Prime Minister Modi had promised to convert our country into a Digital Superpower, a Startup India that would reconfigure the world with its tech smarts and savvy. Unfortunately, the bitter truth is encapsulated in these wounding words of Bob Van Dijk, the chief executive officer of Naspers (Africa's biggest company, a media, and internet conglomerate - also the largest investor in China's Tencent), in an interview to The Economic Times:
"India needs to make sure that it builds an ecosystem for the success of local businesses (emphasis mine). If I am blunt about it, I think Europe is a digital colony of the U.S. Europe has nothing. There's no decision making in search, content, social or video, which basically means there is no ecosystem of capable internet entrepreneurs or professionals. It's a disaster. if I were your prime minister, I would have that bent of mind. I don't think it means throwing out foreign capital. You want foreign capital and you want skill. That's smart. But in the process, you should try to avoid becoming the Europe of the internet, where the decisions are made, and all the key talent is, elsewhere, and all you have are the sales and execution there. I think that would be a very dangerous outcome."