In the past decade, India has not only gained prominence as a country with the huge user and customer base for big companies like Amazon, Twitter, Facebook, etc. but it has also become a nation opening new career opportunities for many content creators like YouTubers and vloggers. This Indian market both at the micro and macro level across the world has two sides to it, one negative and the other positive.
If we talk about big companies, they contribute largely to the employment generation. Also, the demand to employ better-skilled people creates an upward pulling force when it comes to the quality of the workforce or the human resource of the country. Along with this, these platforms giving an opportunity to many local artisans, traders, and to the MSME sector to help them in reaching out to more people. This new kind of Industrial Revolution in the country is a continuation of the 1991 Industrial Policy that liberalized the Indian market. This also creates competition amongst the businesses providing more options to the customers. Keeping all this in mind, along with the realization of the world being a global village, the Government of India is working towards making the functioning of digital platforms smoother. The Digital India Mission indeed has made people interact seamlessly with these platforms. Also, opening the ‘business to business’ e-commerce platforms for 100% FDI would add up to this growing market. The Government rightly has not done the same for ‘business to customer’ platforms as it would have given them enormous power to distort the market.
With this, the problem of growing cyber-attacks, data theft, and frauds have also surged in the past few years on even prominent websites. Also, even though these claim to be providing large opportunities to anyone willing to either express themselves, share their lives, or buy products and services thus increasing mediums, competition, and options, these sites themselves have become market monopolisers. From Facebook being interrogated for buying every company from WhatsApp to Instagram suppressing market rivals to the Indian Government warning Amazon for predatory pricing, around the world the big business houses are turning out to be the new controllers of trade, commerce, and economics. Thus, levying Equalization Tax on digital companies located outside India to level the competition for the domestic houses, bringing OTTs under the Information and Broadcasting Ministry and data localization type of steps are in a good direction as it would prevent these companies from tweaking the market and social structure of India. It is also our responsibility as citizens to not give them the free pass to play with the social fabric of our country. Digital awareness, therefore, is something that needs to be worked upon.
Coming to individuals and groups making their space amongst the Indian masses via many reaction videos, tourism vlogs, etc. these can open the diverse Indian culture for the world to view and enhance interaction, tourism, etc. The problem lies where these contents merely become a medium to capitalize the time and emotions of Indians who due to their post-colonial hangover go seeking the ‘west-validation’ for their way of life, their beliefs, their festivities, and even their democracy. Celebrating the ignorant tweets by Rihanna or Mia Khalifa and abusing national heroes like Sachin Tendulkar or Lata Mangeshkar presents a good example of it. One must be cautious that getting entertained over how the West reacts to the Indian ways is one thing but giving them the card to use these platforms to influence instability within is completely different and would not be taken casually.
At the end, there is a general perception around the world that Indians are very good at the IT field. We with our vast demographic dividend must strive to change from job seekers to job givers. The country has enough potential to leave an impression of success in the business world globally. Thus, the youth must grab opportunities offered by initiatives like ‘Start-up India’ and ‘Stand-up India’, thereby creating an India that doesn’t just offer cheap labour or a huge market but leads this new digital world with its own business models.
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