5 years back when I was traveling by train from Chennai, a gentleman walked in and sat in the opposite seat. It didn’t take too long for us to start off a conversation since we shared professional expertise in similar industries. When it came to our experiences as retailers and the challenges we faced, and after a lot of “free advice” from both ends, he frowned, “I don’t think India will ever make it to the list of tech-savvy nations.” A forecast made by him from traveling, attending the best conferences, having used and experienced the state-of-the-art technologies from around the world, so he explained.
What is more surprising to me now is that it came from a middle-aged entrepreneur!
I bet those that think on the lines as my co-passenger and those who think otherwise are in equal number out there.
Why the contradictory views?
Well, to begin with Indian companies have managed to get away without investing a chunk of their funds in technology. Experts say it’s because hardly any of these companies need tech intensive infrastructure, unlike nanotechnology and semiconductor industries where highly advanced infrastructure is ineliminable. There is a clear gap between need and want. Precisely why tech is not first priority in India.
We have come a long way indeed. But, it’s no 100 or 200 meters sprint; it’s a marathon. Shifting focus from conglomerates to relatively young companies, technology is spreading with phenomenal rapidity. According to a report by Microsoft, healthcare, retail and banking sectors are hot-spots.
Technology sure aided growth. But to what extent is too early to judge. Measures in variable scale that contribute to greater acceptance of technology, including internet penetration, although very poor relative to international standards, have been put in place. India has to adapt to sustainable technologies to explore where her forte lies.