Do you suffer from nomophobia? What is that I hear you ask: “the fear of not having a functioning mobile phone”. Ring true for any of you? It turns out we may be more addicted to technology than we might like to admit. Our daily lives are proliferated with smartphones and access to the internet. Have you considered how much time you spend without your phone? It’s almost scary to reflect on this. Therefore it’s no surprise how important technology has become in personal and business lives for many if not most of us. With the world’s second largest smartphone market in the world (behind only China), India is set to benefit from this change in the way of normal every day life. Consider, to begin with how start-ups successfully got Indian shoppers to buy furniture online and how without smartphones and apps how this may have been that much more of a task. The government is of course running a campaign to digitise India which relies to a large part on the proliferation of smartphones.
The India government are of course pushing many progressive changes simultaneously. One change I mentioned last week is the national apprenticeship programme. This week in another change, the cabinet approved a circa £1billion+ skills development plan for providing job skills to and certify 10 million young people. This of course bodes well for project India and once again adds another string to the already growing bow. When we talk about positive change, it’s important to not always consider adding new initiatives that are thought up from scratch. Rather, those problem areas which have always affected a country like India are also very important to tackle. One of these is to address the cash economy in India which results in the use of black money (or put another way – prevent the holding of unaccounted wealth in cash). With such a taskforce in place to aid the move to a digital economy, surely the future can only be bright from both a transparency and easy of doing business (among other things).
GST (Goods and Services Tax) has once again been in the news this week as the house gathers for the monsoon session during which this will be a significant topic. It’s almost a now or never moment (although it’s fair to say this type of major reform will always take a long time) for the Modi government as they look to get the GST bill live. And as you will read here this no longer seems if but rather when. However, when a single reform has the ability for (according to experts) to add 2 percent to the nations GDP, the sooner the better. Some are confident the bill will pass during this Parliamentary session as it is also seen as a way to create a more investor friendly environment in the country.
It’s clear the economy is doing well and the technology eco system has played its part. No more demonstrated than the rate at which office space is being taken. As you will see there is a large technology contingent in these numbers. However, for a nation to truly progress it won’t just take one change in mindset but many. Let’s face it, India has probably never, by most, been considered a nation too focussed on environmental improvement. However, when one reads about new regulations on safety and emissions for cars; it does paint a picture of positivity in that regard. Add to that the fact that there have been discussions with Tesla Motors this week to determine if a partnership can be formed to make India the manufacturing hub of Asia and of course adopt a more green approach to car usage in the country. Then overlay that with news that Chinese car firms are fast tracking their India plans; the mood and landscape does look rather rosy.
Author: Dishang Patel