Google Baba Ki Jai ( Praise Google!! )
On a recent trip to the Dehradun region-about 150 kms into the mountainous Barsu village, we found ourselves off the grid when we stopped for chai. The shopkeeper serving tea and Maggi seemed functionally literate and operated a feature phone. This area had no data network.
Despite his lack of access, he shared how the footfall to his stall had increased substantially, thanks to Google reviews. And it was made possible because his shop now shows up on Maps.
It was interesting that he was concerned about our review on Google rather than a generous tip. I saw in real-time the massive shift in empowerment that the digitally networked world has given the common man.
Most people in India today, regardless of formal education, are reasonably tech-savvy and mobile literate. Especially the under 40. The government’s Digital India vision has resulted in 1.18 billion mobile connections, 700 million Internet users, and 600 million smartphones.
If technology can create access to opportunities for the underserved and increase their ambit of influence, imagine what it can do for you!