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The Unevenly Digitalised India

Published on March 11, 2020
Last modified on March 10, 2022

Digital transformation has staggeringly reshaped the business community in India but the balance between the digital adaptations remains uneven. Knowledge-based sectors such as financial services and information and communications technology have progressed rapidly while labour-based sectors such as trade, manufacturing, and transportation are falling behind. Still, the level of digitization within each sector varies widely, for example, there is a company in the transportation sector that meets the criteria for a digital expert despite being in the least digitized sector. So there is no specific correlation between the digitization and Industry.The digitization graph in India has no proper shape on the basis of any factors, be it time or type of industry or industry size or number of employees or revenue generated.

A Mckinsey report on Digital India reveals that the substantial difference between the most and least digitised businesses depends on their organisational readiness for digital adoption and the strong alignment in their digital strategies. Businesses at the top are characterised as digital leaders and those in the bottom as digital laggards. The study has found that digital leaders have a compelling mind-set, traits and some activities that determine their level of digitisation:

  1. 70 percent of those leaders outsourced digital agencies, for their strategic digital dimension, agility and adaptability in responsiveness to technological disruption.
  2. 40 percent implemented digitisation on an organisational level; for executive level support and for the use of key performance indicators. And they mostly have a stand-alone analytics team.
  3. 31 percent relied on CRMs, ERPs, and the adoption of digital payments.

What are the traits of effective digital leaders?

Digital strategy: Strategically, they are digitally rock hard and they can proactively adapt to any digital disruption. Their digital strategy aligns with their business strategy. And investing heavily in technology is a vitality for their business.

Digital organisation: They aim towards the centralization of digital organizational structure where a single business unit manages and coordinates digital initiatives for the whole business. Companies identified as digital leaders tend to have stronger support from their senior executives who nurture and directly engage in various digital initiatives.

Digital capabilities: As early digital adopters, digital leaders are:

  •  2.6 times more likely to use customer relationship management software
  • 2.5 times more likely to use an enterprise resource planning system.
  • 2.3 times more likely to use search engine optimisation
  • 2.7 times more likely to use social media for marketing

Still, Digital India top-performing digital leaders have space for more maturity which can be achieved through reinventing their core processes, creating new business models, and revolving every strategy around better customer experience.

The digital laggards can also adopt simple digital solutions to bridge the gap between them and the digital leaders. Some relatively simple solutions such as:

  • Making the most of using technology for digital marketing: social media marketing strategy, email marketing, creating a website to increase brand awareness
  •  Using digital channels such as an eCommerce platform and listing platforms for lucrative sales
  • Using basic digital solutions like CRM and ERP systems to increase accuracy, productivity and reduce costs.

This uneven digitisation of businesses in India might be seen as both an opportunity and a challenge. As it seems that the key point differentiators are the digital strategy, organisation, and capabilities, a new agile generation of leaders is rising and making their way across various sectors. With more room for growth and improvement, they are fully committed to acquire knowledge and invest more in technology to raise productivity, boost innovation and generate revenue. And with embracing new thinking, businesses that are left behind still have the chance to create an advantage, innovate and deliver value.

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