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BW Businessworld

India On A Steady Transformation Path

The industry, as well as society, must stand by and support the government towards its vision. Only then will we move towards a better nation

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As the government approaches the median point of its tenure, prime minister Narendra Modi, leader of the world's largest democracy, has not tread an easy path. We have seen an abundance of strong performance across several areas; however there definitely are sections that need more attention. But as the old adage goes Rome wasn't built in a day; and neither was it built in two years.

The Modi-led government has been in power for two years and during this tenure, has witnessed several areas of strong performance. He has managed to revive the India story and brought it to centre stage of the world economy at a time when many global major economies are going through their own share of currency headwinds and slower domestic demand. We have witnessed India forging new partnerships and alliances with countries and multinationals around the world in the areas of technology, defence, nuclear energy and several other allied industries. This has instilled confidence amongst global MNCs to enhance their commitment to India and a sense of pride amongst Indian conglomerates to look overseas and position our corporations as globally competitive and making a difference on the world stage.

The government has also rolled out ambitious programmes to aid and accelerate India's transformation into a digital and knowledge-based economy. Digital India, Make in India, the Smart City Mission, Start Up India etc., all these initiatives are aimed at creating a globally competitive ecosystem in India as well as driving innovation and improving the quality of citizen life. Add to this the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and Jan Dhan Yojana; this is no small feat. There is also immense focus on ease of doing business, the need to bring down corruption and I believe there is a fair amount of progress and recognition that this government means business and is doing it the right way.

Our government has brought in the optimism, vigor and agility that the country requires at this stage. PM Modi has been quoted in several polls as being the much required catalyst for change, as well as being the most likely candidate to resume office. And rightly so, as he personally overseas the progress of his cabinet to deliver results. He has plenty to boast about - positive economic growth, increased FDI inflow, positive investor and citizen sentiment, preferred destination for R&D - the list goes on.

While there is strong performance and perceptible positive change in many areas, there are sections that need to be addressed. Take for instance the electronics industry. ASSOCHAM pegs the Indian electronics and hardware industry to reach a staggering $112-130 billion by 2018 from the current level of $75 billion. India witnesses a huge demand for electronics every year, but unfortunately a significant portion of this demand is met through imports. Several attempts by the government to address this gap, such as the New Electronics Policy 2012, the New Manufacturing Policy 2011 and the most recent 'Make in India' campaign seem promising, but need to be put into execution to deliver results.

A positive business sentiment that peaked in 2015 is seeing a slow decline due to project bottlenecks and key economic reforms not moving ahead in the parliament. India Inc is now demanding to see implementation of ideas and results for progress; and this is true of organisations across industries, be it technology, healthcare, agriculture, power etc.

While taking office, our prime minister called out his firm belief on the power of technology as a critical component to build 'Brand India'. Most of the initiatives rolled out help position technology as the key infrastructure/ backbone for creating a 'Future Ready Economy' - one that provides robust infrastructure to its citizens, offers its people a chance to grow, and lets the community develop into a thriving business ecosystem. In fact, the Dell Future-Ready Economies ranking recognizes our national capital Delhi as one among 50 future-ready economies globally. This in itself is an indication that we are leveraging the power of technology for economic growth.

In today's dynamic world, we all expect instant gratification, and therefore also scrutinize the government's progress in this manner. What one forgets is that it is also the duty and responsibility of businesses and communities to back the government's vision, as well as have the patience for successful implementation of programs and initiatives, to see progress. Today, India is at the cusp of massive disruption and I believe that we are ready for this change. In my opinion the industry, as well as society, must stand by and support the government towards its vision. Only then will we move towards a better nation.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Alok Ohrie

The author is President and Managing Director, Dell Technologies, India

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