Next Billion Innovations, Strategies to Serve New Internet Users
Only 17% of India was online in 2015. Cut to January 2021, and that number has scaled to include 45% of our population, with a staggering 624m Indians accessing the internet, today, thanks to cheaper smartphones and data plans. And, this change is not limited to India alone. Across the globe, in countries as far flung as Namibia, and Indonesia, Mexico and Brazil, the Next Billion Users are accessing the internet, for the very first time.
Who are the people who make up the NBU monolith?
What do these new users want and need?
How can businesses create services and products that cater to a generation of customers who navigate the world in fundamentally different ways?
What are myths and cognitive biases that impede innovation in these contexts?
What are best practices when it comes to user research, prototyping, and devising go-to-market strategies to suit this segment, across geographies?
What role does localization play?
Find answers to all these questions and more — on the #NextBillionInnovations podcast where we showcase strategies to serve new Internet users.
Join product strategy coach and consultant Shrinath V. as he speaks to successful entrepreneurs, industry leaders, and experts driving the change in this domain. Learn from case studies, stories, and statistics that practitioners share during freewheeling conversations, as we discuss everything from micro-payments, TikTok trends, ethical AI and localization.
Start listening to this Aawaz Originals production here.
Trailer - Next Billion Innovations Podcast [ 1:20 ]
Transforming Early Education Using Voice Tech - Nitin Kashyap, Google [ 37:16 ]
Transforming Early Education Using Voice Tech
From Unnao in UP, to Bogota in Colombia, Google’s ReadAlong is helping children in resource-poor households read better.. With over 5mn+ downloads and users in 70+ countries, the app is a game changer for young learners everywhere.
But how did this voice-assistant evolve to meet the needs of students who do not have reliable access to good schools or teachers? What role did user research play? What insights can we uncover about low-income parents and first-generation learners, who form the core target audience for this revolutionary app? Why did the team have to adopt new paradigms for user activation and offline usage? And, what are the things we get so wrong, so often, about new internet users, their needs, their values and their dreams?
Tune into the maiden episode of the #NextBillionInnovations to hear product strategy coach and host, Shrinath V. speak to Nitin Kashyap, Sr. Product Manager of the Google ReadAlong team.
Learn about the product development cycle and how conversational AI, VoiceFirst technologies, gamification and intuitive thinking have shaped the ReadAlong app user experience, and what this says about the future of technology design for new internet users, in India and across the world.
Clean Cooking Solutions For Low Income Homes - Sagun Saxena, Koko Networks [ 35:23 ]
Clean Cooking Solutions For Low Income Homes
An enduring myth about the NBU segment is that these customers cannot pay or do not wish to pay for products and services.
Sagun Saxena and his team at KOKO Networks have laid this misconception to rest by not only building a revolutionary clean-energy cooking stove for low-income urban households in Kenya, but also by creating a unique tech-driven delivery mechanism and a profitable business model around this.
Listen in to the conversation between product strategy coach and host, Shrinath V. and Sagun Saxena, Executive Director & Chief Innovation Officer at KOKO to learn how KOKO tapped into larger market trends and built an ecosystem to solve unique challenges around product development, fuel distribution, and payment, all while influencing user behaviour in new and unprecedented ways. And walk away with a deeper understanding of how these strategies can guide innovation in an Indian context, on this episode of the #NextBillionInnovations podcast on Aawaz.
Demystifying the NBU Segment - Dr Payal Arora, Digital Anthropologist [ 51:37 ]
Demystifying the NBU Segment
From a delivery person who uses apps to participate in the informal economy to rural TikTok enthusiasts to your grandma who sends you GoodMorning texts on WhatsApp to women in smaller towns who use a shared mobile device to log onto the YouTube for the very first time, the Next Billion Users represent a large swathe of users who are separated by language, access, geography, levels of literacy, spending power, their attitudes to leisure, entertainment and more.
In this special episode of the #NextBillionInnovations podcast we speak to an authority on this subject, Payal Arora, digital anthropologist, professor, speaker and author whose book Next Billion Users: Digital life beyond the West (Harvard Press, 2019) is making waves in academia and outside. She has consulted on tech innovation for diverse organizations such as UNESCO, KPMG, GE, and HP.
Hear her share her vision for a more inclusive, equitable future that takes into consideration the rights, needs and value systems of communities in the Global South. Tune into her talk with host Shrinath V. and come away with a deeper understanding of who the Next Billion users are and what businesses should learn about them to succeed in this episode of the #NextBillionInnovations podcast on Aawaz.
Designing For The NBU - Raoul Nanavati, Navana Tech [ 26:52 ]
Designing For The NBU
Rural India is rapidly going digital, and the pace of change is already overtaking urban centres! In this episode of the Next Billion Innovations, our host Shrinath V talks to Raoul Nanavati, Founder and CEO of Navana tech, a firm catering to this rapidly growing market with a focus on localization and innovative VoiceFirst products like Zabaan.
Tune in for a story of how two Cornell Grads who ran a video gaming company pivoted to start Navana Tech, and how their experiences observing user behaviour while gaming, helped them reimagine the design and rollout of digital services, across sectors, like Banking and Finance. Raoul Nanavati shares his takeaways from qualitative research and user-centered design for the Next Billion User segment and shares learnings on how other companies can overcome key barriers to technology adoption, using gamification, localization, innovation, while reducing a dependence on text and icons borrowed from the West.
Greentech For Small Scale Farmers - Rikin Gandhi, Digital Green [ 24:50 ]
Greentech For Small Scale Farmers
Although India is primarily an agricultural country, most farmers in the country are smallholder farmers with less than 2 hectares of land to their name. In this episode of Next Billion Innovations our host Shrinath V talks to Rikin Gandhi, co-founder and CEO of Digital Green about the struggles and impacts of creating video content for the small scale farmers. This episode explores digital innovation for farmers such as farmstack, effects of climate change on farmers and unique new ways to help farmers increase their revenues.
Tune into this podcast to hear Rikin talk about opportunities to monetise farmer's data and how they are able to work with government extension programs to help farmers and agri tech startups.
IoT for Maternal care - Senthil Murugesan, Savemom.in [ 42:51 ]
IoT for Maternal care
Learn about an ingenious, wearable designed for non-metro users which is saving lives and improving Maternal health in India.
India has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world! With over 800 women dying everyday due to preventable complications during childbirth. But bringing down the Maternal Mortality Rate or MMR for a region is no simple task, and many do-gooders have tried and failed to effect change. But SaveMom has succeeded in building a radical IoT powered wearable to change things around in just One Year!
On this episode of NextBillionInnovations, our host Shrinath V talks to the award-winning Founder and CEO of SaveMom, Senthil Murugesan, to showcase this inspiring product development story. Hear our guest talking about how he built a wearable designed for non-metro users, who need access to better healthcare, and how he innovated to ensure tech-adoption and built an entire ecosystem to save lives and improve maternal care, in rural India.
Building for Language Equality [ 30:22 ]
Building for Language Equality
Can local language speakers be first-class citizens on the internet? The newspapers with the largest readership in India are all in local languages. Then why don’t we see more content and services in local languages then?
In this episode of The Next Billion Innovations, Arvind Pani, CEO of Reverie language technologies and our host Shrinath V discussthe hurdles of language that the next billion users face when it comes to basic internet services and how this reverberates when accessing services like e-commerce, banking and even those offered by the government. Tune into this episode to learn about the role of AI, impact of Indian Languages, application of NLU, a digital assistant named “Gopal” and the direction that the government and service providers need to take to include the native, untapped Indian language speakers across the country.