While India has made rapid strides in software development and IT-enabled Services, the uncomfortable truth remains that India still does not have a genuinely world-class digital product with significant global success or presence. All of this looks to change – thanks to some crucial developments in geopolitics. What is important to note here is although these developments have led to hardships and a rougher economic climate, it also lends itself to an era of mass experimentation and innovation at a scale that organizations could only dream of. India has long been regarded as the IT back office of the world. Armed with a huge demographic of English speaking and engineering graduates, the country could afford to provide digital services at scale and cheaper rate than anywhere else in the world. With the services industry maturing and newer digital models, India needs to transition to building world-class software products built entirely on home grown tech platforms utilizing indigenous digital talent that innovates on a unique petri dish of local tastes, experiences and culture.
Build-in-India – How does it impact the digital India story?
The Digital India story has been one of the most significant policy successes of the past decade. Egged on by a government that understood the power of digitization and it’s transformative capabilities, the Digital India story is, in many ways, a successful example of how long term policy and regulatory push coupled with enterprise-level financial backing for innovative business models can transform an industry. Nowhere is this more important than in the financial services and banking industry. The financial sector has undergone massive digitization from the early 2000s to where it stands today. And the job is still not done – organizations are pivoting towards newer digital models for disbursal of services, especially in a post Covid world. While banks & financial firms worldwide struggle to play catch up with the devastation wrecked by the Coronavirus, especially due to disruption of ongoing services, the story has been markedly different in India. While being essential services, banks and financial services took the disruption in its stride as it made a quick transition to remote working and resorted to digital channels to disburse services when physical channels such as branch banking were affected due to the pandemic. The sectoral transformation in the past decade can be largely credited with the minimal disruption of services for a large sector of the population who could access services without significant disruption through digital channels. It also helped a large set of the population to follow and comply with stay-at-home orders to fight the pandemic.
However, all these mask the fact that the Digital India story has primarily been confined to one industry – BFSI. Other more traditional service-based industries have undergone significant disruption and are slowly opening up to the possibilities that digital can truly bring to the table. It is also important to note that while there was a historical lack of awareness regarding digital and it’s impact on operations, industries also didn’t feel the impetus for digitizing their services considering consumer sentiment. However, this is now changing. Consumers are increasingly demanding more digital services. Another area of significant concern for a lot of large scale enterprises revolves around data privacy and storage. Firms aren’t comfortable having their customer data stored somewhere on the global cloud platform, which they do not have access to. Also, the lack of completely home-grown platforms that cater to end-to-end digitization severely dented these industries’ digital prospects. However, that reality is beginning to change. A clutch of home-grown platforms are making their mark felt across industries. With their feature sets uniquely tweaked to cater to local requirements, these platforms are a better option for many firms compared to expensive customizations that are required to be implemented upon already expensive enterprise SaaS and PaaS products available in the market. Most of these SaaS and PaaS products are imported from elsewhere, which means their traditional feature sets do not necessarily reflect the local requirements and the time and effort to build such custom elements are inordinately high.
With Build-in-India becoming a rallying cry for governments and consumers alike, the next phase of products will be built on such home grown platforms that can both leverage local talent as well as cater to local requirements and sensibilities.
How Vahana empowers the Build-in-India model
Decimal’s home grown technology platform, Vahana is an example of a completely indigenous PaaS model which has been built and envisaged around providing services that meet unique local requirements and problem statements and use cases that we are trying to solve. It’s a native platform that combines best-in-class security features tested with all major banks and FIs, custom modules and design elements that cater to specific requirements and use cases found in the country as well as a gateway to one of the largest local digital ecosystem in the country. With over 30 partners providing digital web services across the spectrum, Vahana truly symbolizes the spirit of Build-in-India.
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