India is the world’s largest democracy and is slated to be the next big superpower. We have heard this a lot in the recent past, and will possibly hear a lot more, now that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in the USA. The Prime Minister’s Digital India Campaign is gathering a lot of attention, and the biggest testament to this are the conversations that he has had with the heads of Apple, Qualcomm, Google, Adobe, Cisco and Microsoft, over the past weekend.
Yesterday, at Facebook’s Town Hall, PM Modi spoke about his plans for the Digital India campaign. Incidentally, Modi shared a sentimental moment from his childhood, about his struggles of growing up and the influence of his mother, that gave a very personal touch to a meet with the world’s tech leaders.
PM Modi has already spoken to some of the top CEOs in Silicon Valley. “If there was ever a gathering under one roof that could claim to be shaping the world, it is this. The status that now matters is not whether you are awake or asleep, but whether you are online or offline. The most fundamental debate for our youth is the choice between Android, iOS or Windows,” Modi said to an audience that included Apple’s Tim Cook, Microsoft's Satya Nadella, and Google's Sundar Pichai, among others.
The mood has generally been upbeat, and the world is bullish on Modi’s venture to bring rural areas into the connectivity map. Among positive support from many, Google has extended support to bring WiFi connectivity to 500 railway stations across the country. Services are expected to begin as soon as 2016.
Low cost broadband has been a part of the government’s initiative for quite some time, and with the Digital India campaign, it has the promise of becoming reality. Nadella has expressed Microsoft’s plans to help the government bring low cost broadband to five lakh villages. Adding more on further improving urban India, Nadella added, “We believe low cost broadband connectivity coupled with the scale of cloud computing and the intelligence that can be harnessed from data can help drive creativity, efficiency and productivity across governments and businesses of all size. This is turn will create global opportunities for India.”
Qualcomm has also announced its intention to invest upto $150 million in Indian startup companies across all stages, as part of its commitment to India during a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Digital Economy event in San Jose. Qualcomm Ventures will advise and direct Qualcomm’s activities with respect to these strategic investments.
Qualcomm has been investing in promising Indian startups since 2007, and there are more than 20 Indian companies that are already part of its global portfolio.
“We share Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. India is at the cusp of a technology revolution and mobile technologies will lay the foundation for Digital India,” said Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, Executive Chairman, Qualcomm Inc. “We are committed to providing local innovative start-ups with the support needed to help India’s IOE ecosystem grow, increasing consumer choice and availability.”
With major tech giants interested in tapping into India’s future as a burgeoning market, the situation is advantageous for the Government in improving the status of lifestyle across the nation.