Can India become the world’s third largest economy by 2024? That’s a $5 trillion question, and with the odds are certainly stacked in India’s favour: A burgeoning youth population, an aspirational middle class, a vibrant startup ecosystem, amongst other factors. But what really is the key beachhead that can help us get over the finish line?
We need a deep-rooted approach to realise this collective vision. For instance, how can we get the ~31 million Indians living abroad, whose total wealth is estimated to be $1 trillion, to invest more in the country? And what else?
Is modern tech the pivot on which India’s $5 trn vision hinges?
One element that works to India’s advantage is our natural affinity towards technology. With over 560 million internet subscribers and more than 1.2 billion mobile phone connections, India is already one of the largest and fastest-growing markets for digital consumers, per a report by McKinsey.
To ensure the ongoing effective deployment of new technologies across the board—in services and businesses—especially at hyperlocal levels, where behaviour can be slower to change, a large-scale technology and culture transformation is needed.
Re-ignition of our digital-first policy to fast-track India’s growth agenda
India is on the cusp of comprehensive transformation in all spheres of the economy with better utilisation of modern technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine Learning (ML).
Today, be it a handicrafts patron from rural India trying to gain access to more markets, or India’s largest oil and gas company looking to upgrade its network, digitisation has become a business imperative. With GST, more than 10 million organisations have already been brought onto a common digital platform.
This rapid adoption of cloud and emerging technologies is further helping entities (be it grassroots startups or state-run legacy conglomerates), get better at optimising talent, reducing costs, improving core competencies and tackling challenges. It is also facilitating the skilling of India’s future workforce and further developing the nation’s indigenous R&D talent.
How can the private sector help make India a $5 trillion economy?
We’ve seen several Indian companies embark on their digital journey by moving critical functions to the cloud in the last few years. What we’re now seeing is more and more businesses relying on cloud technology to scale, unlock new growth avenues and increase their income, in turn enhancing their contribution to the larger $5-trillion goal for India.
This steady growth of investment in modern technology, especially from the private sector, will be core to India’s economic target; raising domestic consumption as well as export growth. Besides facilitating strong income to industries in the digital sector—including those in the IT-Business Process Management, ICT, electronics, and telecom—and potentially catalysing faster digitisation in other sectors like state services, energy, financial services, healthcare, education, agriculture, logistics and retail as a knock on effect, sustained investment in India’s digital economy can generate up to 65 million new jobs by 2025, according to McKinsey.
Grassroots entrepreneurship will also be key to achieving a sustained real growth of 8 percent over the coming six years, paving the way to a $5-trillion economy. And for new ventures to thrive, entrepreneurs will need a modern cloud platform that will assist them in driving growth and innovation through the right combination of emerging and data driven technologies.
Building a new India with a next-generation cloud platform
With data being the new currency, every organisation must be able to collect, process and utilise this critical resource in the best possible way. This is all the more important in a nation that is expanding access to core services such as clean energy and digital transactions for the larger population.
It is also essential that the cloud selected is fit for purpose—a next-generation cloud that can handle large and rapidly growing data sources with ease, autonomously. A cloud that can ensure the security of data, and that can, in effect, auto-manage itself, freeing up key talent to focus on higher value tasks, drive more value and not get bogged down with mundane work.
For India to reach the $5-trillion goal, we need all hands on deck—and therein lies the opportunity for Indian businesses to create successful businesses of tomorrow. Are you on board?
The writer is, Regional Managing Director at Oracle India.