The year 2013 already seems like a distant memory, marked by products like iPad Air, ChromeCast, Office365, Moto G and Galaxy Note 3. The much-awaited Twitter IPO also materialised. Apple became the world’s No. 1 brand, overtaking Coca-Cola in September 2013 for the first time in 15 years.
TCS created history in July 2013 with market capitalisation of Rs 4,00,000 crores (nearly $ 100 billion). Indian analytics start-up MuSigma was valued at $ 1 billion in 2013. IIT alumni featured in the Top 10 list of start-up founders (US companies that got VC funding since 2010 as per PitchBook).
On the telecom front, an era passed into history as the telegram service in India was finally laid to rest on July 1, 2013. Most of the action is now in mobile, as Vodafone announced an 80% reduction on data roaming rates from November 1, 2013, triggering a price war on data rates in India.
Much has been written of western companies’ expansion in India, but Japan is also picking up of late. Hitachi has talked of investing Y 70 billion in India by 2016, and acquired an ATM outsourcing company on November 26, 2013.
In an endearing gesture, Google put out a doodle of Shakuntala Devi (the human computer with amazing arithmetic skills) of Bangalore on her birthday: November 4.
As 2014 gets well under way, let us see what it may hold for us. Of course, the biggest news may be dominated by the upcoming elections in India, and the hopeful upswing of the economy in the US and Europe.
Big Data and Analytics will move from ‘buzzwords’ to ‘real’. Social computing will start delivering real benefits to everyone. Cyber-security will start to mature. Cloud computing will enter mainstream. ISRO’s (Indian Space Research Organization) Mars Mission (‘Mangalyaan’) launched in November 2013 will successfully land an object on Mars in September 2014.
There will be ‘cool’ products in 2014 from Apple, Samsung, Nokia and Google beyond the ‘incremental improvements’ that we saw in 2013. Wearable computers (maybe ‘watch’) might become a reality.
Hopefully, there will be less gloom in the market. Cognizant and Infosys will move closer to $ 10 billion in annual revenue. With India having a large talent pool in the analytics space, more MNC IT companies will start growing their India presence in this area.
Education & research
Indian institutions will improve their ranking further with the government recognising the need to address this situation. This is in contrast to the earlier government position that global rankings do not matter.
Hopefully, Indian telephone subscribers will touch the one billion mark in the year 2014! This will be a jump up from 905 million subscribers as of October 31, 2013 (the most recent TRAI data).