Make 2009 Young

Despite all the tragedies and gloom of 2008, I am very hopeful of 2009. And
this hope comes from one trend that I see. Look at the new set of Chief
Ministers of various Indian states, who are now going to manage the helm of
affairs. Ashok Chavan in Maharashtra, Omar Abdullah in J&K, Raman Singh in
Chhattisgarh, Shivraj Chauhan in Madhya Pradesh. They are young, have promised
to focus on delivering good governance to citizens, and believe in the power of
information technology.

The Obama campaign success story which clearly demonstrates the power of IT
and communications when it comes to reaching out to the masses and taking them
on your side, is surely going to help the Indian politician further open up to
information technology. One of the first statements of Omar Abdullah, the CM
designate of J&K was about the big need for e-governance in the state. There are
many others such as, Narendra Modi and Sheila Dixit, who are not so young, but
their commitment to good governance and IT is well known.

Ibrahim Ahmad

I strongly believe that these young politicians are best suited for
e-Governance which requires a mission mode work style and willingness to
re-engineer age old systems. E-governance will succeed only then. These young
CMs will quickly turn into CEOs, and will bring in a lot of fundamental level
changes, starting with the life of a common man in terms of education, health,
employment, and security. The cascading effect on other states is likely to be
very positive. And the end result will be that there should be a significant
positive change in civil society and business in the next few years.

E-governance, I strongly believe, will be the biggest driver of the domestic
IT market. If state WANs and the Citizen Service Centers take off in a big way,
almost every possible serviceeducation, entertainment, health, banking,
insurance, travel……..the list is endlesswould be available and accessible
to the common man. This means that all banks, railways and bus services,
hospitals, news and media companies, schools and colleges, will have to have
infrastructure and systems to deliver these services. We must therefore bet on
the young.

The other factor that will ensure growth of the Indian economy and therefore
the domestic IT industry is the countrys security and stability. Here also the
young factor will be crucial. I have personally seen young ministers more
knowledgeable and receptive to the seriousness of security. For instance, a
security expert told me that older generation VIPs get upset with security
checks very easily and the young VIPs appreciate and understand. The countrys
security is likely to be better in the hands of young leaders.

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