In the bylanes of Hazaratganj, in Uttar Pradesh’s capital of Lucknow, mobile phone retailer Ganpati Mobile is doing brisk business. Each day, around 300-400 customers walk into its 2,200 square foot shop. But they aren’t all there to purchase cell phones. The store is also where content—from movies to songs and even apps—is exchanged. And the shop owners are the digital gatekeepers.

Once a purchase is made, store manager Sunil Yadav first installs Chinese peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing app SHAREit on users’ phones. Using this app, Yadav ships essential apps onto users’ phones.

AUTHOR

Arundhati Ramanathan

Arundhati is Bengaluru-based. She is interested in how people use money in the digital age and how new economies will take shape based on that interaction. She has spent over 10 years reporting and writing on various subjects. Previous stints were at Mint, Outlook Business and Reuters.

View Full Profile

Sign up to our India edition to read this story instantly

To sign up, you’ll create an account that will give you access to a new free story published once a week and archive of 214+ previously published free stories from our India edition. You’ll also receive one email every morning from us introducing the day’s story.

If you’ve already signed up, just enter your email below or login using Facebook or Google.