See first of all, they need to have a data connectivity, pehle toh wohi problem tha, right?! (Earlier, that was the problem, right?!)… there is no data connection itself, that in itself, if you don’t have the roads, what are you going to drive? So, I think, the Japanese took a very long-term view of… if you look at Indonesia, it’s such a wide country, actually railroads would have been the most sensible thing to do in that country. The Japanese invested in that country, building roads and giving soft loans at maybe next to 0% interest because they knew 25 years down the line, they had the vision to know, ki agar road build hoga toh gadi chalegi (the car will only move if the road builds). Today, 70% of all the cars that they drive on Indonesian roads are Japanese cars and 60% or 70% market share out of those 70% Japanese cars is Toyota. So they had the foresight to say, yaar pehle road build karenge toh gadi chalegi na (only if we build the road, will the car move!), agar hum road nahi build karte aur rails ban jaate ya toh phir air strips ban jaate (had we not built roads, either rails or air strips would have been built), people would be taking flights. So, I think that sort of vision and long-term view is lacking from a lot of people.
So the point is, the first thing is, that is everybody is connected? Does everybody have a device? That’s your first starting point. Then it has to be a stable and a very cheap low price point connectivity. That problem is getting solved and we are seeing that every day, you are reading about it every day. Once that gets solved, you will have to figure out, what is that the Indian consumer is actually doing? Today, everybody talks about Facebook and they talk about Whatsapp.
If you look at urban India, there’s a big phenomenon. The big phenomenon is that, kids below the age of 18 years actually don’t like Facebook, they are not on Facebook because their uncles, aunts and cousins and fathers and mothers are on Facebook, so they want to stay away from Facebook because they don’t want their lives exposed to them, right?! Or they are putting very basic and clean stuff. Everybody is on Snapchat, they are on Instagram. Instagram is where they sort of, really communicate and the ones’ below 15 years in urban India or completely off even Whatsapp, the only way they communicate is on other mediums of communication, they don’t even communicate on Whatsapp.
So, it’s this deep understanding of who this Indian consumer is? What are they going to consume? So for example, as far as BookMyShow is concerned I can use our own analogy that we have something called ‘Planet’ where we make a plan for a movie and it’s a chat, service within BookMyShow and four friends can go together. I can make a plan, share the screen, everybody communicates with each other on chat, they are not calling each other, they are chatting on the platform and then they all go to the movies together, decide to meet at a meeting point which is also built into the chat platform and they all split payments, so all the money goes into each one’s wallet, they all split the payments, they all go to the movies together and then they come back as a group. So it’s really about building a social layer and for people to use their native way of communicating today. So when you make a plan today, everybody at least at our age creates a Whatsapp group, ‘dinner at home on so and so date’ and the life of that chat is till the dinner happens and then everybody says happens ‘thank you, thank you, thank you’ and starts exiting the group, right, so it’s a behaviour. So it’s catching these trends and behavioral points.
So, I think, the Indian e-commerce customer as you said, is very different in urban markets, it’s very different in Tier 2 markets and we did a small study in rural markets to see how and what do they consume and we found some incredible insights that the mobile phone, the TV, and the temple which is the ghar ka mandir (temple at home) are the three most important things that are in a household. The temple, the mobile phone and the TV are always at the centre of the living room. These kids are wearing soccer clothes and all of that and they are buying from online platforms and they are paying on cash but they have these delivery centres where these goods are getting delivered to a delivery centres which could be about 10-20 kilometres away from your village or your home and they are going on a bike and collect all of that and come. So we were trying to figure out what are there viewing habits, do they like soccer? One interesting insight we found was that, there is a massive following in this country for wrestling. It surprised us and outside of cricket, in a lot of markets wrestling was the number 2 most, sort of followed sport which I mean doesn’t even exist here. So, India is a complicated country but it also makes it that much more fascinating for you to pursue these customer segments and offer products, services, goods to be able to cater to their needs and demands, not just the product that you have built. If you stick to that, ‘Hey listen, this is what I have built, this is what I am going to stick with’, you won’t hit that scale.