. It is a similar story in the case of Europe and Japan. However, India, which was valued at $450 billion in the year 2012, is currently valued $2 trillion, with a growth rate of over 7%! The country!

In the next 10 years, other smaller countries with such high growth rate actually over taking USA. China, which is at $8 trillion today, may actually be the largest economy in the next decade. However, a major problem facing China is the fact that the country’s working population is sinking. It is a similar story in Japan, where the sale of adult diapers went higher than the sale of baby diapers last year. India holds the upper hand when it comes to driving future growth. Some reasons are:
• The Indian economy has opened up. Due to this, export and imports have been on the rise, bringing in money from around the globe.
• India has a young population. The country has 900 million people are below the age of 40. Thus 70% of the population are buyers.
• Advances in technology have also been one of the factors fueling the growth. Use of technology has pushed medical sciences to new heights and life expectancy has gone up.

So how does all this link up to boost economic growth? If we take Whatsapp, for instance, the software was simply a great engineering product that is used by young people to stay in touch. This work of engineering was bought by Facebook for $19 billion. Facebook itself has grown to a company worth billions in just 10 years. This example shows that people have a need to socialize and this need today is pushing the economy.

Social media is also changing people’s behavior. Instead of speaking, people are messaging more. Instead of meeting once in a while, they are chatting online. All this is making people more individualistic. This fact has actually helped many small companies. Companies like Flipkart have grown from being a small company into giants because these companies have identified people’s behavioral change.

India’s current problem is that the country has too many engineers who don’t know how to sell. This makes them a widget or algorithm for other companies to use. Imagine if all these engineers could come up with their own Whatsapp? This will eventually drive India’s economic growth in the future.


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