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BW Businessworld

Technology And Trust

2021 signalled that out-of-the-box and bold moves are now needed, from all stakeholders, to create the next wave that will propel India’s tech economy towards real growth.

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Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important — Bill Gates

Once upon a time there were conversations around technology and creativity, algorithms and art, facts and imagination, and all versions of the two terms were mutually exclusive. Then technology turned ‘sexy’ and saw the advent of tech men and women who changed notions of ‘coolness’ and ‘glamour’, birthing an age of creativity when technology was pushing forth a revolution that was changing the face of connectivity and communication.

During all these phases, only those who did not fear being ridiculed would challenge the significant and omnipresent role that technology was playing in human lives. With the onset of the pandemic, technology became the only option. The wave was such that digital acceleration was faster and smoother than ever before, impacting the Indian GDP, the size of the market, the growth vectors, the increased investments et al, to spell growth.

This growth trend has indeed continued in 2021. Last year, the technology sector saw unprecedented growth but this year, while the future focused numbers are still high – given that the immediate demands for technology-led solutions were met last year – there is an increased premium on differentiation and the human element. We have gone back to when technology was just a tool. In fact, this reality had never changed, it was the intensity that gave it a different perception.

The more we study the sector and the role it plays in overlaying with other sectors, it is clear that technology leaders are pushing the envelope on innovation, new-age services, identifying the constantly changing consumer demands and looking to the government to create the right pivots for growth. It is noteworthy that the Indian government has not disappointed. India’s tech economy shows a real promise now – the sector stakeholders just need to keep pulling the levers.

The big challenge though, will come in the form of privacy and security. Even as we put this special edition to bed, India is seeing some fierce debates on the Data Protection Bill. This sector’s only certainty is the continued action and the subsequent changes. The initial needs and impacts of technology have been accepted. For growth from here, technology will have to earn the trust of people. And this is one area that still needs some work. In this annual edition, we have documented thoughts from some of the sharpest Indian leaders, who are putting India on the global map. They decode the trends that are working for the sector and the precautions as well.

But the biggest takeaway is, to quote Daniel Bell, that ‘Technology, like art, is a soaring exercise of the human imagination’. That is the big change today, and that is the opportunity waiting to be seized.

Happy Reading!