Building a national level data strategy for India - by NASSCOM at ARC India Forum, Bangalore 2019

Technology Trends

The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, it’s data”- The Economist.  As India’s economy is keen on integrating digital transformation across businesses, in the recent ARC India Forum 2019, Mr. Achyuta Ghosh, Head of Research, National Association of Software and Services Companies #1 (NASSCOM) described how the Govt. and NASSCOM are on a journey in nurturing India’s innovation capacity, building technology capability and ecosystem, and growing new business opportunity for GDP growth.

NASSCOM’s Strategic Imperatives:

  • Strengthen the Indian IT Narrative Globally – preferred partner for business transformation
  • The Skilling Imperative

Strengthen India’s Deep Tech Ecosystem and build India’s AI thought leadership with focus on Talent, Innovation and Ecosystem

  • Continue to Expand Indian IT footprint globally and build India as the hub for Global MNCs
  • Government Partnerships in India to scale tech adoption and usage in Healthcare, Agriculture, and Manufacturing
  • Enable the Right Tech Regulatory Framework with focus on trust, innovation and security

A National Data Strategy is needed to democratize data for public and economic good

In the past couple of years, the volume of data generated is almost about 70 percent of all data on national level.  And now there’s a huge emergence for a national data strategy to regulate (centralized or federated) and democratize for the public and economic applications.  Mr. Ghosh outlined the plan for the comprehensive data strategy by addressing the objectives and benefits of it to national GDP (Global Data Product, as abbreviated by Mr. Ghosh):

Data is not just a commodity:

• Individuals retain a stake in “their’ data, and we need to be sensitive in its usage

Data fuels AI:

• Data is critical for any AI methodology

• Without a strong data strategy, it is not possible to execute an AI strategy

Data asymmetry prevents us from realizing its full potential:

• Data is restricted to those controlling the infrastructure - sharing protocols are needed to maximize value from data

• Open data can unlock significant benefits for all stakeholders

Data is driving wealth creation:

• Top 5 valuable companies globally are data-driven

• 50% potential GDP boost by increased participation in global flows

Data is the key asset today and growing exponentially:

• 25% of the world economy is digitally impacted

• 90% of world data was created in last 2 years


India has the opportunity now to gain significant competitive advantage in the data driven economy.  Mr. Ghosh outlined the SWTO analysis of national data strategy for Indian economy:

data strategy for India with SWTO Analysis

Government bodies, companies, and, more importantly, the public of the Indian economy should give considerations for the national data strategy:

• Data Governance- Centralized or Federated

• Data Ownership- Addressing Ownership And Control Of Data

• Open Data Exchanges - Enabling Safe, Legal Data Sharing

• Driving Interoperability and Standards- Breaking Silos, Creating rules for Multi-use

• Data Economics- Creating Viable Business Models Across The Data Value Chain

• Privacy Paradox- Ensuring Data Privacy Yet Extracting Economic Value From Data

ARC welcomes the opportunity to speak with technology suppliers and users alike about your activities, thoughts, perspectives and questions on this exciting area.  For further discussion or to provide feedback on this, please contact the author Jyoti Prakash at .

  1. NASSCOM is the premier trade body and chamber of commerce of the Tech industry in India and comprises over 2,800 member companies including both Indian and multinational organizations that have a presence in India. The membership spans across the entire spectrum of the industry from startups to multinationals and from products to services, Global Service Centers to Engineering firms.

Keywords: NASSCOM, Data Strategy, Commodity, AI, Data Value Chain, Interoperability. 

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