India has a population of over 1.3 billion people with rich cultural, language and religious diversity. It is a humungous market for businesses to flourish, it’s called a ‘Melting Pot’ and rightly so. India has the legacy of great family run businesses that have revenues touching the roof and at the same time several potential bootstrap organizations that create value everyday as if to prove that size really doesn’t matter. In this kind of mixed cluster, the digital platform has only brought the entrepreneurial community together. But with these opportunities come along some challenges in the digital space like digital divide and digital illiteracy.
To tackle this problem, a campaign was launched by Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modi in July 2015. The core goal of this campaign was to extend and transform the vision of e-Governance project that was started in mid 1990 called “Digital India” to establish participative, transparent and responsive government.
This initiative by the Indian government was launched to ensure government services are made available to citizens electronically by improving online infrastructure, increasing internet connectivity and making the country digitally empowered.
This campaign was launched in the presence of top CEOs from India to pull investment in the IT sector and to generate employment.
Need for the campaign
As the world moves towards digitization, it is important for the country to keep up with the changing technology. It is also a source of national growth as it ensures that the citizens are educated, aware and connected. This will also cut dependency on bureaucratic processes.
Vision of the campaign
- Digital infrastructure as a utility to every citizen
- Governance and services on demand
- Digital empowerment of citizens
Pillars of the campaign
1. Broadband Highways
Aim to connect Gram-Panchayats through high speed internet
2. Universal access to mobile connectivity
To connect villages which are unconnected through mobile
3. Public internet access
Gram Panchayats and post offices serve as a common service centre in rural areas to avail various government services
Public grievance redressal, mobile platform, payment gateway, UIDAI-Aadhar
Electronic delivery of services in agriculture, health, education and finance sector
6. Information for all
Hosting of information and proactive engagement with citizens through social media and web portals such as MyGov.in where people will have open access to information
7. Electronics manufacturing
The aim is net zero import by 2020
8. IT jobs
Training students in rural areas for IT sector jobs
9. Early harvest programmes
Connecting all the universities across the country through Wi-Fi and leveraging E-Mail as primary mode of connection, biometric attendance in all ministries and government departments
Impact of Digital India on the country and businesses:
- It will provide an incremental 30% increase in India’s GDP by 2025 while digital transformation will contribute $154 billion to India’s GDP by 2021
- India is the 2nd country in terms of smartphone users with more than 337 million in the world. Indian mobile phone market grew by 37% due to aggressive entry of Chinese mobile brands like Xiaomi, Vivo, Huawei and Oppo
- This also has helped in generating employment where brands like Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, Vivo, Oneplus has opened assembly units in India
- Thanks to the highly accessible connections and cheap internet cost provided by operators like Jio, Airtel, Vodafone and Idea due to stiff competition gaining on huge and growing market. As a result, India is the 2nd largest user of the internet
- Mobile and internet banking has improved the financial inclusion in the country where cash transactions are becoming less and digital transactions through apps like BHIM and Paytm have increased 22% since 2015
- Increase in smart and virtual classrooms in schools and colleges in the country.
- The cloud computing technology implemented has helped in achieving a greener workplace by minimizing carbon emissions by improving mobility and flexibility where there is less paper work and everything is digitized
- Surge in digital business
- Government organizations are building apps in regional languages
- Digital platforms have helped farmers sell their crops at best prices and helped them reach out to a wider market by eliminating middlemen
- Due to increased internet usage, customer acquisition has increased in the online market
- Increase in customer engagement and digital conversions
The changes maybe small but they are evident. Each one of them impacting businesses by increasing the market consumption and creating opportunities for every kind of business. There is a long way for India in the digital road map. Bridging digital literacy and digital divide in a country as big as India is a time taking process and it is a great sign that we have started walking to it. We are super excited about all the opportunities and jobs it will bring along. The way ahead is full of hope for budding enterprises and hope your business is an integral part of Digital India too!