The Great Indian Middle Class and Kindle

I still remember the day when we got our own telephone in our home in Nasik. That was a privilege those days and we being a lower middle class family, it was sort of pride for us. Switch to 2010 and things are different in India. Almost everyone you will see walking on the street owns a mobile phone. The famous STD/ISD calling booths have almost vanished from the landscape. It was supposed to be one of the important medium for youth to earn a livelihood not so long ago.

The middle class of India has come of age and there are many a reasons for the evolution of this class. I am not gonna list down the reasons of change but something interesting. Just read some of the interesting facts about the rising Indian middle class below:

The Asian middle class, powered by India and China, is fast replacing Europeans and Americans as the global consumers who anchor the world economy, says a new study by the Asian Development Bank.
  1. India’s booming middle class — or, those who spend anywhere between $2 and $20 ( 93 to 930) a day on purchasing power parity basis — is now spurring consumption and innovation in the country, said the study, The Rise of Asia's Middle Class, released on Thursday.
  2. However, more than three-fourths of India’s 274 million-strong middle class face the risk of slipping back into poverty in the event of a major economic shock as they are in the lowest spending bracket of $2-4 ( 93-186) a day.
  3. Over the next two decades, the Indian middle class population is expected to touch one billion, it said. And 55% of the world’s middle class will be in Asia by 2030, up from 25% now.
  4. The study found that Asia’s consumers spent an estimated $4.3 trillion (in 2005 purchasing power parity dollars), or about one-third of OECD consumption expenditure, in 2008 and by 2030 will likely spend $32 trillion, comprising about 43% of the worldwide consumption.
  5. China had 817 million people, or 63% of its population, in the middle class bracket in 2008.
Ok enough said about the middle class of India. So what's it got to do with Kindle? Well, nothing! Just wanted to share with you that India has an answer to Kindle as well. The same way we have one for the iPad.

Bangalore-based EC Media will launch a desi version of the e-book reader, Wink, on September 1.  It will allow readers to access their favourite content anytime and anywhere, in the language of their choice and aims to revolutionise the way people read. It will be having a 6-inch display screen and will come with a 2GB internal memory expandable up to 16 GB and can last up to 300 hours when fully charged. The product will be priced at Rs. 11,400.

The gadget will offer a one-stop e-store where consumers can access e-book titles, newspapers, magazines and journals across 15 Indian languages. Wink will initially provide access to over 2,00,000 titles and has enrolled top publishers like Penguin, Roli, Oxford University, Harper Collins and Permanent Black.