The Indian Tech of the Decade

Jayadevan P K examines the top tech trends of the 2010s in India.

Jayadevan P K

December 24, 2019

The Indian Tech of the Decade
The flag of India (Naveed Ahmed)

Walk around the streets of Alwarpet in Chennai or Basavanagudi in Bengaluru — the food carts and the fruit sellers will likely accept digital payments. Be it in the bungalows of South Delhi or the shanties in Dharavi, you can't miss that people have smartphones and high-speed internet. Some are on TikTok, others on Twitter.

At kiranas, the local grocery stores found at every street corner in India, many retailers have stopped going to the market to buy goods. Instead, they order supplies wholesale and get it delivered at the shop. In urban areas, millions of young workers order food on apps and impatiently check for real-time updates until their food, likely made in a cloud kitchen, appears at their doors. Entrepreneurship is in. Being a YouTuber or TikToker isn’t such a bad career choice. 

In just one decade, India now has more internet users than the United States. Indian internet penetration was 7.5% in 2010 — only 92 million of India’s then 1.2 billion people were online. By March 31, 2019, the Internet and Mobile Association of India, along with Nielsen, reported that there were 451 million monthly active internet users in India, a penetration of 34%. Smartphone shipments rose from around 8 million in 2010 to 124 million in 2017. In the third quarter of 2019, over 46 million smartphones were shipped.

Ten years ago, if you had said all this was possible in India, only the optimists would have believed it. But here we are, in 2019, and technology has changed the way Indians live, work, and play. None of this happened overnight. How did we get here? Here's a look at the top tech trends of the decade that catalyzed the change.