Path to 2030 is paved with technology and sustainability

Fortifying resilience with technology, investing in people’s capabilities and skills, leveraging data to increase competitiveness, and redesigning processes to continuously drive innovation will take us where we belong

Updated: Feb 20, 2023 02:06:04 PM UTC
Image: Shutterstock

India's growth story in the twenty-first century has been nothing short of remarkable, particularly in the last decade. We have progressed from being regarded as a technologically slow country to one of the world's fastest-growing economies, with innovation driving this growth. As we continue on this path, it is important to consistently focus on the steps that we are taking today. There is no 'next' without a 'now'. And to witness the dawn of resilient, tech-powered, and sustainable economies, we need to start taking action today. Moreover, if we are to meet our 2070 net-zero goals, we must first make short-term changes that can be achieved by 2030.

The need of the hour is to navigate towards a sustainable future with technology at the forefront. We must balance our human sensitivities along with next-gen technologies for the creation of ‘responsible technology’ that can help us build a sustainable and resilient ecosystem.

A closer look into India’s transition and growth rate indicates that the country is going through a well-planned, systematic, and accelerated energy transition. According to a recent report, sustainability will catalyse $150-250 billion of additional technology and operations spending by 2030. There is no doubt that if we continue down this path, the benefits will far outweigh the drawbacks.

Technology to drive recovery and lead to growth 

The increased adoption of next-gen technologies has the power to not only drive economic recovery, enhance productivity, and lead to growth across sectors, but also improve the larger standard of living for people.

Digital technologies such as Blockchain can improve the supply chain by ensuring real-time visibility, traceability, data accuracy, and data security, thereby resulting in improved outcomes. Further, technologies such as Metaverse, Virtual Reality (VR), and Augmented Reality (AR), can provide immersive experiences for people across the world and add value to the physical modes of interactions.

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In India, technology is advancing rapidly in all sectors. Technological advancements have become the new normal, with consumers gradually becoming accustomed to technology-enabled services. To keep up with these changing needs, continued innovation in key technologies is imperative. To achieve technology and innovation leadership, India must increase its investment in next-gen technologies and the R&D ecosystem; work to build synergy among the country's industry and academic institutions, and increase collaboration with other nations that have a proven track record of nurturing an effective innovation ecosystem. This will aid in the delivery of advanced services to consumers and will inscribe India's growth story in golden letters.

Deployment of responsible technology is critical 

According to the International Energy Association, India will soon become one of the world's largest markets for clean energy technologies, with huge demand for renewable energy, battery technology, green hydrogen, and carbon capture, among other areas. The country can capitalise on the demand by developing an Atmanirbhar strategy and building green infrastructure. Therefore, the need of the hour is to expedite the deployment of responsible technologies.

Furthermore, India can play a strategic role in mitigating global warming. With the right initiatives, the country has the potential to generate 287 gigatons of carbon space for the rest of the world. In line with this, India has prioritised meeting rising energy demand by accelerating and deploying renewable energy sources, as well as leveraging cutting-edge technologies to improve energy efficiency in distribution and consumption.

Strengthening the decarbonisation agenda 

India's population is expected to surpass that of China by 2027, making it the world's most populous country. Given the changing dynamics, India's contribution to long-term sustainability is even more critical. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced a long-term goal of net-zero emissions by 2070, action on energy transition must begin now. With the pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war exacerbating the climate emergency, there are concerns that efforts to achieve a global energy transition will encounter more roadblocks than anticipated. However, we must remain committed to achieving long-term economic growth by restructuring energy systems.

With the collaborative efforts of the government, industry, and citizens to embrace technology, continuous focus on research innovation across industries, right skilling of its people, India has the potential to be a self-reliant sustainable technology powerhouse by 2030. Native organisations, seeking global expansion, should capitalise on indigenous sustainable innovation to transform today's reality into an opportunity.

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Let us remember that the key to surviving and thriving in the next decade of opportunities is to look beyond short-term gains. Fortifying resilience with technology, investing in people’s capabilities and skills, leveraging data to increase competitiveness, and redesigning processes to continuously drive innovation will take us where we belong—to a sustainable future supported by secure technology.

The writer is MD & CEO of Tech Mahindra.

The thoughts and opinions shared here are of the author.

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