Speed up reforms to succeed in Digital India, say experts

Varun Aggarwal Mumbai | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on February 18, 2016


‘Implementation, infrastructure not keeping pace with technology’

The Centre’s slow pace of deployment of projects, such as the National Fibre Network and Bharat Broadband, could have severe repercussions on the Digital India initiative, according to industry experts.

The views were expressed by a panel of speakers from the IT industry who participated in the Empowering Digital India event organised jointly by BusinessLine and BloombergTV.

Pranav Roach, President of Hughes Network, said: “Infrastructure is lagging way behind the pace of technology in India. While last decade saw the growth of mobile and voice network, the next 10 years will be about ensuring a great digital experience through broadband internet.”

Private participation

While the Centre has put in place plans to fulfil these needs, Roach said, it should allow more private participation through the PPP model to ensure faster implementation of these projects.

The slow pace of things could also impact the Centre’s plans to promote India as a manufacturing hub, said K Krishna Moorthy, Corporate Vice-President, India Design Centre, Rambus Chip Technologies.

“India can offer a unique value proposition for manufacturing such as high precision, great quality and low cost, thus surpassing Germany, Japan and China. However, the Centre needs to put in place standards and frameworks in place to enable use of digital technologies in the entire manufacturing value-chain including transportation of goods,” he said.

Digitisation will also empower citizens like seen never before elsewhere. “Today consumers are defining what is digital and what technologies will succeed. With digitisation, India is giving birth to world’s biggest digital nation,” said Aditya Rath, partner, management consulting at KPMG.

“Today every organisation is looking at digital transformation. We are helping e-commerce companies use social media to understand what the customer wants and how best it can be delivered. There is enormous value that the social media provides and as our broadband penetration grows, more and more people will be empowered and get the best of services at the click of a button,” said Sandip Sen, CEO at Aegis BPO.

Digitisation can also have a huge impact on making India a cashless economy, said Navnit Munot, CIO, SBI Mutual Fund. Talking about the impact of digital wallets, Munot said: “Over a period of time, the parallel economy will become the mainstream economy. If the Centre is able to bring in the right reforms this Budget and make it easier for a small investor to enter the capital markets, there is a large household balance sheet that can enter the capital market.”

Investor awareness

Munot said digital technologies can also help create awareness about the right investment products and thus improve the experience of investors, allowing more people to think beyond fixed deposit schemes.

“The opportunity that digital provides for the financial sector is enormous,” said V George Anthony, MD, UAE Exchange (TBC). “Digital for us (financial sector) is all about cashless economy. We dream 24X7 about how to get everyone into this cashless economy. Even if we’re able to achieve 50 per cent of that, it’ll be the biggest achievement ever for us.”

Talking about the contribution of digital technologies in SMAC or social, mobile, analytics and cloud, Subhash Patil, Partner – PwC India, said, "We talk about SMAC around how we use technology from a social perspective, the mobile use, the data gets created so how do we analyse data, and how we are able to actually use cloud. We are talking about an entire gamut of serviecs being provided through cloud and SMAC provides a platform for us to use these services in an optimal manner."

Published on February 18, 2016
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