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IndiaSoft Maps Digital Opportunities For Indian ICT MSMEs

While addressing the Conference on Opportunities in India’s Digital Economy at Indiasoft 2021Mr. Sanjay Chadha, Additional Secretary, Department of Commerce , Ministry of Commerce & Industry said that India has emerged as the  top country in terms of per capita Google Play App downloads, which was an indicator of the fast pace of digitization  taking place in the country.

According to data estimates published by Sensor Towers Store Intelligence Platform, India occupied the top slot with more than 4.5 billion new installs in Q1 2019, followed by the United States, Brazil, Russia and Indonesia. Google Play is not available in China.

Mr. Chadha also referred to the increasing popularity and downloads of over the top (OTT) platforms in India, which stream film and TV content over the internet without the need for traditional cable or satellite pay-TV services. These are exciting indications of India becoming a digital hub and permeation of digitization all across the sectors and disciplines, he said, adding that the process would continue thanks to the unprecedented focus laid by the government in digitally connecting the country.

Mr. Chadha told participants at the virtual conference of IndiaSoft 2021, attended by a large number of IT buyers across the world, yesterday late evening that India was making steady steps to emerge as  an electronic and manufacturing hub riding on the back of  the software capabilities. This, he said, would help India to increase its share in world trade in electronic devices.

IndiaSoft  was inaugurated on 5th March and the buyer – seller (B2B) meetings would be held till 27th of this month – interspersed with global conferences that would focus digital opportunities in different regions. The flagship event of Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council (ESC) specifically tailored for bringing ICT MSMEs across the world IndiaSoft has entered its 21st edition. Over the years, the platform has helped in hand holding Indian companies with thousands of overseas ICT buyers, creating businesses worth several million dollars.

Echoing the same views Mr. Deepak Bagla, CEO-Invest India said that the focus on digitization in the country was unprecedented, redefining India’s position in digital trade while attracting investments. This inflection point is marked not only by the digitization but by large scale inflow of foreign investment, notwithstanding the pandemic which disrupted the global demand and supply chains, he said, adding that between April -December, during the peak of lockdown, the FDI flow to India was the highest, indicating that the country was, by and large, insulated from the fallout of the pandemic.

India, Mr. Bagla said, attracted  US$ 67.54  billion FDI  during April to December 2020- the highest ever inflow for the first nine months of a financial year and 22 per cent higher as compared to the first nine months of 2019-20, which stood at US$55.14 billion.

Exhorting investors to focus on India for their investments, Mr. Bagla said that most of the FDI flows including in the IT and ITeS sectors were through the automatic route and sizeable percentage (40%) was in the Greenfield projects. He also said that Indian ICT MSMEs and startups, which are known for their inherent strengths for frugal innovation, were ideally suited for collaborations and joint ventures by overseas companies.

Earlier, welcoming the delegates from 76 countries Mr. Nalin Kohli, Chairman IndiaSoft  and past Chairman, ESC, quoting a Mackenzie Report said that Indian ICT sector  would emerge as a one trillion dollar segment by 2025 , making its presence felt in segments like telemedicine, e-education, e-commerce etc, which could unleash a lot of wealth and create gainful employments to millions. Our products and solutions are frugal and that way cost effective and customer base is widely spread out, he said, while adding that India offered products and solutions of all ranges “basic to most complex.

Mr. Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, IT, Government of Telangana, while inviting investors to his State endowed with an excellent digital ecosystem said that many IT Fortune 500 companies like Amazon, Apple, Google, Salesforce  etc have their offices in the State and some of those offices are  their second largest office complexes after the US, where they are incorporated. Being the second largest IT hub in India after Bengaluru , he said,  the State  has the presence of 1400 IT companies of all hues “large, medium, small and startups. Hyderabad, the capital city is known for having a string of R&D centers being set up by global  IT giants, leveraging the large number of  highly skilled and technology savvy professionals, he said while inviting MSME sectors from all over the world to take advantage of the unique features of the State.

Dr. Omkar Rai, Director General, Software Technology Parks in India (STPI) mentioned about the centers of excellence and incubators coming up in India under the purview of STPI as a part of its extended activities other than that of a medium for facilitating India’s software and data exports. India has developed unique digital platforms like unique identification numbers, e-commerce backbone, education portals etc, which would be relevant to many developing and even developed world. He also referred to the increasing number of Unicorns in the digital space in India and the number of such entities would go up  in the coming years.

Ms Anat Bernstein Reich Israel, Managing Partner, A&G Partners,  Israel, while referring to the relevance of precision agriculture developed in Israel said that it was ideally suited to the Indian conditions. The modern agriculture is technology, particularly IT driven, be it relating to irrigation, application of organic pesticides, seeds and marketing and by using a mobile phone the farmer can access these services, which can make possible breakthroughs in the agricultural production, quality and income of the people she said, adding that most of such mobile based technologies are relevant to Indian situation.

Mr. Ashok Kumar Chauhan
, Managing Director & CEO of Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE)  explained how his organization was enabling MSMEs in India to access their required  resources from the capital market, thereby reducing their dependence on banking institutions. We are engaging MSMEs through our well calibrated training modules to orient them how to raise resources from the capital market to meet their funding requirements, be it a US$ 1000 or 10 million,he added.

Mr. S Radhakrishnan, Past Chairman, ESC stressing  the need for cyber security and said that as digitization takes concrete shape world-wide in the new normal  with increased stress on work from home,  digital cash transactions etc. This, he said, called for cyber security and protection of data.

Mr. Gurmeet Singh, Executive Director, ESC while proposing the Vote of Thanks pledged that ESC would continue to play an important role in facilitating hand holdings between Indian and overseas companies in the digital space.

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