According to a recent report by the World Bank, the Indian economy is set to expand by 8.3 per cent in 2021, 7.5 percent in 2022 and by 2023, India is expected to grow at 6.5 percent. The economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic in India has been quite disruptive and there has been a setback. The digital era has brought unprecedented change to technology, business, society and the situation have started to break the inertia of digital adoption and cloud will continue to be critical as part of the evolution. Business across verticals have been affected from the global crisis, but there are certain industries which are showing the sign to change the game for the economy in the years to come.
Industries like healthcare and pharmaceuticals, BFSI, e-commerce and retail and manufacturing are early adopters of emerging technologies. Organizations in these industries have reacted to difficulties introduced by the pandemic and are focusing heavily on creating strategies in the new normal to up their game in next five years. The string that ties together in all the four industries is modern technology and cloud plays a role to help all these four industries catapult into a game changer for the Indian economy. New-age technologies will be giving India a chance to carve itself a unique identity as a global hub for cloud solutions.
Industry 4.0, Digital supply chain, digital twins, Digital Assistance etc. are some of the technologies that will help in the economic revival by 2025. Emerging technologies are beginning to enable industries to rebuild India’s economic status in a post Covid world and these industries will be the real game changers in the time to come. Companies related to these verticals are embarking on their journeys and starting from different points to use smarter products, smarter manufacturing and smarter supply chains. The smarter organizations are leveraging the huge potential of emerging technologies to their advantage, and once the economy bounces back, these companies will be one of the frontrunners and will capture a bigger percentage of the market.
Agrees Prasad Rai, Vice President, Global Strategic Clients Group, Oracle India, “With the Indian economic contraction since the last year, the economy is looking forward to revive and many industries in India have shown the potential to be game changers in the nation’s economic development. The role of these game-changing corporations is going to be pivotal for the recovery of the Indian economy post-pandemic. We have seen that through the pandemic, data and analytics became increasingly essential. Industries that had well defined processes based on year of historical data found themselves at a complete loss since that data was no longer relevant when everything changed overnight. They needed to quickly analyze new data and employ artificial-intelligence and machine-learning to “re-learn” what was the new normal in customer behavior. On the contrary, organizations that have invested in digital resources quickly were much more secure and prepared even as the country was hit by a huge second wave.”
Prasad Rai observes that the potential game-changers from sectors like healthcare and pharmaceutical, banking, manufacturing, and retail and e-commerce have progressive technologies like modern cloud, AI, ML, IoT, Blockchain, and big data analytics at the heart of their transformation.
Cloud – the underlying foundation behind the transformation
A common facet of all these game changing industries is their useful adoption of cloud and other new age technologies like AI, ML, blockchain, digital assistants, IoT, and digital twins. Industries that are focused on digital transformations through the implementation of cutting-edge technologies are expected to be the game-changers in their respective sectors and well-prepared to deal with future shocks. “Among technologies, cloud in particular has the potential to allow India to carve itself a distinct identity as a worldwide center for cloud solutions. Cloud computing has encouraged flexibility and growth, reduced operating costs, and made operations for employers and customers simpler and more seamless. The advent of futuristic and data-driven technologies has essentially helped corporations to cut down on manual time-consuming operations allowing them to focus on higher value-added tasks,” states Prasad Rai.
The potential for transformation is huge, as the cloud allows companies to go beyond what was possible earlier. Take a sector like healthcare, which has been at the center of the fight against the pandemic. This sector can benefit heavily from a proactive technology-led approach. States Veneeth Purushotaman- Group CIO, Aster DM Healthcare Limited, “The pandemic has acted as a catalyst to increase the adoption of technology in healthcare. While tech had gained momentum in pre-COVID times, but the industry now has a clear case to speed up adoption. We at Aster DM are working towards providing accessibility and affordability of healthcare across geographies, through effective and smart use of technology. For example, there are case studies about how Robotics and Machine Learning are being used along with IOT/IOMT to deliver prompt remote care to elderly and chronic patients. In the time to come, smart use of Artificial Intelligence is bound to help in improving overall patient experience while reducing the load on clinicians. In India, Tele-Health and Remote-Health have helped healthcare providers reach the interiors of India and manage services at a fraction of cost.” The benefits of remote healthcare are huge, as it allows a larger percentage of India’s population to avail of the best healthcare facilities from any location. Aster DM has been investing in AI and ML-powered technologies like Oracle Fusion Cloud HCM and Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP to streamline its processes.
Sectors like manufacturing which are central to India’s economy also need to invest more in emerging technologies to boost their competitiveness. “The manufacturing segment needs to be a torchbearer for India’s economic revival. However, to compete on a global scale, we need to bring higher efficiencies in the manufacturing process and the way we do business. I think digital technology is going to play a key role in this transformation. At Apollo Tyres, we are already witnessing the increased pace of digitalisation, along with technology adoption including AI and Internet of Things (IoT). This is expediting the transformation and bringing in higher productivity for employees and enabling us to create better customer experiences,” states Hizmy Hassen, Chief Digital Officer, Apollo Tyres.
Technologies like Industry 4.0 are expected to lead the manufacturing sector’s drive for further improving competitiveness. States Dr Arun Singh, Chief Economist- Dun & Bradstreet, “Industry 4.0 is gaining popularity due to rapid improvements made in the cyber-computing capabilities in the last few decades. The gap between the virtual and the real world has narrowed by advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and others so as to create an interoperable platform between Information Technology (IT) and actual physical operations. Industry 4.0 is already influencing sectors like manufacturing, supply chain management, construction, shipping etc. and shall impact all the aspects of our day-to-day activities. It is truly considered to be a disruptive technology. In India, the Indian government has long enabled the policy framework with schemes like ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’, ‘Make in India’ initiative and others specifically targeted at smart manufacturing. These schemes have done wonders and are expected to support Indian industries in the time to come. Digitization and Industry 4.0 has fast forwarded industries by 10 years, and this is going to be a cause of why India’s sees tremendous economic growth in the time to come.”
Traditionally, sectors such as BFSI which have been at the forefront of digital transformation, are expected to keep on raise the bar for technology innovations. States Anjana Rao, Chief Strategy Officer, IndiaFirst Life Insurance, “In these unprecedented times, customers have seamlessly adopted digital enablers, as an integral part of their routine. New and emerging technologies are empowering insurance companies to personalize their product and service offerings for their customers across the value chain. Technology adoption is inevitable. It can streamline the sector and integrate back-end with front facing customer processes to create a unified, insights driven IT system. As the administration focuses on privatization and more private players enter the market, even more digitalization is expected to spur the sector’s growth dramatically, in the coming years”
This is also true for a sector like e-commerce, which has seen exponential growth in the past one year. Due to the COVID-19 situation, there has been a spurt in online demand. “We are seeing a huge shift in consumer preferences. Over the past year consumers have experienced a simplified way of retail in the form of e-commerce and this is expected to shape their future preferences too. In a nutshell, given India’s massive population and huge consumer market size, the e-commerce and retail sector have tremendous market space to grow that will be explored in the coming years completely transforming the retail industry of India and support in reviving the economy,” opines Bharath Reddy, Vice President IT – Flipkart Group.
The companies that have invested in emerging technologies will be better placed to lead the future. “The advent of futuristic and data-driven technologies has essentially helped corporations to cut down on manual time-consuming operations allowing them to focus on higher value-added tasks. Hence, industries that have invested in new-age technologies like automation and digital supply chain, and digital assistance are better placed in the market and are shaping the future path of their verticals,” says Prasad Rai.
In the case of healthcare, it could be tele-health, while for the manufacturing sector, it could be implementing cognitive solutions that incorporate intelligence into all processes, from the factory floor to the finished product.
Whichever you look at it, the next decade of India’s growth will be decided by the leaders who will increasingly use technology to shape their future, and India’s future too!