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Accelerating the Digital Economy through SEZs

Indranil Dasgupta, CEO, SREI Capital
Friday, October 7, 2016
Indranil Dasgupta, CEO, SREI Capital
Headquartered in Kolkata, SREI is a Financial Services company specializing in Infrastructure Project Finance, Advisory & Development, Infrastructure Equipment Finance, Alternative Investment Funds, Capital Market, and Insurance Broking. It has 30,000+ customer base, with over Rs.34,400 crore worth of Consolidated Assets Under Management.

Digital transformation touches nearly every aspect of our lives today in a profound manner, helping us do things more easily, conveniently, and cost-effectively. The new digital economy that is taking shape around us has transformed our lifestyles � from our social interactions to the way we work, commute, shop, entertain ourselves, and much more.

The pace of technology innovation has never been faster with information becoming widely accessible, and much more democratized. The application of technology to solve nearly every problem we face in our daily lives has given rise to an entrepreneurial revolution that involves not only a large number of people boarding the startup bandwagon, but also great business model innovation. In this scenario, some notable Indian companies have carved a niche for themselves both in the consumer internet space, as well as in the B2B space. However, it is worth noting that too few Indian companies have actually succeeded in making an impact at the global level compared to the overall interest in starting up. Although the reasons for this are varied, there are certain tangible factors that invariably frustrate Indian entrepreneurs, and here I discuss some of those �

One factor that holds Indian entrepreneurs back is �ease of doing business�, or rather, the lack of ease in doing business. Another factor is poor physical infrastructure that slows down turnaround times, reduces operational efficiency, and increases cost of doing business. Yet another is the lack of a proper ecosystem with easy access to capital, protection for IPR, and availability of talent.

The government recently launched several initiatives like Startup India, Skill India, Digital India, and Make in India to address these issues. Although each programme has specific objectives pertaining to specific functions, the common thread is that they encourage and support job creation as a means to economic development. Laudable as they are, the trickledown effect of the benefits of these initiatives will take time to manifest at the ground level.

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