Shyam Ponappa | February 4, 2015
With the economic mood having swung in India's favour, partly by inspired effort and partly by the luck of falling prices for oil and commodities, how can we effectively capitalise on our disorderly yet undeniable potential? Asked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last October what could be done to promote business in India, the chief executive of Siemens, Joe Kaeser, reportedly said: (a) prioritise, and (b) take one step at a time. Surely good advice, and not just for promoting business and growth.
There's a subtext in that terse advice that we and our governments would do well to deconstruct and internalise. And that is the underlying discipline, process orientation and order in the German work ethic that produces high quality. Other attributes such as thoroughness and being result-oriented come to mind, all of which would do us well, but an essential precondition is the discipline of meticulous, step-by-step process planning and execution for results.
In other words, there are explicit activity flows that extend from where one is to where one hopes to be, the desired ends, delineated in flowcharts that underlie integrated systems. After prioritising and goal-setting, it is these detailed steps that must be articulated before starting out on the first step. This applies to Digital India as much as to any other initiative, such as Swachh Bharat, or energy or transport development.
In sum, we need the end-to-end connectivity planned and extended beyond the National Information Infrastructure concept down to household clusters and individual households, as well as to commercial and educational units and customer service centres. The regulations and methods that enable structures, organisations and procedures that could make this possible involving government agencies, public sector units, private operators and service providers need to be worked out to get the benefits of a fully Digital India.
shyam no-space ponappa at gmail dot com