WASHINGTON — A section of Indian American techies who have made a mark for themselves in the highly-competitive Silicon Valley area of California see tremendous opportunity in the ambitious “Digital India” plan of the India Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government.
Prakash Bhalerao, a successful entrepreneur and venture capitalist, believes India is moving up the value chain from being in the service industry to a product development paradigm.
The early venture capitalists investing in India replicated successful business models of Silicon Valley like Flipkart (based on Amazon) and Ola Cabs (based on Uber) and they have given good return to the VCs, Bhalerao said at a panel discussion on Digital India in Sunnyvale, Calif.
However, this could change as new products for Indian markets are now beginning to emerge, according to Bhalerao.
“We believe Prime Minister Modi sees an important role of technology and innovation from Silicon Valley in his plan of making India transition from a developing nation to a developed nation,” said Khanderao Kand, director of big data at Oracle and founder of the Global Indian Technology Professionals Organization.
Kand added there is an overwhelming sentiment of techies and entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley who are eager to welcome Modi.
Ashok Banerjee, chief technology officer and vice president of engineering at Symantec, said the lack of digitization leads to long delays in getting services and healthcare. This results in a lack of transparency and corruption in the system.
Observing that in India a lot of productivity is lost due to waiting in queues to get things done, Banerjee said this could easily be done online in the U.S.
“Privacy concerns are everywhere, but that does not mean you do not digitize, but instead you do it in a secure fashion,” he said.
Banerjee added that without digitization and sharing of data securely, such high-value companies like AirBnB would not have come into existence; the popularity of these services indicate that people are willing to share their information as long as they are secured by an entity or government policies.
According to Bhalerao, for the “StartUP India” mantra to succeed and to replicate Silicon Valley in India, one will need to attract people from other nations and provide better infrastructure and connectivity.
“India missed the industrial revolution due to colonization, but the mobile revolution should not be missed,” he said.