TECH TALK: Four Blog Years: Thinking Evolution

The blog reflects my interests. These have changed somewhat over the past four years. The focus on emerging markets and the use of new technologies has, however, remained constant. This is what I wrote in one of my early posts: Emergic is at this stage a concept. It means combining emerging technologies to create solutions for emerging enterprises (SMEs) in emerging markets like India. Emergic is about taking the vision of “computing and communications for all” to the next 500 million users in the world — most of whom are in the world’s developing markets. They cannot pay for technology denominated in dollars. They need cheaper hardware, software and communications. Some of the key ideas in Emergic are Thin Client-Thick Server, Digital Dashboard, Integrated eBusiness software, WiFi for Community Networks, Weblogs (BlogStreet and Emergic.Org) and SME Clusters.

My focus now is around two broad themes: building the mobile internet appropriately for users in emerging markets, and enabling computing as a utility. The first is about ensuring that the services that we use on the Internet via the PC can be made available to users suitably on the mobile. The majority of new Indian users will experience the Internet more on the mobile than on the PC. India has an excellent mobile data infrastructure, and that can create the foundation for a set of compelling information, communication and entertainment services primarily centred on the mobile.

The computing as a utility idea is about using thin clients connected to servers over high-speed networks. It makes computing affordable and manageable. I believe that if we can reduce computing price points to that of the mobile ($100 for the device, and $10 per month for the service), we will see a rise in the use of computers similar to what we have experienced with mobiles in the past four years in India. Broadband is critical for this to happen whether it is over DSL or mesh wireless networks or alternate technologies.

Taken together, mobile data services and server-centric computing (with network computers) can create the next-generation platform for making computing ubiquitous on both small and big screens. This can then help transform different verticals especially education, healthcare, and commerce, where India needs significant investments going ahead. The new digital infrastructure that this twin-track approach can enable will position India as an example to emulate for other developing economies. This is what I want do accomplish through the Emergic ecosystem of companies in the next 5-7 years.

Tomorrow: Looking Ahead

TECH TALK Four Blog Years+T

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.