By Sahil Chawla, Co-Founder & CEO, Tsecond
India completed its 76 years of Independence this year. In retrospect, we have come a long way in being identified as a leading service-led growth engine across industries. A great testament is how India fared during the COVID pandemic when multiple large nations embraced extreme forms of protectionism as a defence mechanism, India supported the world with life saving medicines, vaccines and PPE kits.
Over the last 7 decades, India grew to become world’s 5th largest economy (GDP in USD). The future appears bright too, especially at a time when traditional advanced economies are undergoing structural downshifts. IMF recently estimated in another 5 years, India can displace Japan and Germany to become the third largest, behind USA and China. Not just economic growth, politically also, India stands tall in upholding the spirit of Democracy. Our ability to forge multilateral relationships, thrust for a cleaner and greener planet, and leadership in technology and medicines are receiving accolades across global platforms.
It is natural for India to now aim at becoming a developed country and join the league of USA, UK or Japan, etc. In the next 25 years leading to 100 years of Independent India, it is my strong belief that we stand at the cusp of making a greater impact at a global stage. It will be in the way the country does business with the world or working towards becoming a powerhouse for technological innovations.
Having said that, India needs certain reforms to conquer its quest of becoming a Super Power. India needs a strong leadership and a strengthened role of decentralization of government at the state, village level. Decentralization of government can accelerate democratic India’s growth. Streamlining the top-down decision-making process can accelerate its growth.
As an engineer it is my strong belief that only deep Tech and Digital can make India a superpower by 2047. A nation’s growth is underpinned with technological advancement and how swiftly it adopts tech. During the recent state visit of India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modiji to the United States, he put a lot of emphasis on growing technology that will revolutionize various industries. India is fast moving towards digitization. The thrust from the Government of India with the Digital India initiative and the growing use of digital technology such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data Analytics across various private organisations is bringing a phenomenal shift in India’s growth and development.
Secondly, there is going be a lot of disruption in the way we work. With AI, lots of work will be done by BOTS, so it is important to have highly skilled labor to manage the AI which will also require upscaling the work, as we will have more leisure. The way society works will change and need to be adaptable. AI tools can be used as an Add-on tool to enable our lawyers, CAs, economists and leaders at large.
Today, India is a force to be reckoned with in the domain of Information Technology without an iota of doubt. There is an anecdote that whenever Indian IT honchos used to go to the United States of America in the 90s, most of the time the investors would ask the question, “Where is India? Is it in Africa?”. A lot of water has flown under the bridge since then, and India is today firmly on the technology and IT map of the world. IT today is one of the biggest contributors to the Indian economy and things are getting more exciting, thanks to the vision of Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi.
I also believe that India will not become a superpower without a 10X growth in its rural income. With its technological prowess, India can transform the socio-economic condition of its villages. Moving on, I think adequate availability of physical and human capital is India’s greatest asset. Regarding human capital, steps like focussed skill development programmes, expansion of specialised colleges like IITs, IIMs and AIIMS as well as India’s National Policy on Education aim at harnessing our demographic dividend to create a new age work force. For any nation, a strong workforce is paramount for progress. India has a very large young population, with its peak being between 20 and 24. This young population is the biggest strength of India, provided they are trained and employed. They are very creative and have a strong urge to improve their living conditions. One has to empower them and they can be as good as one can imagine.
India enjoys healthy bilateral relationships with most developed countries to achieve mutual goals of driving economic growth, job creation, innovation, inclusion, and entrepreneurship. Free trade agreements between countries can create pathways for service exchange between two countries in fields like telemedicine consultancy, software development, and IT services. Furthermore, India’s G20 presidency can be regarded as a historic moment, announcing its confirmation as a major global power, an event every bit as significant as China’s 2008 Olympics. India’s G20 presidency is the culmination of a year of milestones. The country has become the fourth to land on the moon, surpassed China as the world’s most populous country and overtaken the UK as the world’s fifth-largest economy.
However, we have to overcome the mistakes of the past as we look forward to developing a new India that has more service-enabled offerings rather than just focusing on manufacturing expansion. We are at the crossroads. We do have choices to make. We should focus on how we distribute the gross across the people of the country and aim to make every Indian happy.