'Modi's US visit can transform India by making it easier to do business'

Washington, Sep 26: Looking at the euphoria surrounding Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Silicon Valley, analysts have suggested that it can indeed spark India's tech economy provided he can make it easier to do business with his country.

"The euphoria arises partly because Indians here are still optimistic that Modi will transform India - after decades of economic stagnation under socialist governments," writes Vivek Wadhwa, an Indian-American tech entrepreneur turned academic.

'Modi's US visit can transform India'

"But his greater appeal to the tech community is due to his being one of the world's few truly tech-savvy leaders," he wrote in a column in the Washington Post

But the CEOs of Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Adobe who are lining up to meet Modi "need to ensure that there be no regulatory roadblocks in India, which will have a market twice as large as the US market", Wadhwa writes.

"But my hope is that it goes beyond the star power and that Modi gets to see the can-do attitude of Silicon Valley's entrepreneurs," he said, taking note of exponentially advancing technologies they are using.

Wadhwa cites several examples of what is possible for India - and what Modi needs to support.

These include smart cities, sharing economy, health apps, devices, and genomics, education, agriculture and turning children into innovators.

Hoping "Modi will take back with him a grand vision of the future; an understanding of what has become possible", Wadhwa said, "his challenge is to inspire Indian entrepreneurs to achieve to the same degree as their kin in Silicon Valley".

The Wall Street Journal said Silicon Valley wants Modi to deliver on two of his government's promises: making it easier to do business with India, and making the country's taxes more transparent.

Investors, according to the Journal, say that despite the rhetoric, investing in India remains bureaucratic, weighed with paperwork and rules and regulations.

Investors also want more transparency and simplification in India's tax system, it said.

Some investors, the Journal said, want "the government should create a more conducive environment for entrepreneurs to set up business or create products in India".


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