We are at a pivotal moment in human history. Until now, WWII era financial frameworks, capital formation capabilities, technology advances driven by acquiring the world’s best talent and marketing prowess have all contributed to the West’s dominance over all regions. However, individual aspirations across all geographies, increased awareness about how the world works, global political and economic forces have created the environment whereby the power and operational structures of the past 2-3 centuries are ready for a serious rethink.

 

Technology & Expectations

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men (human beings) are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

– United States Declaration of Independence, July 1776

Since its inception, the internet has provided a revolutionary framework by which information and knowledge has become easily accessible to all. The impact has been particularly dramatic in the developing world. Further, the proliferation of Social and Mobile has allowed individuals from the developing world to interact with peers from the developed world. This has humanised people from all across the world. It is now easier to understand the way of life of people from all cultures and geographies. It is also possible to observe and adopt behaviours and best practices including in topics such as human rights and personal interactions. However, this has also surfaced unscrupulous behaviour by commercial, political and other interests.

Armed with extensive knowledge individuals, particularly from the disadvantaged strata of societies, have increased expectations and hopes for themselves and the quality of life that they want to experience. They are not willing to accept previously accepted/acceptable hierarchies, power structures, power blocks and cronyistic systems that operate based on race, religion, and other such associations.

 

Data Ownership & Privacy

I would unite with anybody to do right, and with nobody to do wrong.

– Frederick Douglass, 1855

Technological advances have exposed individuals to privacy violations and extraordinary manipulation by commercial, political and other interests. Unknown to almost all users, major technology platforms have shared user data with their “partners” in order to maximise their profits. Further, they have used Artificial intelligence and Data Analysis to analyse user behaviours. Data breaches have become a non-unusual occurrence on almost all the major technology platforms.

In response, we see several emerging trends.

  • A shift away from centralised data to distributed data using technologies like the Solid framework and Blockchain.
  • Evolution of new business models where individuals are compensated for any use of their data.
  • Countries enacting data localisation and related laws to protect citizens’ privacy, commercial and national security interests.
  • Countries investigating the notion of sovereign internet
    a) to compartmentalise different kinds of apps and data
    b) to protect their networking and wireless infrastructures
    c) to keep their internet running even when the internet backbone is shut down due to geo-political or other reasons

 

Innovation

Be intent on action, not on the fruits of action;
avoid attraction to the fruits and attachment to inaction!

– Bhagavad Gita, Translated by Barbara Stoler Miller, 300-200 BCE

A lot of India startups are acquired by foreign companies because they form one of the pieces of a larger puzzle. This demonstrates a lack of alignment between the problems that start-ups are working on and the larger India ecosystem. Our philosophy regarding innovation is:

  • Focus on India problems.
  • Be aware of latest technologies when articulating solutions.
  • Optimise solutions for lower costs and long term sustainability in order to fit into the larger India paradigm.
  • Don’t duplicate legacy and/or unsustainable solutions from the so called “developed” countries. Understand what not to do.
  • Create large market cap, large employee count tech giants in both the current generation and the next generation arenas.
  • Create viable commercial alternates to products in the entire hardware and software stacks.

 

Finance

You see things; and you say “Why?” (why change) But I dream things that never were; and I say “Why not?”

– George Bernard Shaw

Innovation is often stifled by a lack of capital. Our agenda is:

  • Encourage the use of domestic capital to support innovation.
  • Promote the use of cryptocurrencies and tokens for financing startups as well as for formalising equity arrangements.
  • Promote the continued development of the domestic venture capital industry.

 

Engagement

The stakeholders with whom we engage with are SMEs (Subject Matter Experts), government, investors, industry, students and young professionals. Our Accreditation program for students and young professionals directs them to relevant training courses based on their interests. We also orient them to fit into startup roles as well as other careers with a foundational worldview that aligns with our vision and mission statements.