Presenting the NRI and the case of India.

January 28, 2020

Since the launch of the 2019 edition of the Network Readiness Index in Geneva on 18th December 2019, Portulans Institute co-founder Soumitra Dutta has presented the Network Readiness Index and his work on the Global Innovation Index to multiple groups.

Soumitra Dutta started the year with his lectures in early January to the Cornell EMBA Metro Class. Teaching a course on Leading Digital Transformation and Innovation to the EMBA students, Dutta described how the Network Readiness Index provides a holistic analysis of how economies and societies can leverage the power of digital technologies. Digital transformation is an important focus area for corporations, and the EMBA students discussed how to put in place people-centric technology policies at both corporate and national levels.

Dutta traveled to India in mid-January and presented the Network Readiness Index to groups of students and alumni in two major business schools in India. First, on 17th January, Dutta was the keynote academic speaker at the SP Jain Institute of Management Research’s Business Academia Enclave in Mumbai for 2020. Dutta spoke about how becoming network-ready implies profound organizational and business model change and requires leadership from the very top of organizations. India, he said, has become digital economy ready today with nearly 500m Indians who own mobile phones. India also has some of the lowest mobile price rates and the highest mobile data usage (on a per-user basis) in the world.
Soumitra at the #SBAC2020

Later, on 20th January, Dutta addressed students at the Goa Institute of Management, where he stressed the importance of building an effective knowledge innovation ecosystem with a focus on multiple factors including education, SMEs, institutions, ecosystems, and branding. Furthermore, he outlined that while the brand of Indians around the world is compelling, the country will still need to rebrand itself in terms of innovation in order to compete with the leading economies in the world.

In the 2019 NRI, India is ranked 79 among 121 ranked countries. Its key strength lies in Governance (52nd), as a result of consistent performances in all three sub-pillars: Trust (49th), Regulation (59th) and Inclusion (58th). The relatively high score in the Governments (36th) sub-pillar is offset by weak ICT usage and skills by Individuals (103rd) and Businesses (87th), which leads to a rank of 81st in the People pillar. Slightly better is the Technology (79th) pillar, mainly because of the level of Future Technologies (46th). India’s greatest challenge is to raise its ranking in the Impact (100th) pillar, where there is much scope for improvement in issues related to Quality of Life (93rd) and SDG Contribution (108th).


By  Joseph Naim, Policy Associate.

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