India’s digital economy is expected to grow from the current $270 billion to around $1 trillion in the next 5-7 years, aided by the exponential growth witnessed in e-commerce, electronic manufacturing, IT services, financial technologies (FinTech), and telecom among others, minister for electronics and IT (MeitY) Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Tuesday.
He said the government has roped in management consulting firm McKinsey to prepare a Digital India Index, which will evaluate the Centre and state on various key indices such as eHealth, eEducation, eGovernance and digital infrastructure. The digital economy, among others, will help the country align to its goals of expanding the economy as well as boost value addition and enhance jobs.
Elaborating on the growth projections, MeitY secretary Aruna Sundararajan said sectors such as communications, including telecom, IT services, eCommerce, FinTech and electronics manufacturing, are growing at a good pace, and in the coming years these sectors will expand further contributing to the country’s digital economic muscle.
For example, India’s IT exports stood at Rs7.3 lakh crore in the last fiscal against Rs7 lakh crore in FY 15-16. Besides, close to Rs90,000 crore worth of mobile handsets, in value terms, were produced in the country in FY17.
At present, the domestic IT sector is worth around $140 billion, communications ($40 billion), electronics manufacturing ($40 billion) and FinTech is close to $50 billion.
Brushing aside reports of large-scale job losses in the IT-ITeS industry, Prasad said the employment potential and prospects in the IT and related sectors are “very robust and promising”.
That apart, the emerging and promising digital economy in the country is going create a very powerful potential for job creation and the government’s stress on cybersecurity will lead to greater focus on innovation, research and thus, significant potential for job creation, the government said.
The MeitY secretary said there is a need to review the industry’s business model in the light of changing dynamics and growing thrust on automation, AI and data analytics. She also stressed more skilling initiatives in the sector to enhance the skill sets of the IT workforce.
Prasad on Tuesday also announced that the government will create a Digital India Corporation that will will provide strategic support to ministries/departments at both the Centre and states for carrying forward the ‘Digital India’ mission through capacity building for eGovernance projects, promoting best practices, encouraging public-private partnerships (PPP), and nurturing innovation among others. The organisation will hire talent both from the government as well as the industry.