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India at technological inflection point, poised toward next growth phase

India is at an “inflection point” in technological innovation and is now poised towards the next phase of growth, experts said at a panel discussion at the India Global Innovation Connect in Bengaluru on Thursday.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, when geographical barriers diminished, talent globalisation was immense and a lot of technology jobs moved to places like India, said Avinash Vashistha, chairman and CEO, Tholons, a management consultancy firm.

In 2023, when the artificial intelligence (AI) wave gained prominence, lots of jobs turned redundant and people and companies were forced to innovate, he said.

“AI-managed services are a big opportunity for the Indian IT sector,” he added.

While India has strong human capital, it must increase its funding in startups, and research and development (R&D) to move to the next phase of growth, said TV Mohandas Pai, former Infosys board member and chairman Aarin Capital India.

For many of the innovations happening out of India, patents are being filed in the US as Indians don’t have a culture of filing patents, Pai said. “Indians should file more patents.”

The startup ecosystem, a key to India’s technological innovation, must work in tandem with the three key functions – government, industry, and academia, said Sanjeev Gupta, Karnataka Digital Economy Mission (KDEM).

Experts at the panel discussion agreed that India is emerging as one of the world’s top innovation hubs, due to the cumulative impact of the expansion of Digital Public Infrastructure covering payments, identity, and data management; development of engineering and research talent, and the emergence of a dynamic startup ecosystem, now one of the top three in the world.

According to Claude Smadja, chairman, Smadja & Smadja Strategic Advisory, “India has made significant strides in deep tech, health tech, semiconductors and aerospace technologies and has been very focused already on innovation and on supporting startups of the 21st century. The new government at the centre as such does not need new policies, but rather at this stage it should focus on accelerating the development and expanding on what is already happening. We are at an inflection point and the challenge now is to cross this and scale up to higher levels.”

Indian startups are likely to create 50 million new jobs and add $1 trillion to the economy by 2029-30 (FY30), the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has said in a report. The report titled ‘Unicorn 2.0: Adding the Next Trillion’, done in partnership with McKinsey & Company, also stated that the Indian economy was likely to be $7 trillion by 2030. The report further revealed that India had created over 100 unicorns between 2010 and 2023 and the country might see 300 new unicorns between 2024 and 2035. Business Standard

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