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According to a latest study jointly done by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International, regional language content availability can boost the growth of Internet in India by 24 percent.

The findings of the study titled “Local Language Study 2013” were based on a survey of 35 cities across seven states. The study identifies local language as the single largest driver of internet growth in rural areas, and highlights some crucial findings shared below:

1. 43 percent of the non-users of internet in rural areas have said that they will adopt the medium if the content is provided in local languages.

2. In urban areas, the same number stood at 13.5 percent.

3. In rural India, entertainment, social networking and email remain the primary purpose of using online local language content.

4. In urban India, email, news and search show the dominance over online activities.

5. In rural India, 27 percent of the users use Hindi to access online content, followed by Marathi and Tamil languages.

6. In urban India, 60 percent of the users access online content in Hindi, followed by Tamil and Marathi languages.

India has more than 200 million internet users as reported in 2013 but Unilever recently shared that only 13% of the country’s population is able to access internet.

Internet infrastructure problem has been a concern for the country with reports stating that in the Q2 2013 average connection speeds remain slowest in Asia-Pacific region. Now the latest report adds that the second reason of lack of internet adoption is because of lack of regional content.

Speaking at the 8th Indian Magazine Congress in New Delhi, Google India’s MD Rajan Anandan also predicted that content consumption will grow on various platforms with vernacular content raising the demand.

“The vernacular sites are growing at 56 per cent y-o-y and English sites just by 11 per cent y-o-y. The fastest growing websites in India are now vernacular news sites and the consumption is growing five times as compared to English,” he informed.

Rapid growth of smartphones in the country can be the answer to the present challenge. While content availability in regional languages remains a challenge for now, it could also be a boon for startups and marketers in the country as India is poised to hit 243 million internet users by end of 2014. Are the VCs also interested?

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