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How a Fractured Mandate will Impact the IT Industry

Industry

By Manash Ranjan Debata

Through various IT-friendly policies and initiatives, Modi 2.0 had helped the IT industry in India to grow, innovate, and remain competitive on a global scale. The emphasis on technology as a means to empower people and enhance various sectors of the economy emerged as a hallmark of PM Modi’s approach to governance.

During his last tenure Prime Minister Narendra Modi had acted like a true messiah of the IT industry. PM Modi’s policies have been instrumental in shaping the trajectory of the Indian IT industry. His policies had actively contributed to its growth. It was Modi and his iconic presence that brought in global recognition not only for the IT industry but also for the entire country. His government’s massive digitization ushered in a new era for the IT industry. PM Modi’s leadership has been pivotal in positioning India as a credible innovator on the world stage. Globally influential technology figures as well as business leaders took cognizance of his phenomenal efforts towards enhancing India’s image as a leading hub for innovation and human capital.

Democratization of IT

Modi 2.0 focused on the democratization of technology, aiming to bridge the digital divide. This includes making advancements in AI and digital technology accessible to millions, especially in rural areas. In the fields of healthcare and education, technology was duly leveraged to improve public services in sectors like healthcare and education. Initiatives like ‘Ayushman Arogya Mandir’ was established to provide quality healthcare with the aid of modern technology.

Empowerment through IT

For economic empowerment of the masses, the ‘Namo Drone Didi’ and ‘Lakhpati Didi’ initiatives were launched. These are glaring examples of how technology can be used to empower women economically, particularly in rural areas. Modi 2.0 witnessed rapid expansion of digital public infrastructure. PM Modi’s vision for India’s Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) ensured that the quality education and daily life enhancements are available through new technologies.

Open Network for Digital Commerce

Fostering Innovation, his government’s support for initiatives like the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) revolutionized the tech field by creating a level playing field for various stakeholders. There was also significant focus on using technology to improve infrastructure, which is crucial for the industry’s growth and the overall economic development. Modi government’s policy continuity has been important for the IT sector, providing a stable environment for growth, despite some regulatory challenges.

Implications of a Fractured Mandate

Now that India’s Loksabha Elections have thrown a fractured mandate, it has raised concerns and doubts about the same level of policy continuity.  The Modi-led National Democratic Alliance’s (NDA) failure to secure a clear majority in the elections is likely to have wider implications for the Indian IT sector. Let’s go through them one by one:

A fractured mandate often leads to policy uncertainty. The loss of clear majority for a single party has forced a comeback of coalition era politics in the country.  The IT sector, which heavily relies on stable economic policies, might face challenges due to policy headwinds as a result of potential shifts in economic strategies and reforms because of coalition compulsions.

This would unfortunately bring the marvelous bull-run to a screeching halt and give way to higher market volatility. The stock market, including IT stocks, may experience volatility as investors react to the political uncertainty. This could affect the funding and valuation of IT companies, especially startups relying on market sentiment. Flow of foreign investments will somewhat dry down. Foreign investors often seek political stability when making investment decisions. The NDA’s failure to attain a majority could lead to a wait-and-see approach, potentially slowing down the much needed foreign direct investment (FDI) in the IT sector.

IT sector may have to wrestle regulatory changes. The sector could face regulatory changes if a new coalition government introduces different priorities or policies, impacting areas like data privacy, e-commerce regulations, and digital taxation.

Political instability may also lead to currency fluctuations, affecting the IT sector’s earnings, as it earns a significant portion of its revenue in foreign currencies. Similarly, it would also impact talent and upskilling. Uncertainty in government policies could impact the talent pipeline and skilling initiatives, which are crucial for the growth and evolution of the IT sector.

In order to maintain global competitiveness, Indian IT firms may need to accelerate innovation and adapt to changes more rapidly, ensuring they can withstand domestic political shifts.

Despite roaring concerns around, Industry experts like Sunil Singhania have expressed their optimism that the fundamentals of the Indian economy will remain intact, and the growth trajectory of the IT sector is unlikely to bend. Major stakeholders like the vendors and the Partner Community would have to be closely vigilant on the evolving situation and remain agile in their strategies to navigate through this period of uncertainty.

Do write to us what you think about the evolving situation at manash@accentinfomedia.com

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