Digital has become an all pervasive mega trend, dramatically changing the lives of individuals, business models of enterprises, and the economy of India. Winning in the Digital Age: Seven Building Blocks of Successful Digital Transformation, authored by Nitin Seth, has already become an Amazon Best Seller.
“For India, the Digital Age could be the epoch for its progression to global leadership leveraging its unique advantages. With 2.8 million engineers graduating every year, the lowest cost of broadband access, widespread mobile devices, and crucially democratised information knits unique flow to disadvantaged millions providing them opportunities that were not possible,” the author tells us. He also expounded that India is currently facing a unique paradox as growth has stalled despite having all the right fundamentals. He tells us his journey to winning in the digital age.

Where did you get the idea to write ‘Winning in the Digital Age’?

Digital is impacting every aspects of our lives from daily experiences to the way business is run, to how industries are getting structured and restructured. I have been very fortunate that 25 years of my work has coincided with the constant rise of the digital mega -trend. From dot com boom to dot com burst, to the rise of analytics, to the rise of e-commerce, and digital transformation in some of the largest corporations of the world, I saw it all. These experiences have shown me that while the opportunity with digital is incredible, currently we are realising only a small part. Most of the digital transformation initiatives fail or don’t realise their opportunity and for me, it’s a great waste. It is for this reason – that while digital is a huge opportunity, we are just realising a small part of it, I wanted to write the book.
Digital is a very complex topic. You have a lot of academician writing, futurist writing, but you don’t have a practitioner’s view or a view where there is clear direction provided on how to proceed with this complex task of digital transformation.
By writing this book, I tried to provide a practitioner’s handbook which makes this complex task of winning in the digital age a more doable mission by bringing clarity to the transformation process, breaking it down into seven building blocks and presenting how best to master them.

What do you think is the country’s future when it comes to going digital?

Digital is a phenomenal opportunity for India. Digital is a great disruption and provides the opportunity for India to leapfrog. The essential nature of digital is that it democratises access to information and technology.
Moreover, In a country like India, where youth is the bulk of the population, also which is a developing country where a lot of population doesn’t have all the means and where historically high- quality education was not easily available, suddenly all the knowledge is readily available and easily accessible. This democratisation of access will hugely empower our youth and can help India be a powerhouse in the digital age.
There are multiple factors why I believe India is in a strong position to realise the potential

  • Smartphone penetration: 60% of the population has internet access driven by low-cost smartphones in India
  • Low cost of data: In India, the Average Revenue per User is $2-3 whereas in developed markets it is ~ $20. This has really propelled the access of information across a large population base of India.
  • Leader in the IT industry: India accounts for 50%+ share of global headcount in the industry.
  • Abundant young talent: 800 mn Indians below the age of 35, who are born in the Digital Age and can easily adapt to technology change

Given these factors, I am very hopeful that India will truly realise its destiny and digital will be the game changer for India which will help propel India’s growth.

How do you want the book to stand on its own?

My vision for this book is to become a handbook and guide for all professionals – from CEOs to young professionals starting their career. I have tried to provide a comprehensive and 360-degree view of digital starting from what it means for an enterprise leader to what it means to an individual. While the book, I believe will be relevant across sections of society, I hope young professionals, in particular, will benefit from it. When I was growing up, Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People had a profound impact on me and has been a handbook and guide for me for the last 30-35 years. My wish for this book is something similar.
I hope it becomes an anchor and guide for professionals in this digital age.