It is my belief that the next 25 years in India will be driven by emerging technologies and innovations. The opportunity for us is to look at every industry through the lens of how these technologies will transform them. Consequently, India has the opportunity to become a global leader in technologies and industries.
There is little to doubt that India will cross the $10-15 trillion-mark in terms of gross domestic product (GDP). We will need to leverage technology to create an economy that is equitable, sustainable, accessible, and inclusive. While we have made impressive gains in per capita income levels, there are still high and worrying levels of disparity. This is where new business creation becomes very important to raise the income levels of more Indians. To nurture entrepreneurship even more successfully, we need to create the right business environment, improve ease of doing business and provide easy access to risk capital.
We need to ensure that Indians benefit from entrepreneurial wealth creation to create a virtuous cycle that encourages more Indians to invest in new businesses. Entrepreneurs must be responsible to build trust and take up a meaningful role in nation building. This will pave the way for large-scale participation in entrepreneurship and venture investing.
We are in an era where every sector is in the midst of a fundamental change. Electric vehicles and new fuels are shaping the future of transportation. We are witnessing a huge transition in healthcare and retail. E-commerce is now a part of normal daily life for many Indians. In telecom, the transition to 5G is a momentous development, as much as indigenously manufacturing semiconductors or advanced electrical goods will one day be.
The confidence levels in India are significantly higher as we have managed the Covid-19 pandemic reasonably well. We administered over 2 billion vaccine doses efficiently using technology and at lower costs. When the pandemic struck us, some essential products were not manufactured here. Soon we built local capabilities to make these products and our own confidence levels improved. There is some worry on macroeconomic factors like inflation that has been caused by higher fuel costs and outside forces, led primarily by the Russia-Ukraine war. But these are factors beyond our control and we need to continue to mitigate their impact.
We must focus on fundamentals like investing in R&D. We need to identify strategic and emerging domains. India must not only aim to become a knowledge hub in these domains but also develop our own world-class products. We are making progress in the domains of quantum computing, biosciences, materials science, etc. India is also continuing to create new avenues for digital technology. The transformation in healthcare will be through IoT and genomics, where India is making good strides. We will need to pick and choose about 10 different domains that are strategic to India and make a sustained effort to succeed in them. Last but not the least, our technological capabilities have the potential for world-class and low-cost innovation.
I was fortunate to be part of not just a digital computer revolution but also in the creation of a world-class industry in India. With the digital economy at the core of India’s development story today, the next 25 years presents a seriously large opportunity to create multiple companies of size and scale. Data is and will continue to be an important part of the story leading to 2047. To get the best out of it, there are a few things we need to do. A policy framework is required to fully utilise data created by Indians and that must be leveraged for economic development.
For our youth, India is the best place to be in. Where else will one see an economy set to grow six to seven times with a vast majority of the population still coming from the middle class? It makes me very proud to note the achievements of Indian youth. India’s new businesses are a creation of this vibrant segment of the population. They easily compare with the best anywhere in the world and we should nurture their capabilities. Our youth need a long-term approach to build ventures with the right ethics and values. Those who are successful in building successful ventures infused with values are the icons that Indians will look up to.
There is a marked difference in the Indian youth of today compared to earlier generations—they were born into a world of technology like the internet and mobile phone. They are very comfortable with technology and confident of entrepreneurship. This makes me confident about the country’s path to leadership in the next 25 years. The road to India@100 is well and truly paved with ambition and hope.
The writer is Co-founder of Infosys
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