11 Jan Digital India… the new normal
With the covid 19 came numerous opportunities. Work from Home, work from anywhere was the call from India Inc. Economy had to pick up and for this economic activities had to keep moving and adding value. The way forward is the digital highway, built by the Telecom players in the early part of this century. It is much faster, cheaper, and productive to operate this way. This would call for a lot of adjustments and agreements both from the corporates as well the employees. It needs to evolve, the future may belong to the gig economy and we may not need a payroll as we have. We may see the economy moving faster in tier 2 and tier 3 cities.
In all this chaos the market price of Reliance moved from a mere 1000 rupees to a high of 1900 rupees in a matter of 10 weeks. These 10 weeks is a memorable period in the history of India. There was a string of investments starting with Facebook to Qualcomm. There is a lot of merit in what this partnership can do and what benefits they bring to the Indian consumer. This could bring to the fore the power of the Indian middle-class households. the 600 million households that all FMCG have been taking for decades.
This fascinates me and allows me to fantasize about the future of digital India, having been a part of the initial growth story of this Industry also allows me this indulgence. It’s not what Reliance and FB could do together with WhatsApp, but what this does to the international Investors. I remember Jagdish Seth’s theory of three and therefore we will see more action and soon. I would love to look at Google who has just announced a 10 billion fund to invest in digital India, team up with Airtel the Leader of the pack. Along with these partnerships if I am allowed to dream more then I see Amazon coming in with their might. They may also bring in smaller tech players who have created platforms and have been engaging with retailers and who understand the coming together of FMCG distribution powered by technology. Earlier one of the highlights of the Telecom revolution was the outsourcing story that was presented to the world. Now it could just be the partnering story, as the markets are now moving from competing to co-creating. Together there is solidarity and commitment.
In all this, a valid question is what will happen to Voda Idea. They have built an asset that cannot be ignored. It would be attractive to investors who were simply off the mark a fraction late. Investors could be waiting to see the response from the parent company of Vodafone . or the first move from Idea. whatever they are waiting for I am sure Voda Idea will be a player in the game.