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100 mn jobs in India can come from small businesses, says Nilekani

At a time when Covid-19 pandemic has impacted small businesses, Nandan Nilekani, founding architect of Aadhaar and co-founder of Infosys, said that India needs to create jobs at scale. This can be made possible by millions of small businesses in the country, which are the future of India and engines of economic growth and job creation, he said.

There is also increasing adoption of digitization by small businesses including accounting systems, point of sale systems and return of GST (goods and sales tax) online. This is going to generate a wealth of data, which can then be used to offer them better services like lending, Nilekani added.

“I think small businesses are being brought into a digital world, getting access to markets, and companies can now start leveraging their own data for the future,” said Nilekani. “I strongly believe that if every small business creates one or two jobs more, that may mean 50 to 100 million new jobs. This is very important.”

Nilekani said this at a conversation with Amazon’s senior vice president, Russell Grandinetti and Mahendra Nerurkar, CEO, Amazon Pay India, at the e-commerce firm’s flagship event Smbhav.

“What Amazon is doing in India is very important. And I would like you to think in terms of how many million jobs you are enabling because that is the future,” said Nilekani.

For example, if there are 5 million suppliers on the marketplace, and each of them creates 5 million jobs, thanks to the market expansion one is offering them, then collectively, the potential to create 25 million jobs, he said.

“And I think that is the point you have to emphasize,” Nilekani told Grandinetti and Nerurkar. “Because what India needs most now is job creators, and you have a chance to create jobs at scale."


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