Digital India: A Reality or Myth?
There has been so much hype about Digital India on Television & Social media after PM Modi’s advent to the Silicon Valley. The idea of a Digital India has taken a toll to such amounts that everybody in India who has a Facebook page are giving their profile picture’s a Digital India theme. It certainly looks & feels so good you know that for ages the India that was considered a developing country is now on the path of development or IS IT???
BHARAT fund: New PM’s First major step towards a Digital India
BHARAT stands for “Better Healthcare, Agriculture, Renewables and Technology” is major initiative taken by India in collaboration with the US to help disruptive Startups in India. The aim is to provide corporate contribution to growing industries along with the $150 mil monetary support in order to make them realize their full potential & help India make it’s economy self-sufficient.
The event was organized by NASSCOM in partnership with The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad’s (IIM-A) & Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE). The following along with PM Modi sat on the discussion & proceedings:
- Raid Hoffman (Ex. Chairman & CFO; LinkedIn)
- Naveen Tiwari (Founder CEO; InMobi)
- Ratan N.Tata (Chairman of Tata Trusts & founding member of Bharat Fund)
- Naren Gupta (VC; Nexus Venture Partners, USA)
Further, both Indian and US-based organizations joined hands to promote entrepreneurship in key areas. IIM Ahmedabad’s CIIE announced collaborations with organizations like University of California Berkeley, Google and Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator to promote entrepreneurship in impact and technology areas. Moreover, TiE and NASSCOM announced their partnership to support entrepreneurs in the Valley and India.
RESULT: 7 MoU’s (Memorandums of Understanding) were signed.
Now, Let’s understand what Digital India for us INDIAN’s!
The fact is that that most Start-ups run in India are being operated in tier-1 cities and their focus primarily is the niche crowd, which is indicative by the amount of e-commerce portals popping up in our country which not at all means that the small businesses running in small towns are not thriving but the fact is the Target audience in terms of the customers is basically people who are resourceful & new products are not being developed keeping in mind the actual requirements of majority of Indian crowds i.e. the people living in the suburbs.
The BHARAT fund is target towards new ideas, which will enhance the quality of Indian economy & help develop a self-sustainable model also helping the not so privileged people of India make living and enhance their quality of living.
The Idea’s core:
- A unified effort: Bharat Fund is an endeavor to bring together government, academia and corporate to create an enabling ecosystem and encourage youth to solve India’s key problems by providing them risk capital, prototyping support, guidance and market-access & thus realize the dream of a Digital India.
- Giving the economy the right balance: In today’s time most of the start-ups are creating solutions for urban elites. If one looks at the start-up investment trends over past 2 years, minority of the total investments in India has gone into areas like healthcare, agriculture, energy or affordable technologies for the masses. With the help of Bharat Fund, one can bridge this gap.
- Let focus be on Impact areas: The current Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem is more geared towards e-commerce and solutions for urban privileged consumers, due to which our entrepreneurs and investors miss serving the real Bharat. Now Bharat Fund will enable a significant support towards startups in impact areas.
- Redefining scalable solutions: India needs disruptive ideas and technologies to revolutionize the lives of the masses. Entrepreneurship is one of the most effective means of creating scalable solutions and Bharat Fund is aimed at creating and scaling up innovative solutions for India.
- The much-needed headstart for the suburban population: Start-ups are said to be the catalyst in lighting up the economies and the fortunes of people in rural India. Now with the launch of the Bharat Fund, tech entrepreneurs working closing with the real Bharat to enable them to stand for better health, agriculture, renewable and technologies can receive huge support in developmental areas through prototyping, scale-up funding and in creating conducive environment and ecosystem to thrive.
So, believe me Digital India is not at all about a bunch of Indian people being on Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn changing their DP’s showing support. It’s about understanding the essence of this proposed change & the core idea behind Digital India is that Indian markets don’t crash when FII’s pull out their money, so that small business owners don’t loan out all their assets to get a kickstart. It’s about spreading awareness & information making the people of India assertive so that “we as a nation” can restore its status as the “Golden Bird” it was once considered.
Let me quote PM Modi on Digital India
“We are a nation of 800 million youth below the age of 35 years. They are eager for change; have the energy and drive to pursue it; and, the confidence to achieve it. When each of the 500 odd towns produces 10 startups, and each of our six hundred thousand villages produce 6 small businesses, on a regular basis, we will create an enormous economic momentum and generate a huge number of jobs in our country.”
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