03 August, 2021

“They Felt If Rajiv Lost The Polls, We Should Lose Too”

Now they call him a telecom pioneer. Back then he was among a very few predicting a PCO revolution or teledensity surge

Shome Basu
“They Felt If Rajiv Lost The Polls, We Should Lose Too”
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

On November 19, 1984, when India announced its first New Computer Policy, Silicon Valley maven Sam Pitroda was no more than a young upstart. He was soon anointed one of the three ‘computer boys’ (with Arun Nehru and Arun Singh) who pushed for liberal electronic and computer policies. Today, India credits Pitroda with telecom pioneer status; but back in 1984, he was among a very few predicting a PCO revolution or teledensity surge. He spoke to Pragya Singh about 1984, the year he came to India.

In 1984, when the New Computer Policy was announced, did you imagine sweeping changes such as the PCO revolution? Looking back at successes and failures, what would you have done differently?

I don’t think we would have done things differently; we’d do things exactly the same way. You see, even though it was 1984, a different time in India’s history when there was virtually no privatisation or liberalisation, we didn’t make technology an end in itself. Our very goal was to create generational...

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