2021's Pivotal Tech Developments to Take Note

2021's Pivotal Tech Developments to Take Note

Technology has made its presence in various sectors in today's digital landscape. With a growing number of businesses from a wide range of industries and sectors making the switch from manual to digital work processes such as, Communication and IT,  Industry, Transportation, Defence, and Space technologies are some of the important sectors which have integrated modern technology in diverse aspects of their development and functioning.

Technology is no longer an alternative but a requisite to stay afloat. India is just one of the latest countries to get involved. Let us gaze into some of the significant developments in India-2021.

Hiranandani sets up Rs 30,000 crore for data center unit

India's data centre sector is witnessing a significant boom, and it will keep on increasing in the coming years. "A report indicated that the Indian data centre industry capacity will double by 2023," and the large cloud players are increasing their presence in the world's second-largest user market. At the same time, the advent of the pandemic has prompted a faster shift to colocation from the traditional captive IT infrastructure.

Real estate player Hiranandani group is all set to double up on its investment plans for its Data Center unit Yotta. The two-year-old venture has not only set up India's first Tier IV Data Center in less than a year at Mumbai but is already beginning to repeat the initial success in other cities as well.

Sunil Gupta, CEO, Yotta, said, "The demand has been overwhelming for our first data center in Mumbai. Being the only Tier IV certified data center has also played a big role. It gives us more confidence to expand at an even more rapid pace," One installation costs around Rs 1,200 crore. Hiranandani group making five such in Mumbai, six in Noida, six in Chennai, three in Pune, three in Calcutta, and one in Gujarat. Overall the investment could reach Rs 30,000 crore over the next five years.

Some of the biggest customers for Yotta are hyperscalers eyeing not just a few racks or a floor but entire data center buildings in one go, Gupta added.

Indian E-Retail Market estimated to grow upto $140 bn by FY26

Technology is shifting the world in ways that would be considered unbelievable a decade ago. This year was a watershed moment for India’s e-retail market, forcing 12-month acceleration in e-retail penetration. This growth increased even more in the top eight metro cities, where online shopping is more familiar: one in three people shopped online at least once in the top eight metro cities. The $810 billion Indian retail markets rapidly evolve to retain a sizeable e-retail component.

India has the third-largest online shopper base of 140 million, only behind China and the US. Nevertheless, the market is still extensively untapped, and there is an immediate possibility to reach India’s large Internet user base of roughly 625 to 675 million people.

According to a Bain & Company 2021 report, India’s retail sector is one of the fastest-growing in the world, projected to touch $1.3 trillion by FY26. The share of e-commerce is expected to grow from 6% of the overall market in FY21 to almost 11% by FY26. However, traditional trade, which has been highly resilient during the pandemic, will remain relevant for a long time. Traditional trade’s market share rose marginally from 87.1% to 88.8% despite stiff economic headwinds.

Traditional retailers and kiranas are the backbones of Indian retail, contributing approximately 80% to the total retail trade and 11% to the GDP. Many small retailers adapted to digital platforms to keep supply chains and operations running. They have tasted success with technology and are keen to adopt an omni-channel approach for their end customers. A Deloitte-FICCI report echoes this fact, highlighting how digitalization empowers them and opens new growth opportunities for the FMCG sector.

UPI-Based Apps Break all Records in October, 2021

October witnessed a rapid growth both in terms of transactions and volume. From September 2020-21, the country’s digital payments ecosystem continued growing with monthly UPI transactions from 1.8 Bn to 3.6 Bn. The number hit an all-time high at 4.21 Bn. Among the most prominent and top-performing UPI apps, customer transaction value was only growing marginally – signalling relief to more significant market shareholders like PhonePe and Google Pay.

According to a notification released by the NPCI in November, beginning from January 2021, third-party app providers (TPAP) would not be permitted to process more than 30% of the total volume of transactions happening through their individual UPI interfaces. The guidelines seek to prevent oligopoly and risks of overload on UPI infrastructures.

While PhonePe and Google Pay now own 47% and 34% share of the market, respectively, they have been permitted until December 2023 to reduce their market cap below 30%. Thus, it would be helpful for the digital payments apps to lose some customer dependence, given the transaction caps enforced by the NPCI.

On the same day as the NPCI notification for the 30% cap, WhatsApp got the nod to establish its digital payments platform WhatsApp Pay with a user cap of 20 Mn. The move restrains WhatsApp from utilizing its full-scale operations in India, with more than 400 Mn users.

India and Singapore initiates project to link UPI and PayNow for immediate fund transfer

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has come up with a new project that links to high-speed payment systems. India and Singapore will merge their respective high-speed payment systems and permits users to make instant, low-cost remittances to each other. The partnership aims to be operational by July 2022.

This will further establish the flow of trade, travel, and remittance between the two countries. This initiative is also in line with RBI’s vision to determine cross-border inbound remittance corridors and fees as outlined in Payment Systems Vision Document 2019-21.

Here, UPI is a mobile-based high-speed payment system that permits you to make instant payments 24 hours a day using a customer-created virtual payment address (VPA). UPI supports both Person-to-Person (P2P) and Person-to-Merchant (P2M) payments, allowing users to send or receive money. This eliminates the risk of the sender sharing bank account details.

Revolution in Indian Ed-Tech Companies

After reaping a windfall from the pandemic-fuelled online education boom in its home country, India's fourth-largest online higher education company, upGrad, has cemented its leadership position as Asia's most integrated player in higher education and Byju's has revved its push into international markets by renaming the coding lessons unit Byju's Future School.

STEM-based Ed-tech companies and government schemes are working together to build a technologically more innovative nation. STEM education is a way of integrating a theory-based curriculum into a real-world scenario. It has gained a lot of momentum after the central government’s active role in building platforms and schemes to support the researchers, teachers, and schools offering STEM education and robotics, which helps young minds be more creative and innovative in the technological paradigm and to help the government achieve their ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ Campaign full-fledged, even the private players and firms are contributing in spreading the word.