Unleashing economic potential: Disability sector to contribute $1 trillion by 2047

Embarking on a mission, Pranav Desai aims to unlock the economic potential of Specially Abled People by 2047

Pranav Desai with Indian Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman / Image-Pranav Desai

India has achieved remarkable milestones in diverse domains, from pioneering vaccine manufacturing, landing a rover on the moon, to being one of the world's fastest-growing major economies. The nation aspires to become a “Developed Country” by 2047 and it is imperative that all of India’s citizens, including 10 crore (100 Mn) Persons with Disabilities (PwD) benefit from and contribute to this goal.

With growing awareness and research data, we have an empirical understanding of the innate abilities of Persons with Disabilities and their special abilities to adapt and improvise in their environment to live and thrive. However, we are still shackled in a very limited, narrow, traditional view about them as members of society needing welfare or charity.

The world today is on the cusp of taking a quantum leap in enabling human beings to augment their capabilities using technology, AI and that is the opportunity of a century to mainstream 1+ Billion population of PwD worldwide, paving the path for their economic independence.

It is in this context that I, Pranav Desai, a polio survivor, working as a vice president in NTT DATA, have embarked on a mission to reshape perceptions, harness the ABILITY to unlock the “untapped” economic potential of PwD, whom we call Specially Abled People (SAP).

Usha, my wife and I started Voice of Specially Abled People (VOSAP) in 2017 with a vision to transform the disability sector as a catalyst. VOSAP, backed by 12,000+ volunteers and 250+ inspirational leaders, 1,000+ NRI donors has enabled 22,000+ SAP in India. We drive impact with use of technology, engaging leaders, conducting mass awareness campaigns, and supporting assistive technology adoption with our AT Acceleration Fund, among other initiatives.

VOSAP’s VISION 2047 for India: From overlooked potential to pathway to prosperity

Our profound devotion to serve beloved mother India, coupled with a tapestry of transformative experiences, has seamlessly converged into an initiative of unparalleled significance, Vision 2047. We have developed an economic model based on deep insights gained and our data for past 7 years to come up with a BOLD vision of a $1 Trillion economic contribution from the disability sector by 2047 that harnesses the “ABILITY” of Divyangjan (PM Narendra Modi coined this word for PwD/SAP). This will encompass large-scale Advocacy with strong economic arguments for leaders in the businesses, governments and communities to ACT.

Pranav with Dr Priti Adani, philanthropist, and chairperson of Adani Foundation / Image- Pranav Desai

Journey for advocacy, collaboration, and commitment to transform the disability sector by 2047

In January 2024, my India trip was a strategic mission to garner support from key leaders and disability sector stakeholders at large. Pleasantly, I experienced deep commitment to actions at the leadership level in Govt of India, various cabinet ministers, Chief Ministers of states, businesses like Adani to achieve the goal of $1 trillion.

I got the privilege of presenting a comprehensive Tax Incentives Package to the Indian Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman. This package aims to jumpstart economic activities by rewarding individuals, businesses for spending money to empower SAP with tax incentives.

As seen here in the US, the Disability sector, its ecosystem has a potential in India to create millions of new jobs around home health care, para sports, and export oriented Assistive technology, that can grow exponentially with policy measures.

While engaging with J. P. Nadda, president of BJP, sought his support for the inclusion of 10 goals to support Vision 2047 in the BJP charter. I stressed the strategic importance of promoting awareness about the abilities of SAP, rather than perpetuating traditional welfare viewpoints.
VOSAP signed the historic Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Goa, making it the first state to join hands. In Goa, at the International Purple Fest event, 10,000+ people participated, and were excited for the BOLD goal of $1 Tn purple economy.

Pranav Desai with Bhupendra Patel, CM of Gujarat / Image -Pranav Desai

The transformative narrative from overlooked to empowered is not just a story; it is a reality that is unfolding in front of our eyes, fueling a $1 trillion economy by 2047, a transformed India that stands tall.

The author is founder of Voice of SAP (, an organization working in the disability sector and in a Special Consultative Status with UN Economic and Social Council. A polio survivor, he has been a successful IT business leader, sales leader, working as vice president at NTT DATA in North America.









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