At CLSA event, Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran reveals what will solve 2 key problems in India
Technology can help India navigate its two key problems: creating enough jobs for its fast-growing, working class population and addressing the critical challenge of access to vital services. The route map is tricky, with legacy policy frameworks and access to capital just two of the roadblocks.
CLSA India Forum to share Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran perspective on how technology can help India navigate its two key problems: creating enough jobs for its fast-growing, working class population and addressing the critical challenge of access to vital services. The route map is tricky, with legacy policy frameworks and access to capital just two of the roadblocks. However, Chandra’s prescription is emphatic on two points: don’t wait for all the enablers to get into place to start and keep the contextual perspective while leveraging technology.
India’s twin challenges: jobs and access
Chandrasekaran believes India faces a unique challenge. On one hand, there are not enough jobs for over one million people who are joining the working age population every month and on the other hand, there is a critical shortage of access to vital services such as healthcare, education and the judiciary system. For example, India will need over 600,000 doctors, 2.5 million nurses and a million teachers over the next decade. He believes technology can help bridge the gap between the demand and supply of skills.
Technology as the creator of jobs:
Chandrasekaran believes technology, when applied with a contextual perspective, does not disrupt an existing market but creates a new one. For instance, in healthcare services, the right technology tools can help take the load off junior doctors, nurses and the health infrastructure. Many pre-diagnosis activities can be converted into a checklist programmed into a handheld device that can be used by someone without clinical training. Thus, technology could help free up the time and capacity of experts for a more optimal use. However, this would require policy changes (such as doing away with the requirement of a doctor being physically present in the same room as the patient to write a prescription, which is critical for tele-medicine to take-off.
Developing the ‘bridgital’ clusters:
In the Indian context, one of the key challenges is that a large section of the economy is in small businesses and micro-level entrepreneurs in the informal sector which limits optimal utilisation of resources. Chandrasekaran cited the example of how Bangaluru has become a successful case of how the development of a concurrent ecosystem, access to capital, the skill pool and policy intervention can help in scaling-up small and mid-sized enterprises. He believes the Bangaluru model can be replicated across the nation to create what he terms as the ‘bridgital’ clusters. Chandra believes a start should still be made even though there are several limitations and many of the enablers are still not in place. Chandra also emphasised the need for a contextual perspective while applying technology to reimagine the access model for a critical service.
From thoughts to actions:
See Zee Business Live TV Streaming Below:
The concepts of leveraging technology to transform service delivery and to create new jobs can be applied across sectors such as judiciary, logistics, agriculture, healthcare and education. The Tata group is focussing on the latter two for on-the-ground pilots. It is working to establish Indian Institutes of Skills (IIS) in Mumbai and Ahmedabad jointly with the Union Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship in a public-private partnership mode. Tata Consultancy Services has leveraged its experience from working on several IT enablement projects for the public sector (the most notable being the passport Sewa project) to create pilots in hospitals in remote locations such as Kolar.
Chandrasekaran believes the financial model for such ventures is still evolving but once that is in place it should attract significantly higher commercial interest.
Get Latest Business News, Stock Market Updates and Videos; Check your tax outgo through Income Tax Calculator and save money through our Personal Finance coverage. Check Business Breaking News Live on Zee Business Twitter and Facebook. Subscribe on YouTube.