Story Of The Week

The Big Trip: PM Modi’s Visit to Silicon Valley

On the East Coast, the Pope made waves; on the West Coast, where technology is God, Prime Minister Modi rode the waves.

-T.V.Mohandas Pai on PM’s visit to Silicon Valley

The two day visit of Narendra Modi to Silicon Valley and California on 26th-27th September 2015 attracted not only Indians, but Americans as well. Mr. Modi is the first Indian leader in more than 3 decades to visit the west coast. The meeting addressed by him at San Jose’s SAP Arena in Silicon Valley on 27th September, 2015 attracted around 18000 members, a feat possible to only few global leaders. In his two day visit Mr. Modi met CEO’s of several big MNC’s like Google, Cisco, Tesla, Apple etc.

Let us see how the visit of Modi will influence the Indian economy and help in its development:

  • Digital India

Digital India”, the brainchild of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a world beater campaign in terms of public relations. With a vision, “to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy”, it is an ambitious program to implement e-governance and to empower Indians digitally. This also provides an easy access for gaining licenses; documents etc. from the government quickly and help to curb red tapism in India. The success of this initiative is completely dependent on Technology, therefore Mr. Modi’s visit to Silicon Valley, the world’s technology hub, is likely to aid to this initiative.

  • Boost for Start-ups

Currently, around 3100 start-ups are operating in India and this number is expected to grow to 11000 by 2020. For the sustenance and growth, investments are needed for these start-ups. Modi’s Visit at this time will attract investors to India and boost the start-up culture which helps in the creation of jobs.

Moreover the development in infrastructure, technology, innovation etc. are possible with strong bilateral relationships between US and India.


What made Americans to have more interest in Modi’s visit?

Modi is perceived as a tech-savvy leader who is pro-business, decisive and charismatic. Tech Giants like Apple, Facebook, Microsoft etc. want to tap the largest digitally uncovered market after China i.e., India. Under digital India, the Government is planning to digitally empower 1.25 billion Indians. At this time, all the tech giants in America are waiting for a change in the Indian policies and action by the Indian Government. Modi’s new growth initiatives have made brand India very popular and have created faith in the investors to invest in India.

One of the major breakthroughs of this tour is Modi’s meeting with Indian-Origin CEO’s of American top MNC’s, such as Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft and Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google.

Significant Takeaways for India

Initiatives Announced By Microsoft

  • Microsoft announced several initiatives, among which “using the white spaces in TV broadcasting to reach India’s six lakh villages”.
  • This initiative will help to establish internet connectivity efficiently even in remote locations, connecting more and more people to the internet. Thereby government can use internet as a media to issue documents, provide services such as provision to pay bills etc.
  • Internet penetration will boost the economy, as processes are completed quickly with a decrease in the revenue expenditure of government.
  • Nadella also promised more investments in India, which gives a kick-start to start-ups in India.
  • The establishment of Microsoft’s cloud services from data centers in India, which secures the private data in a more efficient way, protects India from spying eyes of S. National Security Agency (NSA).

Initiatives Announced By Google

  • Google on the other hand announced adoption of 500 railway stations for high-speed, HD streaming Wi-Fi, which will set a new standard for wireless in India.
  • Railway stations will thus get a much needed technological overhaul, and the new standard will help in providing high speed internet access to everyone.
  • This may lead to increase the online transactions to book freight and tickets as there will no interruption while processing a transaction. The easy access and quick processing will increase the usage rate of railways, thereby the revenue.
  • Moreover this technology can be spread to other sectors to have additional benefits.

Another high point of Mr. Modi’s visit is the Q&A with Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, at Merlin Park. Zuckerberg expressed his support to Digital India by changing his profile picture to include an Indian flag and writing: I changed my profile picture to support Digital India, the Indian government’s effort to connect rural communities to the internet and give people access to more services online, this campaign will create awareness about Digital India among several people across the globe helping in the development of “Brand India”.

The agreement signed by Nasscom with TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs), Silicon Valley facilitates a start-up exchange and collaboration program that will help to develop the skillset of Indian Entrepreneurs. Also, Qualcomm has committed to invest $150 million in Indian start-ups. Success of start-ups helps in generating revenue to the country and provides employment opportunities.

The strong bilateral relation between the two stakeholders may act as a cushion in building smart cities and developing various sectors like healthcare, education etc. If both (Silicon Valley, which has a great technology, infrastructure, optimistic environment etc. and Mr. Modi, with his experience to curb the obsolete policies and red tapism) are able to keep up with their promises & deliver; India can become the next story of success around the globe.



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