Facebook now says that India's market is a key part of its ongoing economic growth and innovation strategies. That's according to the company's VP for Mobile and Global Access Policy, Kevin Martin, speaking at Mobile World Congress 2017 this week. Given that the country's consumer market has played a considerable role in the accelerated rise out of relative obscurity for several other companies, it makes sense that Facebook would want to get in on the action – even though it is already one of the biggest internet-based companies in the world.
The Indian government has also been pushing several digital initiatives, covering everything from getting the nation's banks modernized to expanding the availability of mobile connections, in order to further the technological potential of the nation. The results of those are likely a big part of Facebook's strategy. To begin with, as Martin points out, there are already around 201 million active users within the country. Beyond that, India has one of the largest developers' communities in the world – many of whom are among those users. Moreover, according to the company's Director of Public Policy in India, Ankhi Das, there are more than 270 million people worldwide who are connected to small businesses there. Recent polling conducted by Facebook reportedly revealed that more than 43 percent of small to medium-sized enterprise exporters from the country operate online for as much as 75 percent of their business transactions. Of those, as many as 63 percent reported that they depend on the web as a primary means to continue increasing revenue.
Unfortunately, Martin didn't provide any specifics for how the company will incorporate operations in the country into its overall global strategy. However, bearing the statistics above in mind, Facebook has been shifting more of its focus toward serving business users, which could present the company with substantial opportunities for growth. Most recently, those efforts have included the introduction of new consumer-relations tools in a spin-off from WhatsApp – one of the Facebook's subsidiaries. Importantly, that means Facebook's current strategies already seem to match up well with what's happening with technology in India. Furthermore, the company's recent problems reaching users in some other key areas of the Asian market could be at least partially balanced out by the likely gains to be had in the country.