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Powering India’s digital ambition through policy and tech innovation

July 9, 2018

Sumeet Walia   

Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Tata Communications

Today, India is the fastest-growing economy in the world, with GDP rising by 7.2% in 2018 and a predicted 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 India’s own unique growth experience. Some 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, Goods and Service Tax (GST) and Unique Identification Authority (UID) are ambitious first steps towards realising a connected ecosystem for billions in India.

The success of our Digital India and Smart Cities Plan, is an example of how the national campaign for technological progress is backed by the central government as well as led by private enterprises who are driving this growth and leveraging new technologies and innovation.

For example, consider this: The smart street lighting market in India is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 42.2% during the period of 2016-2022. One of the key reasons for this growth is the government’s mission to reduce the country’s carbon footprint. This year, Tata Communications has implemented India’s largest deployment of smart streetlights for Jamshedpur Utilities and Services Co. Ltd. (JUSCO). Through partnerships and by building ecosystems in this manner, organisations can pave the way for a new wave of collaboration between government and businesses backed by technology to transform the nation and to meet the country’s digitisation goals.

This shift is prevalent 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 into global markets, enhance customer experience, protect themselves against business risks and drastically optimise spends against technology infrastructure – further enabling Indian companies to thrive in a highly competitive global market.

And it 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 INR 5000cr for promoting 12 key ‘champion sectors’ in services which include both the communications and IT sectors.

This shift alone will increase the country’s growth rate by 1% year on year ­– powered by the technological shifts the communications and technology sectors have brought to bear.

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 (such as Jan Dhan), the universal biometric identification system (Aadhaar) and witnessed a dizzying rise in smartphone penetration.

India is not only embracing technology and this digital revolution but 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 in India has never been more exciting.

Read more about unleashing India’s mega economy here.