Microsoft vice chairman and president Brad Smith has high hopes that India will be the catalyst for world economic growth by offering the technology it needs. During his visit to the country, Smith told The Economic Times that India is one of the software talent source giants with an “unparalleled accomplishment” in its data stack, allowing it to “become a software superpower” and enter the ranks of the top two to three software economies globally. Smith shared that the company sees huge potential for India’s talents.
“We are looking increasingly to enable India to be one of the great exporters of software IP… to take what has worked here, and make it work for many other parts of the world as well,” Smith told ET and appreciated the works created by its people, such as the Aadhaar and UPI projects. “The people who have created it, the people who know it, are based here in India.”
In addition, Smith underscored the opportunity India is receiving due to its population. According to him, while the working-age population in Europe, Japan, South Korea, and North America is declining, India’s working-age population is increasing.
“The truth is, there are probably only two ways—more technology and more immigration,” Smith said. “And we’ll see what different countries decide. Every country is going to want more technology. Now that challenge, frankly, is India’s opportunity. Because while the growth rate is slowing, in India, the working-age population is still growing. It’s a reflection of the fact that India is a country where half the population is 25 years old or younger. India has a population that will continue to grow between now and 2050.”
With this growth and India’s manpower and technological abilities and knowledge, Smith believes India can give the world the help it needs to ensure economic growth, especially in terms of technological contributions.
The comments came after Smith applauded the government of India for putting a pause on its Personal Data Protection Bill, which will be replaced by a comprehensive legal framework to solve its current and future digital ecosystem challenges. Apart from applauding the decision, Smith added that India is also turning into one of the most influential countries in the future of technology regulation, putting it near the EU, UK, the US, and China.
“… the Indian government is moving forward in a very smart way. And, to give one example, is the fact that the government paused the privacy bill…” said Smith. “The thing that I worry about the most around the world is when governments are trying to work so quickly, to move the laws forward together in so many fields, at the same time, that they don’t have the opportunity to think through how to put the pieces together. That notion, that a government would pause, to think about how a privacy law should move with a better connection to other fields. That’s an act of wisdom.”