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Time for the Indian Tiger to roar

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Sunil Rajguru
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While the world was reeling under the Covid crisis in 2020-21, it was glory days for the tech industry. Everyone wanted to digitize, digitalize and digitally transform their operations. No touch technologies ruled and even governments tried to go digital as much as they could. Ecommerce boomed.

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This boom couldn’t last forever and there has been a recent dip. The stock prices of the top companies are on a decline. That includes Alphabet, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft. The tech giant that is reeling the most is Meta. They have really taken a nosedive after they changed their name. HealthTech and pharma, which soared during the pandemic, are seeing consolidation.

There is an unofficial recession in America and with the way they are still printing money endlessly, nobody knows what the endgame will be. There is global uncertainty due to the Ukraine crisis. That includes natural gas and fertilizers. Europe could well see a dark winter and a barren summer. The supply chain issues have also not been sorted out with a shaky China and overt dependence on Taiwan for chips.

The Indian IT services industry is severely dependent on the US and our local startup scene which boomed during 2020-21 has seen a decline. There is turbulence ahead and one hopes India can come out of it unscathed.

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Hopefully we have learnt our lessons and sorted out issues of business process continuity. While the Indian economy crashed in 2020, it has recovered admirably after that. The forecast is good for the remaining part of the 2020s.

Indian companies have become wiser, more innovative and flexible. The government on its part has made things much easier on the digital front. Aarogya Setu, CoWIN and UPI were some of the things that gained traction fast.

Could the next decade belong to India? One certainly hopes so. There are many landmarks on the way in the 10-15 years to come. We will become the world’s most populous country and stay there for quite some time. Our GDP will first overtake Germany and then Japan. We will overtake China in terms of having the largest working population in the world. In the 2030s, the Big 3 will be America, China and India.

While a lot of things are on track, we still have a long way to go. We had taken a record number of people out of poverty in the 2010s. That effort was undone during the Covid crisis. We still are not exactly world beaters in overall R&D and lag in AI-quantum. While the quantity of Make in India has surpassed expectations, not so much quality.

If we can overcome all of the above then we could genuinely aspire to be a superpower.

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