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The deep technology sector is experiencing exciting growth in India, particularly against the backdrop of the internet economy and other sectors that the metaverse and climate change threaten to disrupt.
With many talented individuals working on a globally competitive disruptive technology in top-notch university labs and startups, India's deep tech startup ecosystem has advanced significantly over the past few years. It is now unique due to its proximity to a significant problem space, inputs, and statistics.
The deep tech ecosystem in India has increased by more than 50% in the previous ten years and is now on par with that in established countries like the US, China, and Europe (1). It is also becoming increasingly visible in fields like drone delivery and cold chain management for climate change and renewable energy.
Currently, the Indian deep-tech ecosystem has matured and is not only defying the odds with incredible innovation and remarkable direction, but it is also actively contributing to developing sustainable living solutions.
According to tech advocates, deep tech startups are needed in India to advance digital transformation. Current digital technologies like mobile, CRM, and cloud enhance any organization's journey toward digital transformation by supplying functional capabilities like connectivity, processing power, and storage.
Businesses are built on actual breakthrough technology that is used to tackle practically unsolvable issues in the real world. AI, machine learning, other cutting-edge applications, and developing blockchain technologies like blockchain. VR and computer imagery rely on advanced technology.
Deep technology's most notable applications range from molecular imaging techniques that can detect cancer or disease susceptibility much earlier than any other test now available to AI used to forecast natural disasters.
Although money plays a crucial role in deep tech businesses since the more money one has, the more a startup or business can investigate and produce. The main motivators for investors are the potential revenue streams, the clientele list, the pipeline, and the nature of the recurring revenues.
There is a need for a positive narrative to change the situation, as it may be difficult to combat impressions and disprove hypotheses. Indian investors are willing to take more chances now. If only the demands were bright, deep tech would have a bright future, but from a tech standpoint, the future also promises light for humanity.
In addition to the ecosystem's organic growth, deep tech startups are now being courted by organizations and enterprises as they seek to expand their product lines and develop specialized technical capabilities as they move toward digital transformation. Deep tech startups are making their presence felt across a variety of industries, and large deep tech firms are spawning a new class of entrepreneurs.
There is a high demand for companies specializing in disruptive technology that can address complex global problems, as seen by the acquisition of several deep technology firms in India by larger corporations to obtain access to unique technologies and quality staff.
Organizations and the government will need to review their deep tech adoption roadmaps as the Indian startup ecosystem continues to expand due to the ongoing period of rapidly emerging new technologies.
The horizon appears to be highly fruitful with technologies like 5G, AI, quantum computing, cloud-native technologies, cybersecurity, etc., that also offer the potential for enabling a robust and flourishing Indian startup ecosystem to become world leaders in the deep tech arena (2).
With previously unheard-of growth rates in deep tech firms, Atmanirbhar Bharat, return-to-India, and make-in-India are among the national efforts and strong policies enhancing and expanding the Indian startup ecosystem.
We are getting closer to an inflection point where the social uses of deep tech in India will outpace the enterprise use of such technologies, thanks to initiatives like UPI, AI-enabled, eGovernance, and other planned digital expenditures by the Indian government.
What is Deep Tech?
Swati Chaturvedi (3), founder and CEO of Propel(x) (4), an online investment platform that connects early-stage deep tech with investors, coined the term "deep tech" or "deep technology."The phrase served as a means of separating itself from its antithesis, "shallow tech."
Deep tech is a relatively basic technology advancement that converts a company's non-digital business model to a digital one. Competitors can easily replicate these advancements. Shallow technology would include, for instance, a bookstore that now sells e-books for digital download or a telephone-based delivery service that is now provided digitally through a phone app.
Although Uber (5) completely revolutionized the taxi industry, it does not count as deep tech because it established a platform for using easily available, pre-existing digital technologies.
Understanding just how much deep tech might advance broad industries and solve or lessen global problems like global warming, disease, and feeding a growing global population is crucial to the future of deep tech.
Deep tech is a new industrial revolution where new platform technologies and infrastructure significantly change how we live and work. This last wave of new platform technologies, like the internet, mobile technologies, PCs, and silicon chips, brought enormous changes.
The test and prototype stages are now easier to access and faster than ever because of factors like 3D printing, DNA sequencing, and computer-aided design. As these deep tech platforms develop, their opportunities will grow and reach the market more quickly (6).
Deep tech startups and projects are likely to rewrite the rules. They render other businesses irrelevant once they enter the market, making it difficult for competitors to copy what they have done and what they may accomplish.
Similarly, a fintech (7) adopting blockchain can give customers greater security while enabling worldwide banking via mobile devices with no overhead. They can dismantle the outdated business model of local banks that aren't competitive, have excessive fees, and have burdensome bureaucratic procedures that humanity is seeing more and more today.