India is still fighting the battle against Covid-19 pandemic. A hard battle with most of the odds against the country.
The pandemic has plunged the world into a virtual freeze. With the necessary norms like social distancing, lockdowns put in place to stop the virus from spreading a lot of industries experienced a virtual knock out blow. Businesses just ‘Stopped’. Cash or credit changing hands is the basis of any economy. But with the Covid-19 pandemic, this basic activity just came to a standstill, the reason being people were expected to sustain on basic needs remaining in the closed and secure confinements of their homes.
And this was not only happening in a huge country like India, but in countries all over the world. In just a span of five months, some business behemoths are planning to put in place overriding polices to offset this sudden upheaval and impending losses. Some have declared bankruptcy; some are trying hard to function on lesser resources.
Though the battle against Covid is ongoing, there is a bigger war of economic back lash which needs to fought. All political and business leaders know this- and probably for the first time the whole world is on a common platform- ‘Times ahead are hard, and we need to pull up our socks’.
The largest differentiator in this economic war is- we cannot expect any foreign investments coming our way. Every country is economically affected, and every country is going to first invest into making their own economy strong. So obviously we have to make to do with what we have, and make the most of it.
On 12th May 2020, Modi PM of India, proposed ‘Vocal for Local’ – which simply meant ‘Stop being dependant. Let’s be independent, self-reliant and self-sustaining first, and one day we will supply to the world’. An astounding effort, but logical and the only way forward at the moment.
The obvious first question which pops up
Is it possible?
The pessimists will disagree, the optimists will agree, the encouraged will say ‘Let’s give it a try’.
So, where all can India be self-sufficient?
Obviously in industries where there will be a local demand and better still if the international business community needs it too. Some verticals which come to my mind are:
India is considered the IT sweat shop of the world. It has always been said, why wasn’t Facebook created in India? Nobody has an exact answer, by the possibilities have arisen now. With lakhs of IT engineers being churned out of our universities every year, there should be absolutely no problem in having a Zukerberg, an Elon Musk, a Jeff Bezos in the ranks. It is known that, email was created by an Indian- Shiva Ayyadurai, Satya Nadella and Sundar Pichai are from India itself. India has the brains and the ability to put in efforts.
Whether forecasts, space imagery, research is a huge market with billions of investments. ISRO, the flag bearer of space technology in our country, has being the driving force. ISRO cannot survive on its own. It will require quality focused vendors to supply parts and set up processes for the precision work they require. This is a huge opportunity for start-ups.
Infrastructure & Communication technology
One of the disabilities India has, is a fractured infrastructure. Its time to make it strong and extremely efficient. From a road building perspective, India has one of the toughest geographies in the world. Nevertheless, we still built the Konkan railway and connected the complete western coast through rail. India has built roads in the highest terrain. Internet has reached almost every village and people have started communicating. It’s time to put in place the pieces in the jigsaw puzzle.
India was the first country in the world to set up a ministry of non-conventional energy resources (Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE)). A huge country like India, has terrains which can generate power from solar, wind, water, biomass. As of 2018, India is ranked 4th in Wind power, 5th in Solar power and 5th in renewable power installed capacity It’s a question of time and dedicated efforts that India can be no. 1.
Agriculture and Farming
With efficiently executed green revolution campaigns, India has taken care of the man on the farms. As of 2018, India is the largest producer of pulses in the world. India’s annual milk production was 165 MT, making it the largest producer of milk. It is the second-largest producer of rice, wheat, sugarcane, cotton and groundnuts, as well as the second-largest fruit and vegetable producer, accounting for 10.9% and 8.6% of the world fruit and vegetable production, respectively. The country is almost self-sufficient, its time to put in that little extra to make it completely self-sufficient.
Closer to home, we have multiple examples which can add exponential value in the tryst with Self-sufficiency. Companies like Fideltech with its L10n solution has the ability to provide localised language solutions taking into consideration cultural adaptations. Linguasol offers to seamlessly translate websites, not only in international languages but languages in India too. Imagine the potential that can be unleashed once these solutions are implemented in the right manner. During the recent news about Facebook Inc.’s investment in JIO platforms, Mark Zukerberg CEO had said “we’re committing to work together on some major projects that will open up commerce opportunities for people across India.” – signifies the importance to go local in India.
The five pillars as declared; economy, infrastructure, technology driven system, vibrant demography and demand if injected with the vaccine of revitalization- the country can be and will be on the right track to achieve an economic boom. The road ahead is tough, but as said ‘anything got easy, doesn’t last long’.
So, my friends – effective efforts and positive energy is what we have- lets make the most of it!
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