Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani: India to see growth from local consumption’

CHENNAI: Showcasing an “alternate view of the future for India,” Infosys co-founder and ex-chairman UIDAI, Nandan Nilekani drew a promising picture for a digitised India while delivering the inaugural address of the Chennai International Centre on Friday .

Addressing a gathering of students, professors and entrepreneurs, Nilekani said that while people were underestimating automation, the manufacturing outsourcing trend was reversing, with several companies looking at the west as a destination for manufacture.

Refuting the conventional wisdom that exports, manufacturing and large employers will lead growth, Nilekani outlined the key drivers for India’s growth as domestic consumption, services led growth and SMB driven growth – all fuelled by digitisation. Rising smart-phone penetration (700 million smartphone users by 2020), internet penetration (331million users), Aadhaar UID (1 billion users) and India Stack a complete set of APIs for developers which includes Aadhaar for authentication, eKYC, e-sign amongst others, will propel technological disruption and digital connectivity.

With Unified Payment Interface (UPI) set to kick off on July 31st, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana , micro ATMs, mPOS and other financial inclusion programs along with India Stack, Nilekani said merchants and businesses will be able to transact business easily and efficiently.

Talking about manufacturing trends, the NPCI advi sor said, “Robots, Internet of Things (IoT) and 3D printing are some of the technologies that are rapidly changing businesses and processes. With increased automation, technology is enabling manufacturing to move West, citing the example of Foxconn wanting to set up a manufacturing facility in Florida and Adidas in Germany.”

Moving away from the traditional notion that large companies will create jobs, Nilekani said platformisation of employers will trigger job creation.

“Platforms that will act as aggregators providing common services will drive transparency , lower costs and more jobs,” he said.