This paper aims to explore the factors inhibiting the internet adoption among base of pyramid (BoP) and to develop further insights of such factors.
Researchers used a mixed-method study with QUAL/QUAN sequence in this research. Given the dearth of research on the internet usage by the BoP segment in India, the authors began with the exploratory qualitative study. Semi-structured interviews in local language were carried out with the people belonging to the BoP segment in India using common interview protocol. Face-to-face interviews were conducted for 20-30 min with ten people. Thematic analysis (Braun and Clarke, 2006) was conducted on the interview transcripts which lead to five themes. These themes were identified as the potential inhibitors to the internet adoption by the BoP segment in India. This step was further followed by a confirmatory quantitative study.
The results confirm that the factors such as lack of digital literacy, complexity and language barrier play a significant role in inhibiting the internet adoption by the BoP segment. However, there is no impact of perceived risk and cost on the internet adoption. The significant relationship between lack of digital literacy and intention to use implies that if the BoP segment is capable to locate, evaluate and use digital information, it is more likely to use the internet. Similarly, the relationship between complexity and the intention to use suggests that if the BoP segment finds it easy to use and understand the internet, it is more likely to use it.
This research has the implications for government departments and policymakers that are responsible for promoting use of the internet. Therefore, such departments and policymakers are advised to channelize their effort on resting the digital literacy, especially in terms of internet adoption. Findings of this study show that digital literacy, complexity and language barriers are major inhabitants in the internet adoption. Directed and focused government policies and initiatives such as subsidized seminars and training programmes specially designed for the BoP segment can help in increasing internet adoption.
The adoption and use of the internet services by BoP have major implications for digital equality. Therefore, it would be important to explore the factors inhibiting the internet adoption among BoP.
This paper not only explores the factors inhibiting internet adoption among BoP in developing countries such as India but also provides deeper insights to these factors by collecting first-hand information from target segment. The finding of this research provides meaningful inputs to policymakers and also to industry to remove digital divide in the target population. This is how this research adds value to the existing knowledge available in this domain and it also provides agenda for future research.
Chauhan, S., Gupta, P. and Jaiswal, M. (2018), "Factors inhibiting the internet adoption by base of the pyramid in India", Digital Policy, Regulation and Governance, Vol. 20 No. 4, pp. 323-336. https://doi.org/10.1108/DPRG-01-2018-0001Download as .RIS
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