Data Innovation is Redefining Social Change in India

Data Innovation is Redefining Social Change in India

As recently as 2017, India had the distinction of the 6th largest economy in the world,1 based on gross domestic product. As India continues to grow its reputation as a global economic powerhouse, the country is depending on data innovation to improve the lives of its rapidly growing population.

How does India plan to translate its economic success to enable an improved standard of living for all its citizens?

Data Innovation is Redefining Social Change in India

A recent study showed the Government of India spent around $1,500 USD per person.2 Spending more money per person means either raising additional funds or restructuring existing government budgets—two options that carry significant logistical and legal challenges.

The Government of India plans to improve the lives of its citizens by focusing on high-priority, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). From the well-known list of 17 SDGs, the country’s government has prioritized the following seven goals: Goals 1, 2, 3, 5, 9, 14 and 17.3

To achieve these goals, the Government of India has created a national agenda that focuses on collective effort and inclusive growth. The agenda includes a three-year action plan—starting in 2017 and ending in 2020—a seven-year strategy, and a 15-year vision.3 Key to reaching these SDGs is active participation from the state governments across India. Several of these sub-national governments have already made progress creating roadmaps to track progress against the country’s high-priority SDGs and planning processes for SDG implementation.

The Need for Scalable Solutions

We need to be more connected and tightly knit than ever and digital technology is enabling our lives and society, aiding access to high-quality education and health, and also driving inclusion. Leading this social transformation is companies and organizations, as it is evident that the government aid and private philanthropy based social development is not sufficient to meet the critical and growing challenges of the 21st century.

Organizations and entrepreneurs around the world are driving social innovation and redefining how we understand and address social change by leveraging data for good and in the process, offering new and sustainable solutions to social, economic and environmental issues. With finite monetary resources, it’s clear that data innovation is needed to help upgrade India’s infrastructure to get more value from existing assets and improve the quality of life for its 1.3 billion citizens.

Data Innovation Bazaar: A Country-wide Call for Innovation

Data Innovation Bazaar is a new initiative by Western Digital, a global leader in empowering data infrastructure, with the objective to move the needle on India’s social impact by using digital technology. In partnership with Invest India and Startup India, we’re launching the first-ever Data Innovation platform in India. This national challenge, known as the Data Innovation Bazaar (DIB), was formally launched in September 2018 with a call for applications from young entrepreneurs, startups, innovators, and students from around India.

With a focus on disruptive inventions in the cleantech, education, healthcare, renewable energy, and transportation industries, 40 shortlisted teams will be invited to present their ideas to a panel of esteemed judges in a one-day, bazaar style format in a marquee government venue at Nehru Memorial and Museum at New Delhi. The top-3 teams will be awarded cash prizes and the top-10 teams will receive an invitation to further network and interact with industry veterans, the investor community and Western Digital leadership at a three-day innovation boot camp at Western Digital’s Bengaluru campus.

A commitment to help the Government of India realize its New India vision, the DIB initiative of Western Digital is designed to support key SDGs. The groundbreaking initiative also positions India as a global hub for cutting-edge technologies in the near immediate future. Data innovation is rightly positioned as a catalyst in redefining social change in India.

Learn More about Western Digital’s Startup India Data Innovation Bazaar:

  • Read the official announcement from Supria Dhanda, Vice President and Country Manager of Western Digital.
  • Visit the Data Innovation Bazaar website for full details.
  • Find out how governments are scaling data storage to address social needs.


  1. GDP (current US$)
  2. Public Spending
  3. India: Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform