India is a country that has a special place in the world with many characteristics. It is the second-most populous country in the world with more than 65% of its population under the age of 35; the country has already established itself as an outsourcing hub throughout the world; it is also the second-most connected country in the world.
But aside from these realities, the country has an even brighter future ahead of it. With a little nudge from the government and private sector, as well as global investors, India can reinvent itself as the next Silicon Valley.
India’s outsourcing capabilities under threat
For a very long time, India was associated with an outsourcing hub that provided professional problem-solvers that were always ready to help. And it helped the country to a greater extent: the outsourcing boom boosted the employment rate and expanded urbanization labels in the country.
However, things are changing, and they’re changing real fast. The current economic climate indicates that superpowers like the US and China are increasingly promoting protectionist policies, trying their best to achieve self-sufficiency in every field, including outsourcing. Besides, countries like the Philippines are seriously competing with India on this battlefield.
So, everything indicates that India may not be as appealing for outsourcing-seekers as it used to be. However, it should not be as negative as it seems at first sight. You see, a decline in the country’s outsourcing revenues may lead to rethinking its current status as an outsourcing hub into an innovation hub.
This cloud has a silver lining
The reason why India’s technological future is so realistic is multifaceted and can be divided into three main aspects: infrastructure, brainpower, and government involvement. Let’s take a look at each of these factors individually.
Current technological infrastructure
As a long-term outsourcing destination, India has already set up an extensive network of infrastructure that can definitely come in handy for the future rebranding. As noted earlier, India ranks as the second-most connected country in the world, only to be exceeded by China.
Currently, there are more than 560 million online users that interact with the world mainly using their smartphones. In fact, smartphone ownership has increased from around 90 million in 2014 to 450 million in 2019, a 400% increase in just 5 years.
This level of technological embeddedness has encouraged entrepreneurs to create their own startups in the country and put them on the path of success. There are now 26 startups in India whose value exceeds $1 billion each. These companies operate in various industries, be it e-Commerce, FoodTech, or iGaming. iGaming, for instance, has already become one of the most popular entertainment activities in the country as almost 50% of the population is below the age of 25.
Operating as one of the top online casinos in India has on offer, there are lots of opportunities for you on the market. You’ll have a consumer base that amasses hundreds of millions of individuals with full-time internet access. Besides, various governmental startup programs will also help you take your business to the next level.
Unlike technological readiness for the upcoming shift, the next two aspects – the brainpower and government involvement – are lagging behind and need a little more energy for the next technological boom in India. As for the brainpower, the young population is certainly an invaluable resource for the country, but a serious rethinking is necessary in order to turn prospective youth into a real workforce.
To name but one example, India currently ranks #8 in the number of science and engineering graduates, which is obviously a massive achievement. However, in terms of the specific branches chosen by these graduates, there’s not enough brainpower to drive the technological revolution of India: there are less than 4% of the university graduates that major in technical and cognitive branches, while less than 3% specify in AI, machine learning, and relating branches.
Not only that, but the country has also experienced an acute brain drain in recent years. This is apparent as lots of technology giants, including Google, Adobe, and Microsoft have Indian nationals at the highest-profile positions. These individuals could’ve put their skills and efforts in the development of their country’s tech industry if only there were more opportunities for them.
But hope is not completely lost as the recent records show that the increased number of Indian scientists are finally coming back to their country. In fact, in a five-year period of 2012-2017, almost 650 Indian scientists have returned to lead their scientific careers back in India.
The final part of the equation is the encouragement of the Indian government. According to a survey done by the World Economic Forum, as much as 80% of Indian senior executives think that the government has an important role to play in the digitization of India. They note, however, that laws and regulations are lagging behind the current technological development of the industry, which, as a result, slows down the process.
In order to stimulate innovation and turn India into the next Silicon Valley, policy-makers need to interact with major, as well as less influential, tech players in order to better understand the trends and create a more suited regulatory framework.
But just like the brainpower, there are already signs of resuscitated government interest in its tech sector. There are many government-backed programs such as the Startup India, Make in India or Digital India whose goal is to increase the digital power of the country and help establish even more tech startups.
With these individual factors combined, India has a real chance of overtaking today’s tech giants like the US and China and becoming a dominating technological power of the world.