The 27th Convergence India 2019 expo and conference, has seen industry leaders and government representatives discuss on the most important topics and trends pertaining to areas like digitization, fintech, telecom, IoT, cloud & big data, mobile technologies, and digital transformation in India. The three-day exhibition and concurrent conference sessions have focused on the digital landscape of the country, along with the roadmap to ensuring better connectivity of each citizen and facilitating better delivery of key services of governance.
Mr. Vinay Thakur, Director – Project Development, National eGovernance Division, Ministry of Electronics and IT, said during a panel discussion titled ‘Digital transformation in India: Progress and challenges’, “Good governance through the Aadhaar-enabled Payment System (AePS) has been an area of focus for the government in the last four years. We have transferred a total of around INR 5.6 lakh crore across to beneficiaries of NREGA, LPG subsidies, etc. using AePS. In addition, we are currently facilitating 9.1 crore electronic transactions such as passport services, land records, etc. through the e-governance portal. The government is also focusing extensively on developing BharatNet to bridge the digital divide between the urban and rural areas of the country. Out of around 2.5 lakh gram panchayats in the country, we have reached about 1.22 lakh, and our aim is to reach each and every household across all the regions. Moreover, the government has deployed more than 7,000 websites and 960 key applications on the cloud for faster delivery of services and improvements in the tech infrastructure.”
During the ‘Digital transformation in India: Progress and challenges’panel discussion, Dr. Subi Chaturvedi, Senior President, YES Bank, said, “The internet is a great leveller since it brings both men and women online, which holds great significance for the growth of the digital ecosystem. The focus of digitization should be on interoperability between different service providers. For this, we need to start preparing start-ups to follow the principles of interoperability when they are developing technologies or solutions. Furthermore, being a part of the global economy and market, our start-up ecosystem needs to be integrated with the rest of the world with a focus on creating and following good practices by itself, and not just the best practices prescribed by others.”
Dr. Chaturvedi further added, “We need to create a workforce of the future along with adopting AI, and emphasize on re-skilling the current force. The transformation that is about to take place will require higher investments towards digital capacity building. My last recommendation is that we need a stable regulatory and policy environment, as well as a collaborative ecosystem comprising businesses, governments, academia, the media, and the citizens to achieve a successful holistic transformation of the society.”
Speaking during a panel session on ‘Fintech: Mobile and Digital banking changing the face of money’, Shri Nitin Jain, Co-founder, Ofbusiness, “Technology is changing how we operate as well as the element of trust in the financial services and banking industry. From the first phase of digital transformation which focused on being asset-light and connecting buyers and sellers, we are moving to the second phase which is that of decentralisation. While blockchain is one of the most promising technologies out there that can bring about true decentralisation of banking and finance, we are still at very early days of this technology. But what will be the defining technologies over the next five years are artificial intelligence and machine learning.”
During the same panel discussion, Shri Probir Roy, Co-founder, PayMate India, said, “India is set to reach approximately USD 450 billion worth of transactions by 2022. The retail lending sector has the biggest untapped opportunity and fintech will play a very important role in developing the market for digitally driven lending services. However, it will be imperative to improve digital and financial literacy to tap into the rural sector, where the scale of opportunity is comparatively much greater than the urban markets where the presence of fintech is more widespread at present.” On India’s digital growth vis a vis that of China, Shri Roy said, “There is certainly a lot we can learn from China in terms of how to boost digital transactions among consumers and make it widespread. But we need to realize that the industry model in China and India is vastly different. While the former has a fintech industry dominated by two conglomerates, the Indian market needs to foster multiple fintech players who should both challenge as well as collaborate with the traditional banking sector.”
Organized by India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) and Exhibitions India Group, the event builds upon Government of India’s ‘Digital India’ and ‘Make in India’ initiatives through a display of a vast array of products pertaining to fields such as ICT, IT & ITeS, broadcast & digital media, emerging technologies & enterprise solutions, virtual & augmented reality, artificial intelligence, robotics, cloud services, semiconductor manufacturing, etc.