Speaking at the 12th India Digital Summit, organized by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), Shri Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce and Industry said that India is expected to become a USD 5 trillion economy in the next 8-9 years with the manufacturing sector alone contributing 20% to that. He further said: “Therefore we are preparing a detailed plan what will be going in that manufacturing.” Shri Prabhu said that experts who are involved in manufacturing are preparing the roadmap and including all sectors where manufacturing can be promoted. The minister said if manufacturing alone is digitized it will create a huge opportunity for technology firms.
He also mentioned that he is currently working on a strategy for international trade which will contribute USD 2 trillion to the economy where the contribution can come from both manufacturing and services. “India is not only bridging digital divide but also helping people scale up their income,” Prabhu said.
Earlier, in his address to the delegates, Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO of Niti Aayog said that every Indian will have a smartphone in the next five years He said that this was a period of huge technology disruption in the country. “Today, 85% percent of the devices are still unconnected. Therefore, there is a huge opportunity in the Internet of Things (IoT) space. The opportunity would be in the range of $70 bn by 2025,” he said. According to Shri Kant, Artificial Intelligence (AI) alone will generate the opportunity to the tune of $32 bn. “Advanced robotics are already handling 25% of the jobs. This will rise to 45 per cent in the coming years.
“India is already ranked globally as the most active Internet user globally on a monthly basis. The Digital transaction will touch $100 trillion in the next 10 years,” he told the audience. Shri Kant further said that with 99% Aadhaar penetration and bank account opened under Jan Dhan Yojana, the scope was immense for the FinTech industry.
Addressing the delegates, Smt. Aruna Sundararajan, Chairman TC & Secy (IT), Dept of Telecommunication, Govt of India, said that “for Internet of Things (IoT) to happen we need to have a robust 4G ecosystem in the country and I am hopeful that by the end of this year, we will have a pan-India 4G network availability.” She further mentioned that the government has constituted a task force for national mission and vision for rolling out 5G network in the country. The taskforce will come out with the roadmap soon and the Dept of Telecommunications is keen on partnering with key telecom providers in the roll out stage.
Underlining on increasing the internet penetration in the country, she said that the government aspires to increase the wifi access points from 40, 000 to 5 lakhs by the end of 2018.
Earlier in the day, Rajan Anandan, Chairman, IAMAI & Vice President, Google India & South-East Asia delivering the inaugural address said that it is an exciting time for internet in India. Availability of very low cost high speed mobile Internet connection in 2017 moved a slow speed nation to a high speed nation.
He also expressed hope that the next set of unicorns in India will not just be a unicorn but will be profitable.
In his address, Ajit Mohan, CEO of Hotstar said that democratization of data is happening with growing data consumption in Tier 3 cities.