India is the second largest user of smart phones in the world after China. As access to smart phones are not affordable by most of the population, there are services that are revolutionising the mobile industry with very cheap tariffs and affordable mobile phones so that the population can be connected. India has crossed almost one billion users of mobile phone technology, however, smart phones are not abundantly used to the same extent. With innovative transport such as Ola and Uber strongly investing in India, smart phone use is predominant with the middle class population. Although public transport is affordable in India, the poor quality and long distance time taken to travel makes ride sharing and carpooling an attractive feature. Shared rides are used by almost 30% of the overall trips by Ola and Uber in major Indian cities such as Delhi and Bangalore, spreading the use of smartphones.
A recent article stated that by the end of 2018, India will have 530 million smart phone users. This indicates that a large number of people in India have access to ride sharing and the advantage of smart phones. Having a smart phone promotes connectivity in India and people can use it for contacting brands and consumers. Accessing emails and internet which is provided by a smart phone is important for ride sharing facilities offered in India. Ola has over 40 million drivers presently in 102 cities in India with a funding of $500 million. This is one of the largest ridesharing company in India predominant among the younger youth and working professionals who can use it on a daily basis.
Internet on smart phones are also widely used by people who do not have regular access to a computer. India has the most number of smart phone internet users in the world. As most consumers rely on smart phone apps for their businesses, it is becoming the norm in India to use smart phones for purchases. This indicates that the number of smart phone internet users in India will increase in the following years to come. This increase will also promote ridesharing and single rides on Uber and Ola. Many other companies other than the transport sector also gain with the increase in smart phone use in India. This use expands people’s knowledge about the world and the services offered by bridging the global gap in services which is also a part of globalising economies and services around the world. Companies like airbnb and other online accommodation services also gain from smart phone users. It also becomes easier for consumers to generate incomes from the customers and clients through smart phones.
As I have used Ola in India numerous times, it is a secure platform compared to public transport and a cheaper alternative to taxis or autorickshaws. Many consumers support my view which indicates that technological change is growing rapidly not only in first world countries like the USA but also among growing economies such as India and China. To reduce the risk of violence, harassment and abuse, users can also rate the drivers on their smart phones after their rides. This has helped me ride safely in India and provided a better alternative to auto rickshaws where the drivers deceive the customers to make more money. As the drivers are rated through smartphones when they ride in Ola, it provides a better alternative.
Overall, the smartphone revolution has had many positive impacts for India. Ridesharing with Ola and Uber across the country has increased because of the smart phone users. This suggests that it’s important to acknowledge the importance of smart phone technology and the future use of technology that will help connect people and bridge the global gap between people.