India's Vernacular Medium Market: A Hidden Gem To Be Utilized

A vernacular language is a language that is used by the locals of a particular region. It is practically the native language of a place. Currently, there are an estimated 521 million Hindi language speakers and 500 million Indian language speakers in India. Even though there are over 125 million English speakers in India, less than 0.3 million of those speak it as their first language. The rest speak in one or more of the 22 vernacular languages.

In simple terms, the vernacular language is a local language commonly spoken by a community. Vernacular medium markets are the markets that use the native languages for their benefit.

Why Vernacular Language Expansion Is Important?
Popular Vernacular Medium Languages
Giants Who Are Expanding Themselves Into Vernacular Medium Market
Challenges To Vernacular Medium Market
Growing Job Opportunities In Vernacular Market

Vernacular Languages
Vernacular Languages

Why Vernacular Language Expansion Is Important?

The stats below show the vernacular language market has their first languages and how much it still grabs. Hence, let's take a look at how much it can be effective in the market,

  • Growing Internet and smartphone penetration in rural and urban areas and most of the present internet services are in English, serving only the creamy layer, who understand English and use it frequently. But, 80-85% of 460 million internet users, still use Hindi or their native languages as their first language.
  • In the next decade, 9 out of 10 new internet users will be from the vernacular bracket, so they are likely to use services that provide services in their language rather than services in English.
  • With 20+ official languages, vernacular medium consumption is growing at a rate of 18-20% CAGR as compared to 3% of English consumption, valuing itself in billions of dollars.
  • All big startups and digital giants are investing in this sector, and have realized that to capture tier-2 to tier-4 audience, expansion in these languages is important. Also, many people from big cities have started enjoying services and content in their native languages.
  • With the increasing importance of promoting the vernacular languages in India, it is the secret weapon to grab the market, as people are getting concerned about the existence of the vernacular, hence they are trying to use the increasing the vernacular language in everyday life, making it a good market to get hands-on.
Vernacular Language Barrier
Vernacular Language Barrier

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Popular Vernacular Medium Languages

In 2016-2017, 234 million Indian Internet users accessed in vernacular medium whereas 175 million in English. If we plot a chart of 100 people according to their language of usage, we get, 38 people using Hindi, 8 Marathi,8 Bengali, 6 each for Telugu and Tamil, other 34 people are from other languages like Gujarati, Assamese etc..However South Indian Languages Telugu and Tamil had a faster rate of adoption, surpassing Hindi and Bengali. This may have been due to the rise in the quality and consumption of their respective regional cinemas and content.


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Giants Who Are Expanding Themselves Into Vernacular Medium Market

  • Many Indian startups like Ola, Paytm, Bookmyshow had already incorporated Hindi and other 7 languages for faster adoption and penetration.
  • Tech giants like Google, Microsoft are creating algorithms for Indian languages and their different dialects.
  • E-commerce giant Amazon recently launched its Hindi website and is also training its voice-based virtual assistant with different languages and dialects. It is also creating and encouraging local language web content on Prime Video.
  • Another video streaming giant Netflix is creating its own original Hindi content videos.
  • Share Chat, an Indian messaging app, where users can share and see the posts of other major languages except English. Daily Hunt, Roposo, NewsDog are other famous apps.
  • The OTT entertainment apps are coming up freshly brewed content in vernacular languages form the general media. Netflix, Amazon Prime, ALT BALAJI, etc are in these criteria.
  • YouTube, the largest OTT giant has always provided content in the local language, getting a huge amount of subscribers. They are the oldest in the game. Even the largest youtube channel is T-series with 100 million subscribers. It is a Hindi - based music and film channel.
  • Not only that, but the upcoming startups are also launching themselves in vernacular language along with English. Better butter, an Indian site offers recipes in English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and is planning to launch it in more Indian language. Credit health is a medical app that assists in Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, etc.
  • Social media sites like Facebook and WhatsApp offers their services in vernacular languages. As these are the most popular sites for people to connect and keep in mind the usage of vernacular language these apps come in languages like Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Telegu, Tamil, etc.
Vernacular Market In India
Vernacular Market In India

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Challenges To Vernacular Medium Market

  • Developing algorithms for Indian languages sometimes proves to be a tough nut to crack.
  • As said, dialect sometimes becomes a barrier, because of dialect changes in India after every 5 Km.
  • Developing FAQs, product descriptions, and other content.
  • It must suit Indiaโ€™s slow internet speeds and lower data consumption as compared to other nations.
  • Lack of internet education eventually becomes a problem as people lack knowledge about all these facilities which is provided by the internet community and hence lacking knowledge about them, hence they hesitate using the benefit of technology.
Vernacular Marketing Future

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Growing Job Opportunities In Vernacular Market

  • Programmers and language experts will see a huge rise in their employment. On the other hand, organizations need to pump in more funds, to create a robust and error-free ecosystem.
  • The requirement of translators will increase their presence, for the non- English speaking community.
  • The number of executive speaking regional languages will be increased. The customers care services, for various tech apps and e-commerce centers.

Now, the vernacular medium is taking back its way to India. The proficiency of English is popular but for the young generation only. When it comes to the older generation, they prefer the local language.

Being half of the population belongs to the generation, there should be the availability of regional language as an option in the internet market. This will surely encourage the older population to use the internet and its facilities. With India starting and promoting the use of digitization, it is the necessity of the time. The vernacular market is a gem that shouldn't be avoided because Indian is a heavily diverse country with tons of language spoken by people. So, for a country so diverse, it is important to have all the language included in the process of digitization.

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About Devashish Shrivastava

I work on optimizing articles (SEO).
  • Raipur, Chhattisgarh