18/01/2017 3:02 PM IST | Updated 18/01/2017 3:05 PM IST

How Demonetisation Can Help Leapfrog Digital India

The 8th of November 2016 was a watershed moment in the life of digital India. The strong inclination to cash meant that there was an upper limit to building a data-driven and digital economy. With no cash available in ATMs and banks, people are slowly turning to online methods for transactions. Indians are adopting digital payment solution providers for trivial and non-trivial activities such as purchasing groceries, paying bills etc. The Government of India, for its part, has been encouraging the adoption of mobile wallets and cashless transactions. This presents a paradigm shift for technology companies that are looking to build products and services for the India of today.

The increasing adoption of digital currency will create a treasure trove of data in every industry.

India is a country with several inefficiencies and lack of infrastructure in financial services, retail, education, health services, insurance and manufacturing. Most of these sectors had limited innovation in technology due to the majority of transactions being done in cash. Now, with the increasing adoption of digital currency, it will create a treasure trove of data in every industry. With incredible advances in Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Mobility, we will have the ability to upend, disrupt and create industry-shaping companies from scratch.

  • Mobility in India will drive digital adoption. As the next 700 million Indians get online, they will create data on how they live, move, transact and interact. This will in turn create opportunities in healthcare services, transportation, building better cities, retail, e-commerce and media.
  • Cloud computing and Big-Data will give us the ability to gather and analyse this data in real time, build better storage.
  • Machine learning and AI allows us to harness data and present highly tailored experiences, learn and adapt to customer preferences and predict future demands and non-intuitive trends.

As we approach this future, we will see startups and big companies alike take advantage of these technologies to re-invent and innovate.

I believe that the success of startups riding this wave can be attributed to various technological advancements in Cloud, Big Data, and AI. Clearly, the vision of Digital India is not short-term and requires considerable investment and a sustained push to create better infrastructure and development of talent to support this transformation. If we can combine the efforts in government policy and innovation that young Indians are creating today, India will leapfrog the technologies of yesterday and emerge as the engine of global growth.