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Why Apple, Aspect Are Keen on India

January 04, 2018

We spend a lot of time here in the U.S. talking about digital transformation. But something truly transformational has happened in India. And smart companies like Apple and Aspect Software seem to understand that, and they are positioning to move on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

India’s adoption of new technology has enabled it to bring every single person in this heavily populated country into a new system that removes the barriers to getting proper documentation. That has allowed more people in India – where before 2009 nearly half of the population lacked proper identification – to get insurance, open bank accounts, purchase cell phones, and much more. And that has greatly expanded new opportunities for both individuals and businesses in India.

For example:

• Within three years more than 270 million bank accounts were opened and $10 billion in deposits were made.

• Aadhaar accounts enabled people to instantly open mobile phone accounts.

• The government of India invited leaders from Google, Microsoft, and other tech leaders to develop Aadhaar-compliant devices.

• And a year ago in December, the Indian government launched a digital payments platform called Bharat Interface for Money, which employs the Unified Payments Interface.

“All those villagers without birth certificates, [and] farmers who could never get insurance because they had no certificates and no proof of anything, now suddenly come into the system,” explains Raoul Pal of research publication Global Macro Investor. “They get bank accounts which means they get subsidies.”

They can purchase and use mobile phones, which they can use to make transactions. And a new stored and encrypted documentation technology called India Stack keep everyones’ proof of identity, bank statements, and bills in an online repository.

“That means you can go into a bank and you can open a bank account with your

fingerprint,” explains Pal, who said this biometric effort in India is known as the Aadhaar project. “They just pass electronically and know your client details instantaneously. That takes all the friction out of everything.”

This helps explain why Apple CEO Tim Cook recently noted that India is among its top priorities.

“I am very bullish on India because of its people, its culture and the leadership,” Cook told The Hindu media outlet in an interview late in the summer. “I love the culture and warmth of people. Every time I meet Prime Minister Modi and listen to him and then see his actions, including GST, I see bold things that I don’t see in any other place. I am super impressed and optimistic. So what we are doing in India is to ramp up. We just got started on local production of iPhones and it’s very successful so far. I am extremely happy and it’s ramping up nicely. We want to continue to ramp up the production which means more volumes and more products for us.”

Aspect Software is another company that is investing a lot of resources on India. The company sells business intelligence, telephony, and workforce management solutions.

Edited by Mandi Nowitz