'E-digitisation to impact rural society'

Last Updated 23 January 2016, 18:32 IST

Dinesh Malpani, CEO of, a Bengaluru-based hypermarket, opines that eCommerce is the way to go for next 15-20 years by which time, the world becomes completely digitised. Malpani shared his thoughts on the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative on startups,  the various schemes he announced for them, the improvements that are needed etc. Malpani spoke to Deccan Herald’s Furquan Moharkan. Excerpts:

What do you think about the Rs 10,000 crore corpus that the government has announced for the startups?

Any start which is happening in the startup space is a very positive thing — that’s my first reaction. The intent of the initiative is clear and honest. But the visibility of Rs 10,000 crore being invested on a quarterly basis needs to be brought forward.

Isn’t there too much emphasis on eCommerce and aggregation?

I completely agree with you that startups can be from all spheres, and possibly you are seeing them in all spheres also. Now, the reason why we get to hear only about eCommerce is because of the fact that usage of technology is becoming as important as using electricity, water or road. It is going to be a defining space in the human life cycle. It will give eCommerce a way for the next 15-20 years when the world becomes completely digitised. So I don’t think we should get worried about it.

The PM has spoken about solving problems of rural folk, Digital India drive, small startups in rural areas. Will this emphasis on the rural sector help rural areas/rural economy?

I firmly believe that e-digitisation of the society will impact rural society positively. Let me give you some examples. A person sitting in a remote village can actually use a health app to get advice from the doctor sitting in Bengaluru. Right now, some of the products that they want to access can reach them in over 2-3 days’ time. In fact, this brings equalisation in the rural segment.

The real test of the schemes will be implementation at the state level. States have to be taken on board for this. How will the Central government go about this?

Honestly, this is the single largest challenge in this entire initiative. And, I don’t see an answer for this from my side too. Till the time state governments and the Centre start putting citizens ahead of their petty politics, this will not happen. And obviously, we see big delegations on FDIs coming, for which the state governments and the Centre will have to work very closely to give benefits to the citizen, and put him/her ahead of their politics.

(Published 23 January 2016, 18:08 IST)

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