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India@75: Technology engines enrich Azaadi

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As India celebrates its 75th anniversary of independence in celebration of Azaadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, technology undoubtedly brings an exciting side as we ruminate over the next 25 years to 2047.

The country won political freedom in 1947, but citizens only started enjoying economic Azadi en masse after liberalization reforms in 1991. After independence, Prime Minister Nehru imposed quotas and price controls on licensed larges, effectively curbing private capital. As a result, his CAGR from 1950 to 1980 in India was only 3.5%, lower than his 4.5% CAGR in the world and significantly lower than his 6.5% in Asia. I’m here.

After liberalization, India’s nominal GDP increased from $275 billion in 1991 to $3.16 trillion in 2022, reaching a staggering CAGR of 8.2% in dollar terms. A major contributor to India’s tremendous growth trajectory is the collective effort of India’s entrepreneurial class, which in 1991 was freed from its shackles and free to pursue exciting opportunities. In particular, the IT industry and other technology-based ventures are driving India’s growth and are poised to continue accelerating over the coming decades.

Today, India dominates this sector more than any other sector in the world.

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After liberalization, the IT services industry grew at a staggering pace because high customs and import duties on hardware were abolished. A tax exemption scheme was introduced to generate sufficient internal resources, removing excessive restrictions on travel, pricing and foreign exchange from the pre-liberalization era. Citizens enjoyed economic freedom for the first time since before British rule. An extraordinary class of entrepreneurs has emerged and the trend continues today, with his phenomenal success in the IT industry supporting his ecosystem of Indian startups.

The country hosts over 75,000 startups, with over 105 unicorns generating a combined value of $450 billion. Between 2014 and 2021 he has nearly $120 billion in capital entering the ecosystem and in the first half of 2022 he already has $16 billion raised by Indian startups. India could attract a further $120-150 billion in capital over the 2022-2025 timeframe, potentially approaching a total ecosystem value of nearly $1 trillion and 250 unicorns by the end of 2025 There is a nature. The United States and China will soon take second place.

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Prime Minister Modi made a clear call to Digital India and Startup India on 15th August 2015. Much of India’s progress in digitization has happened since then. India has emerged as a global pioneer in digital public goods. It is a set of multi-platform utilities developed in a public-private partnership model to democratize access and bring digital inclusion to the fingertips of her 1.4 billion Indians.

Today, India is arguably the top 3 digital powerhouses in the world. This is the product of the country’s entrepreneurial class and aggressive policies by successive governments over the last 30 years among political parties. As India looks ahead to the next 25 years of her life towards the centenary of independence, it is no exaggeration to say that India will be at the center of the global digitalization and technology democratization movement. The country also ensures that digitization continues to underpin India’s socioeconomic performance.

Investment in higher education is needed to strengthen and sustain India’s technological leadership globally, increasing access, equity and affordability, and improving the quality of Indian educational institutions. . The country should expand the pipeline of doctoral and master’s degrees in science and technology and focus on training professionals. Top-quality research is also essential to sustaining an innovative pipeline. India lags behind other countries in spending on research and innovation and needs to deploy timely resources to improve this. Technology fuels every socio-economic growth engine and India cannot keep up with the development of these platforms.

The National Education Policy 2020 provides a future-oriented framework for R&D, including the oft-mentioned National Research Foundation (NRF) with an initial expenditure of SEK 50,000 over five years. Once established, the NRF will fund academic research that will create pipelines for commercialization and deployment of world-class technologies, similar to how the United States and, more recently, China maintain technological leadership. increase.

As we celebrate our 75th year of independence, all Indians can rejoice in having a world-class IT and other technology-based ecosystem. Technology platforms have already made great strides in empowering all citizens. This is evident in his millions of mobile-linked bank accounts, his soaring UPI transaction volume, consumption of digital modes such as video and audio, and low-cost communications. These achievements set the framework for his next 25 years of growth and celebrate his becoming a true global power.

The author is Chairman of Aarin Capital Partners

With C-CAMP Technology Fellow Nisha Holla