Powering India’s digital ambitions

Updated: June 27, 2018 6:09:24 PM

Today, India is the fastest-growing economy in the world, with its GDP rising by 7.2% in 2018 and predicted to grow at 7.4% in 2019.

Powering India’s digital ambitions

Today, India is the fastest-growing economy in the world, with its GDP rising by 7.2% in 2018 and predicted to grow at 7.4% in 2019. The economic growth of India over the past decade has been truly an inspiring story—driven by the combined role of economic, political, societal and cultural factors which have shaped the country’s own unique growth experience. Two of the strongest pillars of this growth have been the communications and technology sectors.
India’s digital infrastructure is coming to life with a combination of policy and technological innovation. Initiatives like Make-In-India, GST and Aadhaar are ambitious steps towards realising a connected ecosystem for billions in the country, even in the farthest reaches. The success of the Digital India and Smart Cities programmes is an example of how the national campaign for technological progress is backed by the Centre as well as led by private enterprises that are driving this growth and leveraging new technologies and innovation.

Consider this: The smart street lighting market in India is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 42.2% during 2016-2022. One of the key reasons for this growth is the government’s mission to reduce the country’s carbon footprint, a firm commitment made under the Paris agreement on climate change. This year, Tata Communications, with Motwane, has implemented India’s largest deployment of smart streetlights for Jamshedpur Utilities and Services Co Ltd. Through partnerships and by building ecosystems in this manner, organisations can pave the way for a new wave of collaborations between government and private business, backed by deployment of the appropriate technology to transform the nation and to meet the country’s digitisation goals. This shift is across the board—organisations across sectors are beginning to embrace new forms of digital technologies to remain relevant in the new normal.

In this mix, technologies such as IOT, artificial intelligence and big data are well paced to act as the next wave of growth drivers. Industries and businesses need trusted partners who can help enable them in their digital journey, by converting the potential of these technologies into business enablers. While the process may require a fundamental recalibration, the upside is immense—such technologies can empower organisations to expand seamlessly across global markets, enhance customer experience, protect the companies against business risks and drastically optimise spends against technology infrastructure—further enabling Indian companies to thrive in a highly competitive global market.

And this isn’t a pipe dream, or a fanciful vision of the future through tech-tinted glasses. Digital transformation by companies can contribute $154 billion to India’s GDP by 2021. In fact, the government is supporting this growth and transformation, having just approved Rs 5,000 crore for promoting 12 key ‘champion sectors’ in services which include both the communications and IT sectors.

This shift alone will boost the country’s growth rate by 1% year on year—powered by the technological shifts the communications and technology sectors have brought. The seeds have been sown, and the first harvests are being reaped. As a result, India has already established a globally-recognised smart cities programme, financial inclusion projects (the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana), the universal biometric-based identification system (Aadhaar) and witnessed a dizzying rise in smartphone penetration.

India is not only embracing technology and the digital revolution but also is accelerating digital disruption at break-neck-speed. This combination of progressive policies and organisations harnessing technology will provide the impetus for growth for not just Digital India—but the blueprint of India over the next 50 years. The opportunity for the nation has never been more exciting.

Sumeet Walia – Executive Vice President & Head – Sales, India & APAC, Tata Communications

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