Incentivising R&D, empowering startups and making credit cheaper will help India in its journey towards self-reliance and make it a telecom and technology hub, industry executives said on Wednesday.
During a webinar -- organised by the Foreign Correspondents' Club of South Asia (FCC) -- on India's campaign towards self-reliance, panelists were of the view that policy initiatives, public-private partnerships and an enabled entrepreneurship ecosystem down to the last mile are needed to leapfrog the country towards an 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' (self-reliant India) with a USD 5 trillion economy.
"Atmanirbhar Bharat does not mean turning away from international trade. In fact, we want to become the enabler of international trade by taking lead in supply chain.
"India can adopt and change but we need leadership from the government in making Atmanirbhar Bharat a reality. I am glad the Modi government has given a clarion call," Tech Mahindra MD and CEO CP Gurnani was quoted as saying in a statement by FCC.
He added that there is a need to convert this into a momentum and increase consumption for India to be self-reliant now.
The comments come at a time when there is demand from various quarters for boycotting Chinese goods and products in India amid rising tensions between the two countries at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh.
"We have talent and we must monetise our capacity to create value. There is a tremendous amount of opportunity in terms of creating value within the country.
"We do not invest heavily in R&D and hence, have been left behind in the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) game," Cellular Operators Association of India Director General Rajan Mathews said.
He added that while R&D has to be incentivised, there is also a need to consider open source as a serious business opportunity and become smarter at trade negotiations.
"There is a need to prioritise two-three specific industries as other countries have done. We must make credit cheaper and get money into the hands of people who can create value. We need to empower start-ups and individuals to develop our capacities," he said.
Dinesh Tyagi, CEO of CSC e-Governance Services India, said it has created ICT-enabled rural enterprises in the country.
"We are working on all the services for rural people towards building empowered and digitally inclusive society...With the help of technology, we are building Atmanirbhar Bharat. It talks about empowerment of communities through CSCs," he said.