It's no secret that the developer community is booming in India. Not only is India already home to the third largest developer community on GitHub, it is also one of the fastest growing. According to the 2021 State of the Octoverse report, year-on-year growth of GitHub users in India surged by 38.9 per cent, and we predict that by 2023 there will be more than 10 million developers using the platform in India.
But let's look beyond the growth figures. With contribution from developers, open source is flourishing in India, but what does this explosive growth mean? What is the economic impact of a thriving developer community?
The bottom line is that open source has helped revolutionise the Indian economy and significantly boosted our economic muscle on the global stage. It is no exaggeration to say that, powered by open source, India is developing influential global enterprises that are shaping the future of technology and impacting the evolution of society as a whole.
Open-source development has introduced new ways of thinking and new routes to innovation that have helped banish the perception of Indian IT as a predominantly services-led industry. It has been instrumental in effectively reinventing the sector into a product-led, high value industry. Over the last few years, we've seen Indian product companies -- B2C and B2B software-as-a-service (SaaS) -- grow in number and valuation, sustained by a vibrant developer ecosystem. Many of the B2C e-commerce ventures in India have been built on the back of open-source software.
As well as elevating established businesses and pushing them to new heights, open source has spawned a new generation of startups. As the Indian tech industry has matured, it has opened up new opportunities and ambitions for early-stage businesses. Open source is at the heart of this shift because it accelerates the speed of innovation.
The statistics speak for themselves. Tech-first unicorns are springing up almost everywhere in India as we take our place as an innovation powerhouse. As many as 40 Indian start-ups have made it to the coveted unicorn club so far this year, including - for the first time - businesses in healthtech, social commerce and e-pharmacy. By September 2021, Indian start-ups had raised more than $32 billion this year alone, and it is predicted that there could be more than 100 unicorns in India by the end of 2022. And because Indian startups are attracting such high levels of capital, more businesses are embracing open source.
This growth is leaving its mark on both established and emerging sectors. Take healthtech, an area undergoing constant disruption, under intense scrutiny. According to latest figures from the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and Praxis Global Alliance, India's healthtech Industry is estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 39 per cent to reach $5 billion by 2023, driven in large part by more than 5,000 healthtech startups - businesses that are built on open source.
India's meteoric rise as a technology superpower means our developers are now directly influencing the very essence of innovation - shaping the future of areas like cloud computing, how fintech will be transformed by crypto, and which consumer apps get developed. Developers in Indian businesses are deciding the future of critical industries like financial services, edtech, travel and retail, where organisations of every size have created cutting-edge products that have disrupted the space.
Open source may have propelled India to the forefront of innovation, but the journey is far from over. We're just getting started. Recognising the impact of open source in driving innovation is critical if we are to keep supporting and nurturing the developer community. As a nation, we need to continue to invest, inspire talent, share best practice and expertise, and collaborate if we are to build on this momentum. If we can do that, in turn open source will create even greater opportunities for developers, students, enterprises and startups in India. And that only spell good news for the economy.
Open source has already changed the game but it can drive a new wave of technological and economic progress.
Views are personal. The author is General Manager, GitHub India.
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