How Digital Infrastructure Can Drive India's Growth

by CXOtoday News Desk    Dec 16, 2014

india digital

The right investment in digital infrastructure can lead to robust economic growth. A recent report  released by industry body CII and KPMG said digital infrastructure is expected to create tremendous opportunities for various technology players across verticals and in key applications powering the next mega trends such as online commerce, digital health, smart cities, smart utilities and smart transportation, to name a few.

Read more: Riding The Next Wave Of Digital Growth

Digital healthcare: This is a key area of focus for the Indian economy. With close to a billion wireless subscribers and over 200 million internet users, the digital revolution in India promises to leapfrog the challenges of healthcare delivery. This is a key area of investment for healthcare providers, with a focus on both public and private healthcare systems. “The main challenge, even for the very simple technologies, is to scale effectively across India’s burgeoning masses,” mentions Akask Ganju, a healthcare consultant in his digital health blog. He states that digital health technologies continue to hold promise to address India’s unique healthcare landscape, and integrating within existing healthcare delivery mechanisms will most likely yield the biggest impact.

Smart cities: The India government would be investing in building 100 smart cities in the coming years, which require a robust digital infrastructure, as Rajarshi Sengupta, Senior Director, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India said in a recent event, “Smart cities are not just about smart systems and technologies; they are a combination of digital, business and civic innovation. “It is the new data platforms, business models and engagement models that are creating city-wide digital ecosystems,” he says. Experts believe that investment in digital infrastructure including the creation of a ‘smart’ policy framework, public private partnership and business models can help this area grow.

Similarly, smart utilities is another area of focus. The current model of power generation, transmission and distribution in India is a centralized one wherein large utilities pool electricity and then distribute it. “In a country like India, where nearly 30% population has little or no access to electricity, a decentralized model where abundantly available renewable energy sources could be used more efficiently is expected to benefit economic and social growth in a much better way, writes RM Malla, MD & CEO, PTC India Financial Services in a recent blog.

The CII-KPMG study, quoting the Department of Electronics and Information Technology says that the Internet of Things (IoT) industry in India is expected to be a $15 billion market by 2020 and it is expected that India would have a share of 5-6% of the global IoT industry.

According to the study, as billions of devices are to be connected to one another, the future poses a lot of opportunities and challenges in the digital space. Industry players and society need to leverage digital infrastructure to create more opportunities and economic value.

Industry players and society need to leverage digital infrastructure to create more opportunities and economic value. In addition, digital infrastructure is expected to play a major role in the success of the ‘Make in India’ initiative,” says K K Raman, partner, KPMG in India and the co-author of the report.

He believes that long term success of digital infrastructure in a country like India could depend upon how well infrastructure operations work along with technological challenges. India, as a growing nation, could be looking to invest continuously in newer technologies and capabilities, while also driving their mass deployment, overcoming the various challenges.

Experts also believe that there is a need to spread digital literacy along with focusing on the digital infrastructure building, since the key to this development is people having the knowledge of how to use it.