COIMBATORE: With more Indians owning a mobile phone handset than having access to a toilet, the cellular industry is buoyed. So much so that it has projected a massive growth graph for the sector over the next two years.
According to estimates drawn up by the Indian Cellular Association, over 250 million cell phone handsets are likely to be sold in the market generating a whopping revenue of Rs 54,000 crore by the end of 2014. The question of the sale of mobile phones in the country was, in fact, raised in the Rajya Sabha by a member prompting a reply from the Union Minister of State for Communications Milind Deora on Friday.
Quoting an estimate from the Indian Cellular Association, Deora said “the demand for mobile handsets in the country has shot up by 20 pc to 180 million in 2011 as compared to 150 million for 2010, while in terms of value the same stands at Rs 38,200 crore in 2011 as compared to Rs 34,500 crore in 2010 at a growth rate of 11 pc.”
This year the industry expects to sell 200 million cell phones across the country that would fetch a revenue of Rs 43,000 crore. The market is projected to expand and register a sale of 225 million handsets in 2013 generating Rs 48,200 crore.
Recently, two major reports had pointed to the booming cell phone market in the country.
First, the census data for 2011 had brought to light the interesting yet embarrassing fact that more Indians own cell phones than have access to toilets.
As per the data, 49.8 per cent of the Indians defecate in the open, but 53.2 per cent households have a mobile phone.
This was followed by a United Nations report on the ways to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) on sanitation by 2015. In the report, Zafar Adeel, Director, United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health said “It is a tragic irony to think that in India, a country now wealthy enough that roughly half of the people own phones, about half cannot afford the basic necessity and dignity of a toilet.”