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Affordable Innovation For All

As India progresses towards being a more productive nation, the overall product, and the disposable income per capita will rise steadily. People are now more willing to spend on better lifestyle

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It wouldn’t be fair to say that 2017 was sort of a rollercoaster, except it was a rollercoaster that only went upwards. More Indians are now online than ever before and the potential of technology is finally starting to touch the lives of those beyond just the affluent.

There is, however, still a lot of ground to cover, many lives to touch. And that’s what I expect (and hope) to see in 2018 — affordable innovation available for everyone.

While I can only speak for what Xiaomi’s plans are, it wouldn’t come to me as a surprise if other companies started sharing our vision. After all, what we are all gunning for is pretty much the same — bringing benefits of technology to as many people as possible. What might differ, from company to company and industry to industry, is the means of attaining the end result.
Here’s what you can expect to see in 2018.

Increased Smartphone And Internet Adoption
As companies start to realise how much gap still needs to be filled, more attempts will be made to try and touch large groups of people. There are many reasons why this will happen:

1. Greater disposable income:  As India progresses towards being a more productive nation, the overall product, and the disposable income per capita will rise steadily. People are now more willing to spend on better lifestyle.

2. Greater accessibility: As companies realise the fact stated above, more and more of them will try and make their products available in places where they didn’t before.

3. Greater affordability: As sales predictions go higher, the cost of production, as well as the cost borne per unit product, goes down, which in the end results in greater affordability.

4. Smarter business models: A sale is no longer about a single transaction. Take Xiaomi for example, we don’t really aim to make money on hardware. It’s our other hero product,  MIUI (a customised Android ROM developed by Xiaomi for smartphones and tablets), that we aim to monetise, but only by adding value.

Quality Tech Made Affordable — Innovation for Everyone
Unless widespread, a lot of the best technologies are hardly of any use. I expect companies to try and go as wide as possible — which is our mantra as well; innovation for everyone.

You first want to bring people on to a common platform and then make use of the data and technologies to improve their lives. This is something I expect to happen in 2018, as more people get online and start getting comfortable with technology.

In a more direct manner, millions of people are going to take advantage of Internet services to better their lives in different ways. This could be something as simple as an IM (instant messaging) for super-fast and rich communication, a cab-hailing service, a Digilocker to access important documents on the go, or even navigating in a new city using maps.

In the end, you will only see technology better the lives of a few more million people in 2018.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Manu Jain

The author is global vice-president at Xiaomi and MD at Xiaomi India

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