Estimating the Value of New Generation Internet Based Applications in India

The ubiquity of the Internet and internet-based applications is a given. New generation Internet applications or apps as they are commonly referred to, have become a way of life. They range from simple communication applications to the more complex business aggregation models used by the taxi and trucking industries. Urban life everywhere and everyday profits from ease of food delivery, on demand entertainment, news and weather alerts, doorstep shopping, fitness monitoring, etc., to name just a few. The main objective of this study was to measure and demonstrate the impact of apps on GDP. The study was conducted in two parts. The first estimates the impact of apps on GDP using a macro-economic econometric model. Cross-country data is used to arrive at a global estimate of the impact of internet usage on GDP. The same estimation methodology is used at the sub-national level to arrive at the growth coefficient for India. According to the research team’s estimates, apps contributed a minimum of USD 20.4 billion to India’s GDP in 2016. To reinforce the macro-economic results, the second part fortifies these findings through a set of case studies, which examine apps across various sectors and trace the channels through which economic and social effects are generated. The study offers policy recommendations based on the overall analysis.