India to become a moonshot economy, says Google adviser

March 20, 2016

NEW DELHI: India is going to be a moonshot economy, where things can grow rapidly and in a non-linear way, Jack Hidary, an advisor to Google X Labs, told a Mint event. He cited some of the moonshot goals in India as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of 150 gigawatt of solar power by 2030 and the Reserve Bank of India’s plan to convert India from a cash economy to a digital one.

Moonshot refers to ambitious, exploratory and lofty targets. It aims to achieve radical solution through breakthrough technology.

Over the next decade, 50% of all transactions in India will be digital, Hidary said. "One describes India as a moonshot nation. India itself is going through a radical transformation—the likes of what we have never seen.

"This is very different to what is happening in China or any other country in the world. It is a combination of smartphones, digital payments, broadband and power of energy storage coming together.

"Smartphones ease the access to the Internet and open up users to mobile apps and that really changes the name of the game. We asked industry experts about what they think will be the smartphone penetration in India this year. They said 26% of the phones in India are smartphones, which will rise to 40% by 2019," he said.

According to Hidary, driverless cars is one example moonshot idea. Google’s self- driven car was dismissed as crazy when it was started. "I do believe that Gandhi was one of the early Moonshooters. He had a lot of patience when seeking Independence for India," he had said on an earlier occasion.

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