New Delhi: Startup founders should not limit themselves to just valuations and exit strategies, but think about how they can create institutions that will outlast this century, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday. “Think how you can create products that will set the global benchmark on excellence,” said Modi, adding that there can be no compromise on these twin goals.
Speaking at the Nasscom Technology and Leadership Forum (NTLF), PM also lauded the achievements of the Indian IT industry when the world was grappling with the pandemic.
“When the chips were down, your code kept the world running,” Modi said. He praised the IT industry for growing at 2.3% annually on the back of acceleration in digital transformation and tech adoption. The industry added revenue of $4 billion at a time when global output had shrunk because of the pandemic. He also hailed the sector for generating employment amid crisis.
The IT industry is expected to add over 138,000 new hires in 2020-21, taking the total employee base to 4.47 million in the current financial year, as per Nasscom data.
Modi congratulated the tech sector for helping companies scale up to the digital challenge, allowing employees to work from home. Currently, 90% of people in the IT sector are working from home.
“This is a time when the world is looking at India with greater hope and expectations. However tough may be the challenge, we should not think of ourselves as weak or move away fearing challenges. During covid, our science and technology not only proved itself but also evolved,” Modi said.
Modi laid emphasis on not only ‘Made in India’ technology but also solutions made for Indians, saying this will help the country become more competitive and a global tech leader. “Innovation and enterprise, a culture of excellence and institution building should also be kept in mind… To be a global leader and not a follower, we must focus on Make in India.”
He said that the Centre was making efforts to deregulate tech industry and free it from unnecessary restrictions to help it grow. “Digital technology is now part of the government; we have democratized data and last mile service delivery has been worked upon,” he said, adding that fintech products like UPI are now known worldwide. India, once considered a cash-dependent society, is fast becoming a cashless one, he noted.