India expected to become a $ 5 trillion economy in 8-9 years: Suresh Prabhu

India is expected to become a $5 trillion economy in the next 8-9 years, with the manufacturing sector alone contributing 20 per cent to that. This was stated by Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce and Industry, at the 12th India Digital Summit, organised by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). He further said, “Therefore, we are preparing a detailed plan for what will be going in that manufacturing.” Experts who are involved in manufacturing are preparing the roadmap and including all sectors where manufacturing can be promoted. The Minister noted that if manufacturing alone is digitised, it will create a huge opportunity for technology firms. 

He also mentioned that he is currently working on a strategy for international trade, which will contribute $2 trillion to the economy, where the contribution can come from both manufacturing and services. “India is not only bridging the digital divide, but also helping people scale up their income,” Prabhu added. 

Earlier, in his address to the delegates, Amitabh Kant, CEO of Niti Aayog, said that every Indian will have a smartphone in the next five years. According to him, this is a period of huge technology disruption in the country. “Today, 85 per cent of the devices are still unconnected. Therefore, there is a huge opportunity in the Internet of Things (IoT) space. The opportunity would be in the range of $70 billion by 2025,” he said. Kant believes that Artificial Intelligence (AI) alone will generate the opportunity to the tune of $32 billion. “Advanced robotics are already handling 25 per cent of the jobs. This will rise to 45 per cent in the coming years,” he added. 

“India is already ranked globally as the most active Internet user globally on a monthly basis. Digital transaction will touch $100 trillion in the next 10 years,” he told the audience. Kant further said that with 99 per cent Aadhaar penetration and bank account opened under Jan Dhan Yojana, the scope was immense for the FinTech industry. 

Addressing the delegates, Aruna Sundararajan, Chairman TC & Secy (IT), Dept of Telecommunication, Govt of India, said that “for Internet of Things (IoT) to happen, we need to have a robust 4G ecosystem in the country and I am hopeful that by the end of this year, we will have a pan-India 4G network availability.” She further mentioned that the Government has constituted a task force for national mission and vision for rolling out 5G network in the country. The taskforce will come out with the roadmap soon and the Dept of Telecommunications is keen on partnering with key telecom providers in the rollout stage. 

Underlining on increasing the internet penetration in the country, she said that the Government aspires to increase the WiFi access points from 40,000 to 5 lakh by the end of 2018. 

Earlier in the day, Rajan Anandan, Chairman, IAMAI & Vice President, Google India & South-East Asia, delivering the inaugural address said that it is an exciting time for Internet in India. Availability of very low cost high speed mobile Internet connection in 2017 moved a slow speed nation to a high speed nation. He also expressed the hope that the next set of unicorns in India will not just be a unicorn, but will be profitable. 

In his address, Ajit Mohan, CEO of Hotstar, said that democratisation of data is happening with growing data consumption in Tier 3 cities.


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