The Demonetization has taken everyone even the ones who announced it by surprise, and suddenly there is deafening noise about digital economy. Digitization has been a known challenge in Indian economy mainly due to 2 two reasons :
- Not all are educated enough
- Not all have internet connectivity
However keeping aside these teething issues, I would like to look into the areas where I certainly would like to have digital involvement rather than physical money.
Demonetization or not this is one place which should have had cashless transactions long back. The people using Toll plaza are either rich or part of organized transports like Trucks and buses. A cashless usage of Toll plaza can reduce the average transaction time significantly where the toll attendant has to tender the change back, enabling less stagnancy and faster movement of vehicles. (Paytm has recently announced it’s partnering with NHAI for the same)
Public transport like Train, Metro, Bus, Taxi and Autos. This again is one more place where cashless transactions can help a lot both to the passenger and the providers. Developed cities use single prepaid cards that could be used across multiple public transports.
Utility bills like Telephone, electricity , Gas, etc., are one more candidate for online payments and indeed many of them have already started online payments. No one stands in lines to pay these bills in cash now a days. But these services require you to have a debit/credit card which can be one issue.
Small vendors like Milkman, newspaper vendors, Tea shops , kinara shops still depend a lot on cash transactions and this is where the rubber meets the road and real change is required to enable them with cashless POS (Point of Sale) devices. The recent demonetization has shown how these small vendors too have adopted cashless transactions had proved that all we need is a will to change the means will follow.
It wont be long before India adopts the digital revolution. This also signals a huge potential for startups and biggys to come up with innovative ideas and ride this wave of digital economy.
Digital India campaign launched by the Government of India to ensure that Government services are made available to citizens electronically by improving online infrastructure and by increasing Internet connectivity or by making the country digitally empowered in the field of technology.
In a recent conversation with a senior executive from my company he shared his desire of being able to kick his laptop and be able to use his mobile device for all his tasks. Some can argue that Phablets actually provide such facility .
The smartphones at present do provide some level of such liberty but it seems not good enough. The requirement actually was use the mobile like an actual computer when required and also be able to carry it around with ease along with being able to actually use it as a phone to communicate.
All the recent surveys do point towards the fact that people have started to accept the Tablets as the better way. PCs and Laptops are hard to carry around and hinder mobility. One of the important factor that can catalyst this changeover is the way in which a tablet can provide the comfort of a laptop and still being so sleek. A tablet should not just be a brick or slate in hand that is hard to handle. Tablet users often have to shell out more to find a dock, which assists in usage of the tablet. If one really wants to switch from a laptop to tablet one should know that the tablet should be as comfortable as the laptop. The lenovo yoga tablet is one such device that is so easy to handle and yet more ergonomic to use.
This can be a great boon to executives who mix working in a office and travelling. Be able to dock your phone and use it as a computer working on your precious presentations, documents, just as you would do in a PC and then take it along when you are out travelling.
So are you ready to kick the laptop …
The total mobile subscription as of now is 6 Billion and a study says that there will be One Billion smartphones users by 2015. Out of the 6 Billion users roughly a 15% of them live in India.
An year old mobile phone can just work fine but fast phased technological changes render them obsolete. With almost every mobile subscriber going for a smart phone leaves the older mobile phones being discarded. Consumers here in India have low awareness of the pollution from informal recycling of these mobile phones and tend to sell their end of life (EOL) mobiles for meager amount, a big percentage of those devices are just thrown in the trash, or given to local collectors who extract precious metals from them in environmentally hazardous ways. With little or no e-waste management existing here it becomes highly important to educate the mobile users regarding the hazards of this e-waste. Adding to the existing problem developed countries have a practice of dumping their e-waste silently into developing countries like China and India.
The challenge for the world is to collect all this e-waste and get it to more modern recycling facilities.