As technology intensity increases across every sector, and in every part of the globe, India gets to present something truly spectacular to the world: the power of the Indian mind. And this is seen across countless apps, unicorns, start-ups, the India Stack, our pharma edge, our design, architectural, and cultural experiences, in many incredible, fascinating ways. Look at what our craftsmen create, out of nothing, at times without even a reliable source of electricity. But this is not a story of struggle. It’s the story of winning with grace.
This is the story of the Indian Mind, that we at HCL visualised during our Mind India Conclaves where we got together India’s top minds, from fields as diverse as technology and advertising, to think of ways where our combined potential as a nation gets better visibility. Today, India is very astutely leaping ahead of the world.
The India Stack has ushered millions of people into the digital economy, becoming an important pillar of the country’s infrastructure. The UPI stands out for a payments solution that’s reliable, secure and interoperable among different payments companies, including markets in Singapore and Philippines that now accept UPI payments through QR code. Google brought it to the US department of treasury as an example for FedNow to follow. Australia is looking to integrate UPI with its own platform. It has got the vote of confidence from Walmart, Google, WhatsApp, and Amazon for a singular example of leveraging technology for quick, fast and reliable service delivery.
But India has gone beyond a few revolutionary ideas, some startups or unicorns proving themselves on the global stage. While we missed out on the earlier versions of web but now, the third largest startup nation in the world is fast becoming a hub for innovation. Today, nearly every Fortune 500 company has a R&D centre in India. Despite de-globalisation becoming a common theme, Nasscom estimates that by 2025 India could have 2,000 GCCs employing 2 million people and generate $60 billion of revenue. Demand is being fuelled by the global desire to invest in the Indian mind for innovation and research. These are not back-end offices for secondary tasks, but front-end leaders of the innovation chart of companies.
With China turning inward-looking, India has a great opportunity ahead. Indian origin global CEOs - Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, Alphabet’s Sundar Pichai, Twitter’s Parag Agarwal, etc. are the poster people of new India that is being seen as a country of achievers. Intel’s famous microprocessor was made by India-born Vinod Dham, called the Father of Pentium. If there’s an Indian at the helm, industry insiders will tell you, that funding is more easily available, even in the US.
With the decks cleared for the rollout of 5G services, India is set for big impact changes with benefits spanning across sectors and economies, changing the way we live, work and learn. The space sector is another feather in independent India’s cap. The early policy thrust defied cynics who found it out-of-place in a country seen, back then, as a bullock cart nation. The waterman of India, Rajendra Singh, brought water to parched Rajasthan districts by simply promoting desi knowledge of indigenous water conservation technologies.
Not just engineering and in-depth scientific knowledge but India’s soft power too has wowed the world. The 1893 speech of Swami Vivekananda at World’s Parliament of Religions in Chicago with its emphasis on universal brotherhood is still relevant today, as are Yoga and the Vedanta, that bring out the divine in each one of us. We are the cinema capital of the world. Our simply outstanding home grown Hospitality chains, like the supremely exquisite Oberois, hold their own in any elite line-up. The exemplary services of any Hospitality brand here cannot be rivalled anywhere else in the world. With so much of talent, India is winning new ground every day. And not on a wing and a prayer, but grounded in data and analysis, research and creativity. All due to the Superior Indian Mind.
Ajai Chowdhry is the Chairman of Epic Foundation and Founder of HCL.