We use maps almost every day--to locate the nearest ATM, cafeteria or hospital--without even realizing the spillover effects the geo services industry is having on the Indian economy.
According to a BCG report commissioned by Google, the Indian geo services industry generated US$3 billion in revenue in 2011 alone while accounting for approximately 135,000 jobs. The impact of the geo services industry is valued at approximately 15 times its own size.
Geo services help Indian businesses drive US$40 billion to US$45 billion in revenue, save US$70 billion to US$75 billion in costs and affect eight to nine million jobs in India. The BCG report also found that Indian consumers are willing to pay US$1.5 billion to US$2 billion more than they currently do for geospatial services such as online maps, navigation systems, and local searches.
The geo services industry in India is still at a nascent stage. It comprises companies that process location data, companies that produce geo-enabled software, and expert industries that use geospatial data to generate insights.
"Geo services helped generate US$2 billion in revenue within the Indian accommodation and food services industry alone," Lalitesh Katragadda, Google's country head of India product, said in a press statement.
"Geo services such as the Google Maps APIs (application programming interfaces) are helping to grow the Indian economy by enabling job opportunities, and paving the way toward future innovation. To enable continued growth, governments, companies, researchers and consumers all need to encourage mapping innovations and investments in India," Katragadda added.
Beyond the industry itself, a wide variety of other industries in India also use geo services to make their businesses more efficient and productive. Citing the example of Meru Cab, India's largest cab provider and the world's third-largest taxi operator, the report said Meru Cab oversees over 20,000 trips a day across the four metros of Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore using geo services. "They've pioneered the concept of GPS-enabled taxis in India, using a GPS-based tracking system to identify match customers with the nearest cab and swiftly scheduling pickups."
"As seen in the variety of case studies we've used in the report, geo services have the ability to transform all aspects of life from business to government," said Prashant Agrawal, one of the BCG consultants who worked on the report. "Currently, geo services represent 0.2 percent of India's GDP and affect 2 percent of the national workforce. However, there is tremendous room to grow this industry and create a lasting source of competitive advantage for India," Agrawal added.