South Asia’s emerging digital transformation

August 7, 2021

There is evidence that the South Asia's post-pandemic adoption to digital life will shape its future prosperity.

COVID-19 has forced South Asia to take a quantum leap in digitalisation. The shift to remote work and education has propelled an unprecedented spike in Internet penetration, with even smaller nations such as Nepal recording almost an 11% increase in broadband Internet users. For a region with threadbare public health infrastructure, the digitization of health-care services was a watershed moment, providing novel solutions to the public health crises.

In India, COVID-19 accelerated the launch of the National Digital Health Mission, enhancing the accessibility and the efficiency of health-care services by creating a unique health ID for every citizen. The pandemic-induced suspension of bricks-and-mortar businesses spurred South Asia’s embrace of e-commerce, boosted by digital payment systems. Bangladesh alone witnessed an increase of 70-80% in online sales in 2020, generating $708.46 million in revenues (