GES '17: Ivanka Trump’s Focus On Tech Is Not Misplaced


During the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017, Ivanka Trump has said that technology is a great driver of entrepreneurship because it emboldens women to start their own businesses, reduces barriers to starting new businesses and creates flexibility for the modern working family.

The GES 2017 is ongoing in Hyderabad, India, and organized jointly by the Governments of India and USA. The 8th edition brings entrepreneurs, educators, government officials, and investors together. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Ivanka Trump flagged off the event. She is the Adviser to US President Donald Trump. Narendra Modi asked entrepreneurs to “come, make in India, invest in India, for India and for the world. I invite each one of you to become a partner in India’s growth story… assure you of wholehearted support.”

What Ivanka Trump has said is quite true. In the present age the world is evolving very fast. Technology is rapidly changing. However, Indian enterprises lag behind although there is great potential. There are 3,100 startups in India, which is the fourth highest number, globally. This is according to Nasscom study, which also predicts the numbers to rise to 11,500 by the year 2020. Plus, India has 50 million micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), according to the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

Indian businesses lag behind in adoption of modern enterprise technology

Compared to global standards, technology adoption like Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Cloud,  enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), human resource management system (HRMS), and blockchain is quite low. The rate of tech adoption is also low in India, which means as technology changes in the world, those changes don’t get reflected in the workings of Indian businesses.

According to a survey, the percentage of SMEs using modern tools such as ERP is quite low (around 42%). The survey says there is little awareness among the SMEs of the benefits that ERP solutions can bring despite the fact that business processes become simpler, user-friendly and automated, and it results in increased operational efficiency and streamlining of business processes.

Indian enterprises have generally been shy of adopting technology till now. However, with international competition increasing by leaps and bounds, they are being forced to go for things such as automation and software tools. Although the scale of operation or nature of management may not necessitate something like an ERP implementation, companies have to start looking for such tools quickly.

“Software penetration is low overall in India. What enterprises don’t realize is that modern tools can help enterprises make businesses simpler, user-friendly and automated. Operational efficiency can increase and business processes could get streamlined,” says the official of an ERP Cloud company. On the compliance side, enterprises are already forced to go in for automation and digitization. After the GST implementation, automation of accounting processes has already become a necessity.