TALK BY MOHANDAS PAI: India at 2030 – How Tech Entrepreneurship Will Create A $10 Trillion Economy
November 30, 2016 – By Travis Miller
MR Rangaswami (Sand Hill Group), Mohandas Pai (Angel Investor, former CFO at Infosys)
“India is optimizing to empower problem solvers. Startups will be the force multiplier to catapult the country into a $10 trillion economy by 2030.”
This was the exciting thesis proposed by T.V. Mohandas Pai when The Hive Think Tank hosted him in Silicon Valley on November 21, 2016. Pai’s talk is recorded and you can watch it here. Pai, who has invested in over 120 Indian startups, approaches the industry with an illustrious background: Padma Shri awardee, Board Member of the National Stock Exchange of India, former CFO of Infosys, co-founder of Akshaya Patra and the list goes on. Angel Investor Ram Reddy began the evening by introducing Pai as the “single strongest proponent of the startup ecosystem in India.” Rolling through slides rich with statistics, Pai discussed India’s current and projected economic growth. Pai claimed that by 2030, China and India would return to accounting for around 45% of nominal gross world product – restoring the two nation-states to the prominence they once held before the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. He listed a number of factors that are set to fuel India’s projected 9% compound annual growth rate: high internal consumption, an incredibly large and young population, a strong industrial base, and a recent reduction in both subsidy leakage and inflation. Amidst such favorable projections, Pai pinpointed India’s greatest challenge: its low productivity of people.
Pai’s proposed solution? Tech entrepreneurship.
India is the third largest startup ecosystem in the world. It has 20,000 startups with an estimated market value of $80 billion. In ten years as India’s young, tech-savvy demographic continues to dream big this number is estimated to grow to 100,000 startups, second only to the US. This growth, Pai claimed, will be subsidized all the more by a substantial increase in the number of smartphone users and an intensified use of open API platforms. Specifically, Pai highlighted India Stack: a cutting-edge set of open APIs allowing governments, businesses, and developers to leverage a formalized and digitized domestic economy.
Such strong foundations and forward momentum, Pai asserted, will bring the costs of doing business down, employ millions, and lift 30 million small and medium-sized enterprises off the ground: to a measure that could increase market size by 10x to 50x. This progression, Pai believes, will be why India’s gap of low productivity will be predominately solved by the startup ecosystem, smartphone penetration, and the India Stack.
At the end of the evening, M.R. Rangaswami of Sand Hill Group hosted an interactive Q&A session with Pai. Pai answered questions surrounding a wide array of topics: India’s recent demonetization, the Make in India campaign, intellectual property issues, and B2B versus B2C startup growth. The Q&A session resounded with a call to action for the audience. Pai lobbied for a stronger and more vibrant Bangalore-Silicon Valley corridor. He beckoned the hundreds of innovators, builders, and leaders in attendance to become catalysts for Indian entrepreneurship: through investment, connection-making, and boots-on-the-ground mentorship.
“Together, we can change India!” Pai exclaimed. “Together, we can make India a $10 trillion economy by 2030.”
Check out also The Hive Think Tank upcoming events.