As whispers in the corridors of financial powerhouses suggest, India is set to replace the US as the world’s second-largest economy by 2075, as predicted by Goldman Sachs. This fascinating trajectory, filled with the promise of robust growth and a burgeoning economy, inevitably raises questions about the role of Indian IT in this new world order. Will this shift be just a change in numbers, or will it pave the way for a holistic transformation of the Indian IT landscape?

To truly comprehend the implications, let’s challenge the very foundation of this forecast. What if India’s ascendancy to the coveted position could be achieved faster? Imagine a world where, by 2050, India will overshadow the US economically. The pace of such growth would be unparalleled, and in this accelerated journey, Indian IT could undoubtedly play a pivotal role.

Thus, the proposition of Mission 2050 arises: A vision where India not only dreams of becoming the second-largest economy but realises it with the prowess of its IT capabilities. The task is Herculean, but Indian IT is poised to face such challenges.

Confident market

A recent report by S&P Global Ratings in June 2023 points out that despite global macroeconomic headwinds, the market remains confident about the potential of Indian IT. Such buoyancy signals the sector’s resilience and promise even during potential downturns.

However, resilience is not merely about surviving storms but thriving in them. The cyclical nature of recessions presents opportunities for long-term value creation. Instead of being trapped in the quagmire of short-term setbacks, the focus must shift to innovative strategies to ensure sustained growth.

Customer tech

One such area ripe for innovation is customer technology. The global market is witnessing increased demand in this segment, and India has a golden opportunity to participate and lead. By harnessing the capabilities of Web3, a decentralised internet structure, Indian IT can spearhead revolutions in data privacy, ownership, and online transactions.

The advancements in technology don’t stop there. Semiconductors, the lifeline of any digital device, and machine learning, the brain behind artificial intelligence, are fields where India can showcase its prowess. Massive reskilling efforts will be indispensable to cement its place as a global leader in these areas.

The rise of AI, as evidenced by technologies like Chat GPT, demands a workforce adept at understanding and leveraging it. Such transformational shifts require colossal investments in training and development.

Govt’s role

But the industry cannot embark on this journey alone. The Indian government must be a collaborator, facilitator, and sometimes, even a pioneer. This synergy between the public and private sectors is the only way for India to achieve its Mission 2050.

I have seen this happen twice in my lifetime. The first was in the late 80s when the government decided to bypass Mainframe and set open system Unix as a standard for the Indian Banking and Insurance industry. This helped India leapfrog into new emerging technologies and start delivering financial services at a fraction of the global costs and independent of the proprietary system traps. The Digital India initiative was the second time I saw this over the last decade. This is an eye-opener for the world on delivering citizen services at a large scale with complete transparency and at a fraction of the cost. Its impact during Covid-19 and now in retail payments is path-breaking and sets a new trend for the world to copy and follow. Both these initiatives were government-led in close partnership with the private sector.

It is time we get this right a third time, too, as we face an opportunity of a lifetime. As India stands on the cusp of an economic renaissance, technology-led growth remains the beacon of hope and the harbinger of change. I call it the Hat-trick ball waiting to be bowled. The road to 2050, or perhaps even earlier, has its challenges. But with a clear vision, unwavering determination, and the combined might of the government and the IT industry, the dream of India becoming the world’s second-largest economy can be a reality. The wheels are in motion; it’s time to accelerate the journey.