“Be the change that you wish to see in the world” – Mahatma Gandhi
When I was invited to attend Niti Aayog’s event held recently with our Honourable Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, for a two-day focussed discussion on creating ideas for a ‘New India by 2022,’ I wasn’t entirely sure as to what to expect. But, I went with an open mind and armed myself with a presentation.
Well, I couldn’t be more surprised. The event had an overwhelming participation from some of the leading figures in the tech-corporate world in India, cabinet ministers and secretaries, all brought together with one intent – to enable ‘Change.’
Enough has been written and spoken about the event on social media and news channels alike. I’m writing this post to list down some of my own observations on how I foresee things changing in India from a business point of view:
- Domestic market will come-of-age: I grew up in India in a small town of Punjab called Moga. Like many other people in my time, I grew up wanting to do something for my country, but career prospects took me outside. I returned to India 14 years ago to create a global product company and eventually realising the “Make in India” dream from Bangalore. Although, most of our opportunities still came from other markets. With the Indian government rewiring the regulatory and policy framework and through its other related initiatives, things are set to change. Besides creating an environment that will ease up doing business here, the domestic market will open-up substantially with opportunities stemming from some of the major sectors of Indian economy such as agriculture, small and medium businesses (SMBs), energy, infrastructure and mobility – all focussed on improving efficiency and raising productivity. The increased focus on sustainable and inclusive development will also present opportunities to come up with solutions that will help address some of the more fundamental problems namely sanitation, affordable housing and such.
- Technology will be the key driver for India’s transformation: Digital India will get real. The speed at which people have adopted tech-applications has been remarkable, its impact profound. Cashless transaction is just the beginning, technology will redefine the way businesses are conducted across sectors. Agriculture will get more connected and farmers will get unique IDs thus enabling credit scoring for loans and classification for subsidies, energy metering will get smarter, and Indian SMBs will drive demand for enterprise software. Technology will play a key role in driving opportunities across all these sectors. The rise in tech-prevalence will bring down the adoption barriers significantly. This will further lead to more opportunities for entrepreneurs to come up with solutions that are unique to the Indian market.
- Prepare for global competition and collaboration in the home turf: All this will make India an attractive destination for domestic and international players alike – giving rise to competition and as well as opportunities for collaboration. To make most of this opportunity in the coming years, entrepreneurs in India need to start thinking scale.
This is where the Indian tech-community gets to play a key role. We need to leverage the power of its collective experience in conquering global markets and its understanding of the Indian markets, merge them and arrive at a playbook (figuratively speaking) on building a sustainable and a scalable business in India. This will require conscious efforts towards build leadership, training executive talent and sharing best practices in this area.
Unless we achieve excellence in executing at scale, we will not be able to make most of the opportunities that change will bring with itself in India.
The Indian tech industry evolved from being predominantly services oriented to taking ownership of building products from scratch. Despite several flaws and hurdles in the system, it has made an indelible mark on the world map.
The new India is going to present exciting opportunities. I’m confident, Indian entrepreneurs will win as they will be prepared, stay focused and execute at scale.
Above all they are ready to be the ‘Change.’