The technology space in India has seen a massive transformation in the past 10 years, with internet, smartphones, digital content, etc, not only becoming widely accessible but also affordable.
A large part of the retail sector across the value chain has largely moved from offline-centric brick-and-mortar stores to e-commerce, accessible online from the ease of our homes via computer or smartphone devices. What’s more, relying on big data and reading consumer preferences via artificial intelligence tools, e-commerce platforms are increasingly offering customised solutions to suit our needs and tastes. Similarly, in terms of space sciences, the achievements of the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) over the past decade have been immense – whether it is the lunar mission of 2008 or the Mars Orbiter Mission of 2014 or creating a world record by launching 104 satellites in a single mission last year.
Overall, the country’s mercurial rise in the field of technology over the past 10 years has easily been phenomenal. No wonder that the government’s recent big-ticket initiatives like Make in India and Digital India rely heavily on the country’s technological advances to fuel further growth for India.
Business Standard collates the most notable of India’s technological laurels to take a quick look at how they changed in the country over the past decade:
iPhone to Xiaomi
Photo: ShutterstockIn August 2008, US-based technology major Apple launched the iPhone 3G in India. It was the first smartphone capable of using high-speed internet data at a time when India did not even have 3G connectivity. Today, there is no dearth of smartphones with blazing fast data connectivity. Such has been the smartphone market growth here over the past 10 years that India has even left the US behind and become the second-largest market in the world.
GPRS to 4G
Photo: ShutterstockInternet is one of the key technologies that enabled the country to beat the obstructions that earlier hampered technological growth. In 2008, the concept of high-speed internet was not only alien but limited to decades-old technologies like GPRS, Edge and 2G. However, telecom operators, after rolling out 3G and 4G services in quick succession, are now eyeing 5G connectivity for a superior growth of internet-based services.
Today, the country might not have the fastest 4G network in the world, but it certainly has the most affordable 4G internet services. The disruptive moves of players like Reliance Jio in recent times have only intensified competition with their rock-bottom prices and led to more affordability.
Doordarshan to Netflix
Photo: ShutterstockFor a long time, Doordarshan was the only source of entertainment and news for Indians. Even as the cable TV ecosystem had evolved in the country by 2008, the rise of internet services has seen smartphones replacing television screens to a large extent in recent years. The most popular shows have either moved to online video streaming portals like YouTube or become obsolete.
Today, the internet-based digital content service providers like Netflix, Amazon Prime Videos, Hotstar, etc, have taken oven the fixed-schedule-based shows and given us a flexibility to view exclusive content alongside regular content anytime and anywhere.
Grocery shops to Amazon
Photo: ShutterstockOver the past 10 years, the e-commerce marketplace has seen a massive boom in India. It has not only reformed the way we shop but also brought our favourite grocery stores to our smartphones. Today, almost anything – from pencils to home furniture – can be ordered online and it gets delivered to our homes with the assurance, in most cases, of a return if the product does not meet our expectations.
Rickshaw to Uber
Photo: ShutterstockIn 2008, availing of cab services used to be a costly affair. People would stick to public transport means like buses, rickshaws and autorickshaws for daily commute. Now, with the rise of cab-aggregation services like Uber and Ola, cab services have become both popular and affordable. So much so that now a cab ride on many occasions costs less than an autorickshaw ride.
Technology outlook for India
Taking into account the pace and degree of advances in the field of technology over the past 10 years, it would be no exaggeration to say the coming decade would see some revolutionary trends taking shape in India.
With a buzz around internet of things and artificial intelligence, it is expected that these would become the core of future technologies. Also, with a rise in the adoption of augmented reality and virtual reality, smart computing might find its way into more devices than glasses or headsets. These technologies would be fuelled by high-speed 5G internet, with negligible latency.