Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The changing face of India

These are the outliers; but outliers that point to a trend that will soon become the norm.

(Context: From a recent trip. A barber in a small shop in Jalandhar, Punjab. Not a fancy place; the kinda place where you can still get a haircut for around Rs.50/ ~$1. Where I had a quick haircut and a 'L'Oreal hair conditioning' session cross-sold to me in the process :))
  • Barber.
  • Should be around 25. (Identity withheld on request)
  • Owns a fancy Nokia handset with a big screen.
  • Prepaid mobile customer.
  • Is a migrant worker from a Saharanpur, UP (If I recall correctly)
  • Subscribes to a few GB 'internet pack' for around Rs. 100 a month.
  • He taught me how to download the latest movies and songs "for free" from (a certain banned but extremely popular site songsonline.pk or something like that).

I can see the mobile slowly but steadily taking roots as the first internet access device for the masses in India. Not there yet; but gaining momentum on the way. There is still a majority of people who use basic mobile phones (and these phones; at times second hand or third hand and made in china; have been reported to be available for as less as Rs. 50!). The changing face of India.

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