How Digital India Revolution Is Shaping the Startup Ecosystem

From the streamlined payment system in the form of UPI to cheap internet and emboldened access, we're in the midst of a revolution that will be termed the beginning of India's digital economy.

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By Mayur Sethi Originally published Jun 28, 2022


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Indians have experienced vicarious changes through the ease of the Internet and the availability of devices facilitated by the Digital India Movement. In today's day and age, WhatsApp is synonymous with communication, FaceBook updates are ritualistic to milestones and Google is the one-click Encylopedia we can never get enough of.

It's true that Digital India Movement has supported the startup culture, but we can't ignore that a handful of startups have roped in millions of Indians inside the Internet revolution.

The Beginning Of the Digital India Movement

It's hard to believe that the Digital India Movement isn't even a decade old. Although it certainly feels like it's been here forever. The 2015 scheme launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to connect rural areas with high-speed Internet has certainly paid off, and India is now adding more than 10 lakh active Internet users each month.

Internet Usage: Then vs. Now

Internet usage has penetrated into the fabric of Indian communication and connectivity, the effect of which can be largely seen in the way we go on with our day and do the most menial tasks. As soon as we wake up, we grab our phones and read the news. Personal mobile data plans have been replaced by expandable fiber. Shops without GPay are largely avoided by the suburban crowd. A personal computer in the living room is a relic of the past, as people have moved on to personal laptops. The phenomenon is wide and far-reaching, with major implications for the commercial markets. Venture capitalists now scrooge over to starts up that are accessible via the Internet.

A Seismic Shift

Access to Internet has spearheaded the remote learning revolution in India, which experts believe is just the beginning. In today's day and age, you can learn anything from anyone on the Internet. From data mining to coding, the technical skillsets required to perform these jobs can be acquired sitting at home. The in-demand skillsets of the 21st century, primarily AI, data science, and analytics are driving the conversation and access to them has never been more seamless. The Digital India Movement is one of the main drivers of this change. Youths today are learning to capitalize on this shift by acquiring the most in-demand skills to land a job.

The shift can be narrowed into two basic points:

  • Digitisation has allowed new players to enter the markets.
  • Remote learning has allowed fair and equitable access to high-skilled training for every Indian.

Startups also rely on getting the best talent from everywhere by purposefully foregoing the in-person job requirement. Companies are interested in hiring the best-suited people, regardless of their locations. Digital India Movement has enabled this phenomenon by bridging the gap and offering seamless connectivity to the most remote locations of the country.

Metaverse and Web3

The Digital India Movement has prepared the key players and primary users of the Internet for the next big thing: Web3. Metaverse has been embraced by key players of the 21st-century tech world, including Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey. Metaverse and Web3 bring us one step closer to evolving into a fully immersive and improved Internet wherein we own our data and take control of our information.

Indian startups that lagged behind on the capitulation of Web2 are fully poised to take their users to Web3. The emergence of Web3 also warrants a rising demand for highly trained professionals with the required skillset.

Startups and Digital India

The rapid digitization of our lives has changed the way we conducted our personal and professional business. Startups contribute immensely to this process. From accessing an app to get your groceries to logging into Byju's for your child's schooling — the change has been seismic and favorable. India's digital aspirations have outpaced that of the West. The Subcontinent is now the epicenter of tech innovation powered by a flourishing startup ecosystem. The expansion of Internet access has enabled the customers to shift their loyalty to digital mediums. The companies not ready to adopt these changes have had a hard time balancing their balance sheets.

To be truthful, it is wise for startups to embrace these opportunities rather than show resistance to the process. When it comes to digital offerings, many startups in India leapfrogged in 2020. As per a McKinsey report, the global pandemic accelerated the digital dependency by up to seven years. Businesses interested in keeping their growth momentum must get on with the trend.

Summing Up

India is on the precipice of institutional change, enabled by the Digital India Movement. With 54 per cent population below the age of 25, we can combine the powers of seamlessly connected youth with the best possible opportunities.

Mayur Sethi

Founder & CEO, advertiCe / YellowDigi

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