Indian companies are more confident in their ability to successfully adopt new technology than their counterparts in HK/China, Japan, Singapore and Australia, according to a pulse survey of 600 C-suite executives across the Asia Pacific region, including 100 executives in India.
Indian business leaders are also more likely to describe their company as a disruptor, rather than disrupted, compared with those surveyed in any other major economy in the region.
This is according to the latest data released as part of Baker McKenzie‘s ongoing Age of Hypercomplexity research, which examines key trends in technology, business and regulation.
While on balance, no single nation reported being particularly confident about the challenges posed by the ever increasing pace of technological change they reportedly face, Indian policymakers can take some comfort in the fact almost a third (31%) of business leaders In India describe their organisations as ‘highly adept‘ at exploiting the benefits of new technologies, compared with 14% in Hong Kong, and just 8% in Malaysia.
There was a direct correlation with the between those companies that described themselves as highly adept at maximising tech benefits, and those describing their organisations as disruptors, with 31% of Indian business leaders also falling in that camp.
Of course that means 69% of India business leaders still feel their companies are primarily being disrupted, but this is still considerably more favourable than in other jurisdictions. In Japan, for example, 78% of companies feel they are predominantly disrupted, which jumps to 84% in Hong Kong.
Reflecting on these trends, Ashok Lalwani, Global Head of Baker McKenzie’s India Practice, said, “India was creating fertile ground to be a global leader in technology in the coming decade. If India continues to develop its urban centers and promote a ‘Silicon Valley‘ spirit of entrepreneurship, it could be in prime position to achieve global tech hub status. Tech savvy cities such as Bengaluru and Gurgaon are emblematic of India’s rapid urbanisation, and they are now reaching critical mass in terms of the number of tech start-ups located there, and the infrastructure to support them.”
When thinking about the risks associated with technological advancement, however, Indian companies were more cautious. Zero Indian business leaders described themselves as ‘highly successful‘ in managing tech risk, although no one else in any other market surveyed did either. The theft of sensitive information, either by hacking or by a company’s own staff, was identified as the greatest perceived tech risk in India currently.
In terms of areas Indian companies will be focusing on in the tech space in the first part of the 2020s, the capture and use of data comes out on top, with 61% of Indian businesses identifying big data as a key focus. This was followed by cloud computing, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and AI.
Sonia Baldia, TMT Partner, Baker McKenzie, Washington DC, said that as well as being the fuel of the digital economy, getting ahead in terms of data capture, storage, analysis and usage will be a key differentiator in the global economy in the years to come.
“It is increasingly clear that those who win in terms of data, win in business. The analytics provided around customer behaviour, operational efficiencies and cost will provide a clear edge in the decade to come. Leading Indian companies, and multinationals basing their tech operations in India, are alive to this fact, and are preparing for the new data driven age with significant investments in processes and people.”
A more challenging finding for India regulators was the assessment by Indian business leaders about how well their regulators are keeping up with technological change. Just 14% said they were ahead of the curve, 16% said they were somewhat behind the curve, and 70% said they were well behind the curve.
Both Lalwani and Baldia were in New Delhi for the World Economic Forum event.