The launch of Digital India has been an important milestone in the BJP government’s tenure. While the reactions have been mixed, a move towards the technological growth of the Indian industrial ecosystem is certainly welcome to solve the major pain points in an innovative fashion. However, will it be successful? India has a plethora of logistical constraints, infrastructure problems and a vast demographic chasm between the rural and urban population. Start-ups have stated their views on this movement and what they think the campaign needs for maximum effect.
Smartprix co-founder Abhinav Choudhary believes that the Digital India campaign is an ambitious move carried out by the government. He said that the policy can improve the demographic divide.
“As the internet connectivity improves it will boost newcomers to start their ventures from any part of India. The impact of Digital India can be huge on creating new jobs, new startups even from rural areas. However only the future will tell us to what extent internet connectivity will grow as we don’t have even physical connectivity like roads in many parts of the India.” said Choudhary
Saurabh Kochhar, co-founder and CEO of FoodPanda India and CBO also had something similar in mind.
He explains -“Digital India is a much needed initiative for the booming eCommerce space in India. India’s talent combined with required infrastructure will accelerate our growth like never before. Further, private sector shall be able to help the government with required business models and strategies and make inroads for itself to explore new opportunities and demographics.” However, Kochhar too points out the infrastructural handicaps of the country which might pose as major deterrent on the way forward. He states, “Digital India dream will have its own set of challenges to deal with. It will be difficult to access the Internet since fibre network is not available in many remote villages. This project needs a lot of coordination and optimum utilization of infrastructure to execute the big challenge”.
The campaign will also address to a major problem in the Indian infrastructure – privacy. With a better technical infrastructure, a standard safety gauge can be maintained.
Deepak Ravindran Founder and CEO, Lookup says “Digital India subsumes a mix of services and plans that are just right for reinvigorating the state of governance in the country”. He also added that the programme can make it easier for the public to access government forms and services online.
A common point put forward by entrepreneurs throughout the country is the concern about public and private sector synergy.
Ravindran maintains that “the engagement of the private sector in national development programs has the potential to serve development ends across any and all sectors. It will support the government by providing suitable infrastructure and technology-led facilities to consumers. Besides this, there will be a good inflow of innovative ideas and modern technologies from the private sector that will give a boost to the Digital India Programme”.
Kochhar also adds that Digital India would enable the private sector to help the government with required business models and strategies for exploring demographic opportunities.
If the campaign turns out to be successful, India can inch closer to become a technologically sound nation with an infrastructure that reaches to all kinds of public. For start-ups, this is pure good news.