‘Tech firms are the engines of our economic growth’

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on February 24, 2020 Published on February 24, 2020

Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft, in conversation with Mukesh Ambani, CMD, Reliance Industries, in Mumbai on Monday   -  PAUL NORONHA

Entrepreneurship is in India’s DNA, says Mukesh Ambani

Striking a bullish note, Reliance Group Chairman Mukesh Ambani said here on Monday that India will be among the top three economies in the world in the coming decade.

Ambani’s comments come in the wake of US President Donald Trump’s visit to the country. “The India that President Trump sees will be very different from the ones that Richard Nixon or Bill Clinton saw. While we can argue when the country will be among the top 3, it will happen,” he said in a fireside chat with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Nadella was on the first leg of his three-day visit in India.

Addressing an audience, which included the cream of India Inc, Ambani said that India’s journey from a $320 billion economy in 1992 to a $3 trillion behemoth was on the back of rise in tech companies. The new wave, however, will be driven by large-scale tech adoption within the country.

“While TCS and Infosys kickstarted this, it was supercharged when PM Narendra Modi gave the vision of ‘Digital India,’” he said, and cited the example of Jio, which has managed to migrate 38 crore users to 4G.

Growing appetite for tech

Ambani also touched upon the growing appetite for tech in the country and said that this is a mere beginning. “Now, we have the infrastructure and we are accelerating,” said Ambani.

When Nadella asked him about the need for more tech adoption amongst smaller business, Ambani said that India, by default, has an entrepreneurial DNA. “Small businesses contribute 70 per cent to India’s economy and 40 per cent of exports. However, there has been virtually no technology enablement and adoption,” he said.

Last year, Reliance had tied up with Microsoft to bring technology to small and medium businesses in India by using Microsoft’s Azure platform. “We’ve been working with Reliance across the entire stack – everything from what they are going to be doing with Azure in their own data centres and how they will extend it,” said Nadella.

Even as Indian companies from Swiggy to SBI embrace technology, 72 per cent of jobs for software engineers in India will come from outside the technology industry, Nadella said. He also urged Indian businessmen to keep inclusiveness at the centre of their digital technology initiatives.

“When you build tech intensity, you also have to consider how digital technology can drive a more inclusive economic growth,” Nadella said.

Published on February 24, 2020
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