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India poised to be superpower in accelerating digital transformation: Salesforce

India is poised to be a “superpower” in accelerating digital transformation, helped by factors such as the presence of a rich talent pool, affordable connectivity, and IT workforce, Salesforce Chief Digital Evangelist Vala Afshar said on Thursday.

The top executive highlighted that the cloud-based software provider is committed to growing the Indian technology ecosystem, including investing in startups in India.

“India can be very much poised to be a superpower when it comes to accelerating digital transformation, because of the talent pool, because of the affordability of connectivity, and just the sheer size of IT professionals that exists in India. I can tell you Salesforce’s success will be largely due based on the work that’s happening in India,” he said.

India is the second-largest employee base for the company outside of the US. Salesforce Ventures – its investment arm – is also an active investor in the Indian startup ecosystem and has backed companies like Razorpay, Hashnode, and Darwinbox.

Speaking about startups, Afshar said the company invests in hundreds of startups via Salesforce Ventures.

“…we’re very active in terms of making sure we are able to partner with, learn from and support growing startups, and I don’t have any specific details in terms of our future plans of investing in startups, but I’m certain that it will include startups in India,” he said.

He added that one will continue to see companies that accelerate digital transformation in the startup space gain momentum, funding, and support from companies such as Salesforce.

While Afshar did not offer comments on the listing of Freshworks – India’s first software as a service (SaaS) company to get listed on Nasdaq, he said he “wouldn’t be surprised to see more incredible successful companies go through an IPO milestone from India”.

“So, I believe the amount of investments that Salesforce is planning to make only points to our commitment to grow the India technology ecosystem…India is going to play an incredible role in fueling the growth of the company,” he added.

He also noted that most of the unicorn startups in the US have founders from India, and large corporations – right from Google, Microsoft, and IBM to Novartis – are led by people of Indian origin. PTI


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