Monday 10 February 2020

Surprised to find Maharashtra as the second highest user of Hindi on Amazon India: Amit Agarwal

Surprised to find Maharashtra as the second highest user of Hindi on Amazon India: Amit AgarwalSpeaking at IAMAI’s 14th India Digital Summit, Amazon India head Amit Agarwal talked about various factors that are helping India achieve the $5 trillion economy. His address veered to many topics from digital literacy, to the growth of Artificial Intelligence in the country.

He lauded the ‘Bharat Bhasha’ project that IAMAI is working on, which is empowering around 250 million people, who are literate, but unable to enjoy the internet by helping them access the multilingual internet.

Citing Amazon’s India’s experience, he said, “When we launched Amazon India in Hindi, we obviously thought that UP would be the number one user for it. But we were surprised to see Maharashtra at number two. It just turned out that they have a different view of the language. It showed that a different language was more convenient for them to access and use its services.”

Meanwhile, he said that while India is the fifth-largest economy, it stands in the second position when it comes to digital growth in the world. “If you look at where we are today, we are not far from achieving the target of a $5 trillion economy,” he said.

He highlighted that the factors that aided the country to reach this stage are smartphone penetration, digital payments, and cheap internet data consumption. “If you just look at the last five years, smartphones have become a big disruption. The numbers I hear are more than 800 million mobile phones now,” he said.

Another factor helping the digitization in India is the rise of startups. “If the number of unicorns is some indicator of success, India already has 31 of them and it’s very fortunate to see the startup ecosystem grow so quickly,” he said.

Agarwal also pointed out the government’s contribution in promoting digital growth in the country through various initiatives such as Digital India, Digital Village programme that is “digitizing our development” and BharatNet programme. He acknowledged the ‘brief’ success of the eKYC system in the country, saying. “This is just a great success for building a robust payment infrastructure in this country.”

Further, in his inaugural address, the executive talked about the need for digital literacy and the emergence of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI). He said there are so many conceptions about AI becoming a global entity and creating conflicts in future. “But if you really think about it, AI brings solutions with automation, which can actually produce better outcomes and help in job creations. Especially in a country like India, where the scales are massive, the diversity is massive, and if we want to solve problems at scale, AI can be a big support.” he said.

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