As India completes its 75th year as an independent nation, it brings us an occasion to reflect on the country’s digital evolution that has been both unprecedented and fascinating. With improving digital capabilities and connectivity across industries, technology is proving to be a significant contributor to the Indian economy by creating new opportunities for enterprises and people. While the public sector has played a pivotal role towards India’s rapid digitization, innovation led by private companies has helped accelerate the adoption of digital services such as Aadhaar, digital wallets, telemedicine, and e-commerce, among others. Homegrown and global technology companies are developing intellectual properties in areas such as AI, automation, cloud, IoT, and 5G to drive business growth, data-driven decision-making, and facilitate better collaboration.
We talked to few industry leaders to know about their thoughts on how digital disruption is adding value to the economy, trends that will shape India’s ‘Techade’, technology companies helping build always-on digital ecosystems, new skills in-demand and from where will the next phase of growth come from.
Sandeep Dutta, Managing Director and Lead – Growth and Strategic Client Relationships, Accenture in India
“We are in an era of compressed transformation where organizations are simultaneously transforming multiple parts of their enterprise instead of step-by-step programs. For example, they are concurrently re-platforming to the cloud, restructuring supply chains, moving to new ways of working, creating new customer experiences and finding new sources of growth. This transformation across industries is being driven by changing consumer preferences and an accelerated pace of digital adoption. As organizations undergo complete reinvention, investments in technology are helping Indian enterprises build resilient, dynamic, and scalable operating models, responsive supply chains, improve both customer and employee experience, while innovating to build new digital-native business models.
For a successful digital transformation program, enterprises need to adopt a holistic approach that focuses on their entire value chain. Leadership commitment to the program, a data-driven organizational culture, and building digital skills are imperative.
Going forward, businesses must continue to double down on their digital transformation efforts and investments, combining the power of data, AI, and Industry X, underpinned by the cloud. Companies need to commit to more digitally led partnerships, strategic investments and think beyond traditional industry boundaries. In addition, every business must prepare to compete in the Metaverse continuum which will comprise multiple technologies including extended reality, blockchain, artificial intelligence, digital twins, smart objects, edge computing among others.”
Monish Darda, Co-founder and CTO, Icertis
“Over the last few years, India has transformed into one of the global tech powerhouses in the world. The pandemic – to a large extent – accelerated the pace of digitalization as businesses evolved their working models and adopted newer technologies almost overnight. The India Stack also helped make digitalization easier to adopt across social, geographical, and economic layers with its presence-less, paperless, cashless, and consent layers. According to NASSCOM data, this digital disruption aided the IT industry in securing a 2x revenue growth from the pre-pandemic FY2019, reaching $227 billion in total revenue. It also created the need for a digitally skilled workforce that understands emerging technologies, including AI/ML, Cloud, Data Analytics, and Blockchain. As a result, the industry added many new hires, increasing the total industry workforce to 5 million. Perhaps more importantly, the India Stack widened digitalization into other domains, including retail, banking and finance, insurance, and automotive.
More opportunities in various sectors will open as the country becomes an active participant in digitalization. For example, new e-commerce companies similar to Flipkart and Myntra are being created in newer sectors such as health, pharmaceuticals, elderly care, travel, recreation, art, and others. India’s next phase of growth will be fuelled by the expansion of digitization in traditionally high-touch and human-centric areas, innovative technology like Web 3.0 and the Metaverse, and the development of new skills and employment opportunities. Technology companies, especially start-ups, will predictably build Software as a Service (SaaS) platforms to enable this transformation. We’re living a time where we’re not just experiencing a Techade but a disruption in how India does global business for the next century!”
Faiz Shakir, managing director – Sales, Nutanix India & SAARC
“India’s information technology sector has seen massive growth in the last decade, with India becoming home to many start-ups and well-known major tech companies. Digital disruption, along with India’s ability to innovate and focus on customer needs, has enabled this growth.
”The digitisation of industries in India has also created new opportunities for upskilling and career growth for so many people. We have seen companies open large campuses across the country with a wide range of strategic roles dedicated to solving problems, developing new products and services and supporting organizations as they transform and strive to remain agile and resilient during times of change.
“Nutanix is proud to part of this excitement in India, helping customers make smart cloud decisions, starting with the modernization of their data centres with our hyper-converged infrastructure on through to their use of our hybrid multicloud solution which enables them to put their applications in the environment that makes the most sense, whether private or public clouds.”
Shreeranganath Kulkarni (SK), Chief Delivery Officer, Birlasoft
Youngsters in their 20s and 30s having a multi-million dollar start-up was unheard of in India at the start of this century. Today, we have many such unicorns and India is a hot bed for start-ups. With most of them being tech-based, the IT sector has contributed to the Independent India in more ways than one. Be it new skills, economic empowerment, globalization or tech adoption, Indian IT is now part of core fabric of new India.
While several milestones were achieved riding onto this wave, the most prominent amongst these is that India strengthened its position on the global road map. Newer technologies have paved the way for the future work life, where each individual and sector is making the most of technology to drive efficiency and innovation.
According to NASSCOM, this digital disruption across the industry helped it add its most recent $100 billion in just 10 years, whereas it took 30 years to add the first $100 billion. Moreover, through this growth, the industry has also helped bring in more opportunities for skilled talent in new-age technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Quantum Computing, Data Analytics, etc., adding 445,000 new net hires in just FY’21.
Enterprises have also intensified efforts on digital transformation to solve their complex business problems, where technology plays the role of an enabler.
While we all know that trends like Metaverse and Web 3.0 are destined to shape the technology industry’s future, we can also expect trends like deeper automation of business processes using robotics, Edge computing, blockchain, etc., to take precedence this Techade. Everything-as-a-Service (XaaS) is another trend that will be beneficial for enterprises trying to maintain their business continuity by increasing agility and lowering operating costs. We are also witnessing enterprises leveraging AI and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to build an always-on digital ecosystem for their customers and other stakeholders. Leveraging automation enables scale with predictability, leading to improved business efficiency. Additionally, with such trends shaping the technology world, we can expect digitally advanced sectors like manufacturing, fintech, healthcare, banking, and energy to take the next step and get a booster shot to solve mega challenges for the country and the world.
Dr Rishi Bhatnagar, President, Aeris Communications
“The digitalization acceleration is being witnessed by economies and consumers. PM Narendra Modi has also correctly referred to Techade as India’s future. Large tech companies and the startup innovation eco-system are driving the expansion of our digital economy. Healthcare and pharmaceuticals, BFSI, e-commerce and retail, and manufacturing have become early adopters of developing technologies. Modern technologies are offering India an opportunity to establish itself as a powerful global capability. The key differentiators now are talent with right skill sets, innovation, inclusivity, and sustainability, rather than just price, because India has a sizable technical talent pool that is well-positioned to meet the increased demand for specialized talent. I am proud to say that India has rightfully invested in modern technologies like Industry 4.0, IoT, AI/ML, Blockchain, Native Cloud, etc. which will help the country accelerate the digital revolution”