Despite the current gloom surrounding the Indian economy, Vinod Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems and a Silicon Valley investor, has said the country looks very attractive from a seven-10 year perspective. He identified infrastructure, health, education and energy as the four areas that held great potential.
He was speaking at an industry forum on entrepreneurship organised by the National Association of Software and Services Companies and Nandan Nilekani, chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India and co-founder of Infosys. Khosla, who started technology product incubator Khosla Labs in November 2012, is currently on a tour of India.
"Yes, there's corruption and bureaucratic inefficiencies. But most emerging countries go through such issues," Khosla said, adding the country had to find a way around these. While health and education could be addressed through technology, infrastructure would need private investment, he said.
Both Khosla and Nilekani said the Centre's ambitious project to give unique identity cards to its 1.2-billion-strong population would spur several technology innovations. "There could be an entire Aadhaar-based reputation system in the country," said Nilekani. He added the increasing use of UID (unique ID) numbers could not only help build a credit history for India, it could also build health or skills records of residents.
About 400 million people have Aadhaar numbers, while about 100 million have bank accounts lined to these. Once more accounts are linked, applications could be built through which a person could transfer money using just the Aadhaar number. "There are various applications that can be built by embedding these things," Nilekani said.