TECH TALK: India Empowered: My Views (Part 2)

Intelligent Enterprises: Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the powerhouse of an economy. We need Indias SMEs to leapfrog into the digital area so they are not the weak links in real-time value chains. For this, Indian SMEs will need to automate their operations by investing in technology and choosing the right business processes. As IT becomes a utility, SMEs need to think of how they would run their businesses differently if everyone in their organisation had access to both a desktop computer at work and a data-enabled mobile phone. SMEs need to use the Internet effectively to participate in information marketplaces to open up new markets. In other words, SMEs have to stop thinking of staying small and mid-sized but have greater ambitions. For this, they will need to start embedding intelligence across their organisational hierarchies to process information better and faster.

Internet Energised: We have not leveraged the Internet to its fullest potential in India. For a variety of reasons ranging from poor and expensive connectivity options and inadequate venture capital to lack of imaginative ideas, the Internet in India continues to stutter along. We have missed the bus for Internet 1.0. But we do have an opportunity to catch the Internet 2.0 bus. In this world, mobile phones and network computers will connect to centralized services. Our lack of legacy in India makes us possible to jump to the next Internet if only we can start building out the digital infrastructure for it. This will mean ensuring that there is a massive buildout of broadband across the country. After that, entrepreneurs and services will take over to energise not just the Internet but also the economy.

Increasing Expectations: Finally, we need to raise our expectations across the board. For long, we have accepted mediocrity as being good enough in every aspect of our life. Our chalta-hai attitude needs to be shed in favour of a best mangta hai desire. This will make us protest against all that is below par and perhaps force change in a bottom-up manner. By 2006-end, one in ten Indians will be empowered with a mobile phone. This can help create smart mobs who can use collaborative technologies like wikis and blogs for social activism to bring about change starting from the neighbourhoods we live in. Over time, hopefully, it will also help raise our expectations from the political leadership to the point where we can get positive change agents in the right places in government. We thus have to reset the bar on what we consider acceptable in all that we see around and make sure that we raise our voices to commend the good and condemn the bad.

India Empowered is thus Indians Enlightened so that they can combine Insight and Experience with Inspiration and Emergence resulting in Incomes Enhanced. India Empowered is a land where Irrational Exuberance Is Encouraged!

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Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.