Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: A government focus on expanding digital infrastructure and digital empowerment of citizens creates opportunities for Wisconsin companies.
Digital India, a program launched by the government of India in 2015, is transforming India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. The program is centered on three key areas: creation of digital infrastructure, delivery of governance and services on demand, and digital empowerment of citizens.
Currently, India’s digital economy generates about $200 billion of economic value annually—8 percent of India’s gross value added in 2017–18—largely from existing digital ecosystems comprising information technology and business process management, digital communication services (including telecom), e-commerce, domestic electronics manufacturing, digital payments and direct subsidy transfers.
A report from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, in partnership with McKinsey, states: “By 2025, India could create a digital economy of $800 billion to $1 trillion (value equivalent to 18% to 23% of the country’s nominal GDP). The existing digital ecosystem could contribute up to $500 billion of economic value, but the potential economic value for India could be as much as double that amount—almost $1 trillion—if digital technologies are used to unlock productivity, savings and efficiency across more diverse sectors such as agriculture, education, energy, financial services, government services, health care, logistics, manufacturing, trade and transportation.”
According to the McKinsey report, the potential for fivefold increase in economic value from India’s digital transformation by 2025 would create a rapidly growing market for a host of digital services, platforms, applications, content and solutions.
While the Indian government is moving forward to use technology to improve governance, Indian companies are using it to transform their businesses. The government is focusing on developing physical infrastructure, as well as software and security infrastructure, to ensure the success of its vision of providing infrastructure as a utility to every citizen.
The Digital India initiative has created plentiful opportunities for companies in information and communications technology and digital connectivity. Digital India aims to increase the reach of digital infrastructure through an extensive broadband and mobile network to enable electronic delivery of government services directly to citizens. Some of the industry sectors that have received a massive boost from Digital India are digital payments, online retail/ecommerce, new software solutions and automation.
According to a study by ASSOCHAM and PWC India, within four years, digital payments will more than double (from $64.8 billion to $135.2 billion), growing at a compound annualized growth rate (CAGR) of more than 20%.
The $43 billion e-commerce industry is seeing a massive boost due to digitization. Leveraging social media, AI-driven tools, chatbots, immersive media and the digital payments ecosystem, this segment has changed buyer behavior beyond recognition. Even remote locations in rural India have become a part of the e-commerce industry.
Other opportunities include multilingual software solutions. 95% of Indians communicate in local languages. India has about 800 languages, but only a few multilingual software solutions. Massive growth of smart phones and data consumption also offers huge opportunities.
This market represents an attractive opportunity for Wisconsin businesses, startups and platform-based innovators that will be investing in emerging technologies (for example, artificial intelligence, blockchain, drones and robotics) customized to India’s needs.