Executive order on the H1B visa regime pares down the flood of applications. The worldwide dislike of cheap Indian labor leading to shutting out Indians from migrating. Disruptive technologies like Cloud, AI, Big Data rendering the Indian talent pool unemployable.
The end of the road for Indian IT has been written on many walls.
Copycat ideas. Millions sunk in losing e-commerce start-ups in India. Weak business and exit plans competing for sparse money.
The end of the road for Indian entrepreneurship has also been on many walls.
The second-most populous country, the largest democracy, and one of the most ancient civilizations is shown up in poor light against numerous countries for various vaunted reasons.
But, quietly, India is on the road to self-sufficiency and here is how the country’s next moves will stun the world.
- Space age: The ISRO has become India’s shining example of how a government-funded agency can conquer outer space. Today, the ISRO can launch multiple satellites on a single rocket. Outer space and planetary exploration is quite close and real-time under ISRO’s innovation. Unlike developed countries cutting costs in scientific research, India will emerge to be the biggest promoter of understanding the Universe around us.
- Smart Agriculture: At last count, there were about 80 different starts up in the agriculture space, from data-driven decision support to direct-to-consumer supply chains to kiosk-based rural distribution and many more. This is only bound to increase as India begins to search deep inside it’s own ecosystem to provide self-sufficiency. As solar pricing dips to take over coal as a dependable source of energy, power will become abundant and cheap, leading to cold storage, lesser wastage, and increased availability over seasons. Sensors, cloud, mobile will only increase the farmer’s ability to grow produce at better outputs. Permaculture is leveraging local wastelands to grow organic produce at smaller scale but leading to immediate self-sufficiency.
- Infrastructure: The Delhi Metro is a great example of public-private sector collaboration, and the Metro is operationally cash-positive from it’s early days. Yes, projects do overrun on time and budgets, but Metros will surely reduce congestion in all cities. Bengaluru and Chennai are coming online, and other cities over the next decade. The Narmada Canal project is an ingenious power generation and water conservation that will only grow in example in other cities. Smarter buses, electric vehicles, and decentralized transportation will bring more inner cities to the main grid. There are innovators working in this space as well.
- Hygiene and civic cleanliness: The Ugly Indian is a fabulous crowd-sourced motivation group that takes up various spots around the country, reclaims them, and convert them into usable public spaces. This has led to cleaner cities, lesser trash, and better environment. Arunachalam Muruganantham has revolutionized hygiene care for women, with his low-cost sanitary pad production framework, allowing inner societies to adopt cleaner and safer personal care.
- Social Acceptance and Development: Shubha Chacko is leading Solidarity Foundation out of Bengaluru, promoting dignity for sex workers and sexual minorities. Ravi Sreedharan has founded the first ever Indian School for Development Management that will help educate and formally introduce more people into the development space.
The examples are numerous, and the opportunities are exponential. For those writing off India based on a sun-set IT services industry, the move to self-sufficiency will make it a power to recognize in the coming days.
What are your thoughts? What industries are you seeing disrupted in India’s progress towards self-sufficiency?