When people think of India I suspect the first impression that comes to mind is not tall office blocks and glamorous family homes normally associated with urban living in the developed world. As true as that may be, for India, the reality is rural India is a very prominent part of what makes India what it is. You may find it interesting to read how those in rural parts of that country are moving with the times thanks to the young contingent. Whether in urban or rural India, the youth are seen as the future potential of the nation. Therefore when one reads about the possibility of a full undergraduate degree attainable online from “top universities” for all; it’s very encouraging to think how the less privileged might benefit through the likelihood of cheaper and more accessible higher education. Of course, the potential of this would be very positive for an education hungry nation like India giving it the ability to grow into the superpower it has the potential to be. Couple this with the progress being made through the use of technology, such as in this piece on how a state government is partnering with a B2B company to enable traders and retailers to procure products directly from manufacturers, and you see how India is a place moving with the times.
If you read my blogs with any regularity, I’m sure you will have heard me mention how India is coming online through the use of smartphones. India has traditionally been a late adopter of technology which has often resulted in what some might call generational leaps in order to play catch up. Well, I think the time is now where many Indians are embracing technology (with a very fast growth rate). Therefore, when a behemoth like Reliance starts to sell 4G smartphones at accessible prices it’s inevitably going to have an impact; but exactly how only time will tell. What will be interesting to see is how other manufacturers react and if the competition drives down prices further to make smartphones and therefore the internet even more accessible. For a country like India smartphone adoption is not just about increasing commerce as there are many more benefits to be leveraged. One of these is in the healthcare sector where smartphone technology could help create a holistic healthcare system. This may be an aim for many countries around the world but there is no doubt emerging countries would massively benefit from any such step change.
I feel like whenever a new start up or most technology businesses are written or spoken about, the mention of women entrepreneurs is not that common. For this reason I feel compelled to share this slideshow which has picked out ten Indian start ups with women founders. There will be many more out there but raising awareness that India is very much supporting talent rather than genders is important as that inevitably comes in many shapes and sizes (let me caveat this by saying I am by no means suggesting there may not be bigger hurdles for women in this regard but it’s great to see the exposure being gained). What’s great is that the India government continues to play its part to help all youngsters; a great example of which is the national apprenticeship program recently approved an outlay of close to £1 billion to provide internship training for over 5 million people in the next four years.
It’s no secret that investment money into technology businesses is not anywhere near 2015 levels. One of the sectors to suffer in this regard has been e-commerce where a sharp decline in funding has been experienced. The reasons for this are multi-fold and have been well documented so I won’t tread on old ground but I will say I see this as an opportunity for all technology start ups in all sectors to create a more sustainable business that will not purely rely on investors plugging holes due to fast cash burn. Despite this and all that has happened with Brexit and Raghuram Rajan stepping down, some are still confident India will continue to attract investment. Let’s hope investors from the UK and Europe are taking note…
Author: Dishang Patel