Tuesday, March 31, 2020

 IT can help life of a common man

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 IT can help the life of a common man

(Ankit Agrawal)

 

The IT sector witnessed a massive transformation, just like every other sector, post-1990. Add to this, the rapidly expanding socio-economic infrastructure has been a big boon in supporting the growth of the Indian IT sector story.

The sector has increased its contribution to India’s GDP from 1.2% in 1998 to 7.5% in 2012 and according to NASSCOM, the sector aggregated revenues of US$160 billion in 2017, with export revenue standing at US$99 billion and domestic revenue at US$48 billion, growing by over 13%.

But how does this translate for the common man and the society in general? More loosely, which common man are we talking about who has benefited from IT services? Is it the urban, tech-savvy, professional? Or a struggling entrepreneur? Or the rural masses, who are busy toiling in their fields?

IT as a service is set to deliver for everyone. That is the most basic premise with which I started my company, EG Logics. We not only wish to address the basic IT problems but also bring solutions to the table for a more major initiative. These last few months have witnessed how India is losing her IT shine and charm. It is not due to a dearth of talent, rather, our curriculum is focused on the traditional type of IT from which the world has already moved ahead. Our IT graduates are unable to solve today’s problems: using IT for environmental sustainability, to map global challenges and to address these challenges.

But all is not lost…

With PM Modi launching Digital India and Start-Up India initiatives, this sector received a big boost where actual policies are being formed to bring a new digital revolution in this country. Once the Digital India project takes off, the government will deliver services via mobile connectivity and in doing so, is expected to bring the internet and broadband to remote corners of the country, thus providing the underlying connectivity for e-commerce.

Add to this, the growing penetration of mobile and internet services even to the remotest parts of the country has significantly connected as a digital bridge between the urban and rural areas.

One of the most significant rises in this has been for e-commerce sites and platforms like Snapdeal, Big Basket, Flipkart whereas Myntra, Yep Me are focusing on Tier 2 and 3 cities. Foreign entrants like Walmart and Amazon are already finding tough competition here. All this is thanks to the boom in IT services. Any IT company not focusing on delivering a mobile-first e-commerce platform for FMCG clients are going to miss out big time. The bulk of online transactions already arise from tier 2 and tier 3 cities. This will further expand the reach of the e-commerce market into India’s tier 4 towns and rural areas.

Besides online marketplaces and online retail, other fast-growing areas within the e-commerce space are online travel, deals, and classified listings. Everyone wants information at the touch of their fingertips, literally! From information-seeking to making travel arrangements, a growing number of internet-savvy consumers are posting and accessing classifieds for jobs, large-scale purchases such as property, and even for matrimonial purposes.

Another application where IT is serving the society on a daily basis is in payment gateways, messenger services, and general services. Apart from the e-commerce examples, one cannot deny the role service like PayTM which is increasingly being used today for the daily transaction. With their banking service also coming to play, it is truly disrupting legacy banks. The ease of UI/UX in PayTM has made it easier for people to use this platform. IT gives the support for such services to exist.

Another example is WhatsApp. Gone are the SMS days. Have you noticed how people are not using the SMS language anymore? And the most frequently asked question when sharing number is “Are you on WhatsApp?” From simple text message to making a call or video call and now even a payment gateway is all thanks to the power of IT and their tech team.

And who can forget the power unleashed by Mukesh Ambani’s Jio early last year! Not only did it challenge the legacy telecom service providers, they also started giving cheap data for their early customers. They are also now expanding the Direct-To-Home (DTH) services. Imagine the IT play here. Not only are they connecting individuals but they are also creating an ecosystem, one platform for making a call to watching your favorite TV show.

With increasing mobile and internet depth across the country, information is freely traveling thanks to the increasing use of social media. Various brands, service providers, institutes are using this medium to connect directly with their prospective audience. It was once said, if you don’t have a website, you don’t exist. Just replace the word website with social media and you get the picture!

So has IT benefited the common man and the Indian society? I would like to think so, considering we are now living in a truly connected world, where information and transactions are flowing freely across geographical distances. Increasing accessibility has led to increased connectivity.

 

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