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Unleashing Human Potential for a Successful Digital Economy

Unleashing Human Potential for a Successful Digital Economy

Rakhi, a 21-year-old school dropout from Bharatpur, comes from a family of 6, which was solely supported by her father-a daily wage earner. After completion of a basic computer education course, Rakhi, along with her sister-a fellow course graduate, now works as a teacher at one of the local schools. This connect with the digital world has helped her discover newer avenues while bringing economic stability to her family.

SAP is no stranger to India’s economic growth; however, we cannot ignore the burning need for this growth to be reflected on the human development index, wherein the country currently stands at #131 out of 188 nations.

Digital, as we know is intelligently connecting people, things, and businesses, which in turn unlocks a world of infinite possibilities. Empowering the Rakhis of India through digital literacy is merely one part of the puzzle. To bring about a truly inclusive growth at scale, we need to build a robust and nurturing ecosystem that not only provides citizens with technology, but with end-to-end solutions.

To reflect on this topic while ideating solutions, SAP recently constituted the first edition of a unique Inclusive Think Tank, invoking participation from 40 stakeholders across diverse yet relevant sectors. The collaborative engagement was aimed at perceptive discussions across different focus areas where digital could be best leveraged to create an inclusive yet scalable growth at high speed.

Some thoughts that emerged from the discussions:

Ensuring relevant content and delivery mechanisms for digital skilling and empowerment

One of the biggest gaps in literacy programmes in the country has been that of training not resulting in improved employability. It is estimated that of those trained in vocational skills, only 15% result in securing employment. The solution therefore, was to create a common digital platform that can track an individual’s progress throughout the entire digital literacy programme cycle. This will not only help maintain a standard quality in terms of content and delivery but will also ensure access to relevant employment. This will also help build an entrepreneurial mindset amongst Indian youth by creating a sense of purpose and encouraging innovation.

Building a robust start-up ecosystem

The current infrastructure and ecosystem for start-ups, predominantly caters to the needs of the urban population. In order to support innovative thinking in rural India, the infrastructure and resourcing of our start-up ecosystem must be appropriately designed. To address this issue, our experts ideated on building a common micro-commerce platform, to bring together various stakeholders, who will help assess start-up ideas, raise capital, and finally provide mentorship as well as access to market traction. This in turn will be complimented by on-ground digital connectivity and active local participation.

Digital literacy is a must for building a Digital India. The design lab of SAP Labs India will give access to students and give them hands-on experience with tech gadgets. We are committed to three UNSDG goals (SDG #4, #8, #17) which include quality education, decent work and economic growth and partnerships for goals. Adopting tinkering labs will give us a chance to take students beyond their curriculum while making them more aware and receptive to different phenomena of science.

Building a robust start-up ecosystem

The current infrastructure and ecosystem for start-ups, predominantly caters to the needs of the urban population. In order to support innovative thinking in rural India, the infrastructure and resourcing of our start-up ecosystem must be appropriately designed. To address this issue, our experts ideated on building a common micro-commerce platform, to bring together various stakeholders, who will help assess start-up ideas, raise capital, and finally provide mentorship as well as access to market traction. This in turn will be complimented by on-ground digital connectivity and active local participation.

Building capacity to power new age digital transformation

New-age technologies are radically changing the job landscape across the world. Despite a new model engineering curriculum prescribed by the AICTE, our institutional learning content continues to focus on legacy systems and technologies that are fast becoming obsolete, making relevant institutional content and delivery mechanism an imperative. The discussions around these challenges led to the idea of ‘Innovation 4.0 Accelerator program’. An initiative focussed on upskilling engineering students on next-gen technologies, this program would also incorporate certification courses that can be provided through public-private partnerships.

Leveraging AI to transform agricultural landscape

Agriculture and allied sectors account for nearly 14% of India’s GDP, involving nearly 50% of the workforce, albeit the economic contribution of agriculture to India’s GDP is steadily declining. Machine learning models are being developed to track and predict various environmental impacts on crop yield. However, there needs to be a holistic approach to prioritize areas for AI deployment to achieve optimum results, as well as create the structural and resource capacity to support the deployment. The experts devised a solution – to look at farm management solutions and integrate them with satellite data to ensure precision agriculture and reduce dependence on fertilizer and pesticides. Data from this model could also help insurance companies offer better risk management products and loans that alleviate the debt cycle for farmers.

We have always known infrastructure to be the backbone of any successful digital economy. What most of us fail to realise is that infrastructure is not restricted to a physical pillar or building, but has more to do with the human support that can help resurrect the economy. It is not just about providing internet connectivity, but also empowering people to correct the disconnection!

On this note, let us come together and conquer this challenge because it truly is our biggest opportunity. I warmly welcome you to join this cause as we cultivate a culture of innovation and inclusion through the power of collaboration!

Like Rakhi, there are more stories of human success that have been captured in a documentary titled "Grow With SAP". Here is the playlist for you.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLumvVXEutbgj-hs6fq154zFPxyppbBADo