India: calm, prosperity and innovation

Technology Investment in India

When the CEO of Barclays makes a statement like “India is an island of calm in a world beset by turbulence” one needs to pay attention and take note. What’s also interesting is his take on how positive PM Modi has been; considering him a “source of stability needed around the world”. With the positive changes being made in India, it may not be surprising to hear that expectations are that uber rich households will double by FY21. According to this piece, it translates into the average age of ultra high net worth individuals reducing where “nearly half of the ultra HNIs are below 40 years of age”. Spending habits in India have also been changing with the times – more and more are now shopping at home rather than travel abroad. To some extent shows how much India has progressed in many ways including the infrastructure and ability to attract and house top brands.

One might consider the progression in India is somewhat correlated with the progression of the technology eco-system. A very good example of such success is how this business succeeded to make the unicorn club in a choppy investor climate with funding at much lower levels compared to last year. What’s great to see is businesses such as these are not only adapting admirably to the changes in environment but also through strengthening its presence in Tier II and III cities. As is well known, the dominant force in the technology eco-system in India today is e-commerce. According to HSBC e-commerce could create millions of jobs and if one considers all the other sectors within the technology landscape you might be forgiven for thinking about the potential of just how many jobs this eco-system could deliver.

Last week also saw a couple of very interesting acquisitions in the world of technology. Firstly, in India, Flipkart owned Myntra acquired Jabong for $70M. Interestingly, Jabong was valued as high as $440M as recently as 2013. Similarly, in the U.S., a once giant of the technology world, Yahoo, was acquired by Verizon. By many, it’s considered somewhat a fall from grace for Yahoo; from a valuation high of $128BN to a sale at $4.83BN. All businesses have their own amazing journey and Yahoo’s has been nothing short of extraordinary. For a company that once turned down the opportunity to buy Google for $1M and avoided advances from Microsoft for $40BN they finally sold for a much smaller amount. Here are some reactions to this acquisition. I guess it shows just how important it is to make the right decisions at the right time no matter how big or successful a business might become.

It is clear that technology is a game changer but as they say, every dog has its day. I wanted to share this very interesting article which shows just how innovation can phase out previously ground-breaking technology. However, if you can get the technology right and continue to innovate addressing the needs of the market you are targeting; results and growth will more likely than not be achievable. As an example, Sony is backing India to become one of their top three markets. Let me leave you with this final story which is the epitome of innovation and collaboration. It’s thought leadership and change innovation like this that will make India prosperous for all. Especially the poor who are in need of most assistance in areas like healthcare.

Author: Dishang Pateldish-colour