Bezos, Nadella, Zuckerberg, Pichai, Masayoshi: Ok, they were here but still...

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Global executives in India but still
India saw the arrival of a number of big personalities from the world of technology in the last one month or more. From Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Microsoft's Satya Nadella, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Google's Sundar Pichai (a top official of the giant) to SoftBank's Masayoshi Son paid visit to India which has promised a lot under a new leadership that took over at the Centre in May this year.

These leaders' arrival in India makes evident the fact that India offers a massive market for mobile phones and technology, has a largely young population and has a government at its helm that aspires to achieve a Digital India to strengthen the Information Technology infrastructure with more governance on e-governance. In a nutshell, the footfall of global technological executives speaks volume about India's potential in this realm.

But just consider another fact vis-a-vis this. In October, a delegation of digital entrepreneurs from India visited China and met representatives of top Chinese companies like Baidu, TenCent and Alibaba, which play a significant role in that country's growth story.

Both are positive stories but there is a slight difference between the stories of the two neighbours. While the Chinese have somewhat limited the access of global giants to their own market and shield its domestic digital business, India has left its doors ajar for the global corporations and allowed them to dominate on its soil. Whether India can make the digital phenomenon its own growth story like the Chinese depends on how Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government executes its 'Make in India' plan which was launched in September.

India has done a great job in slowly shifting away from the ideals of the Nehruvian economy but the job is definitely not finished. The government needs to outline ways to boost the domestic digital scenario and back indigenous companies to compete at the highest level.

This is easier said than done but with the backing of the majority in the Lok Sabha, the current Indian government has the best chance to make the Indian dream come true.

But if it chooses not to back the initiative it has taken and remains passive as was the case previously, the country will fall back in the competition with the Chinese. In the cold struggle for supremacy, India has to make the digital a weapon vis-a-vis the Chinese. Only action at the borders won't suffice.

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