Vijay Anand, program chair of the NASSCOM EMERGEOUT Conclave Chennai, shares his insights into making of the conclave and what the participants can expect from the conclave. NASSCOM’s focus is on bringing the domestic opportunities to the fore, with the Chennai conclave setting the tone. The following conclave at Delhi will focus on opportunities presented by the government for SMEs. These will culminate in the NASSCOM’s flagship event, The NASSCOM Product Conclave, to be held later in the year at Bangalore. Not only that. Apart from NASSCOM, there are other organizations that help industrial growth in India. CII is hosting a session in this conclave to bring together the manufacturing and the software sectors. Vijay feels such a partnership is important as we step into tapping opportunities in the domestic market. India, with a huge population of a billion plus, is the harbinger of emerging markets revolution that is likely to set in. Eager to catch up with what Vijay told Venkatesh Krishnamoorthy, chief evangelist, YourStory? Read on…
YourStory: Can you give us a flavor of the conclave?
Vijay Anand: First let me give you an idea of what is behind the plan for the conclave. This is the fourth conclave as you would know. EMERGEOUT conclaves are aimed at small and medium enterprises and not technically startups. The companies that are up and coming need direction in terms of what they should offer – products or services.
NASSCOM is successfully hosting Product Conclave for the past two years. If you would have noticed, all these conclaves and the Product Conclave are individual events with their own agendas. Starting from this edition of the EMERGEOUT, we are trying to see how we can tie the events together for continuity. The two events, the EMERGEOUT at Chennai and the following one at Delhi, will lead up to the Product Conclave in Bangalore. The three events are in a way connected. You need to keep this at the back of your mind.
Instead of picking up random topics, we are trying to see if we can focus on happenings around the region. So the Delhi conclave is going to have focus on government initiatives, especially infrastructure. We are focusing on two main areas in Chennai: one is the automobile sector and the other is the UID. Parallel track sessions, one on informative discussions and another consisting of workshops on marketing and design and innovation jam by Kiruba, are planned. The innovation jam will bring in lot of startup ideas. The topic for the innovation jam is what is next big startup idea?
There is going to be one session on design. This workshop should be quite interesting. We also have sessions on cloud, OnDemand computing, among others. Each session has a session manager who would manage the session.
Of course, we have the keynote by Mr. Bharat Goenka. He is the name for product technology in India. Also the valedictory session by Mr. Lakshmi Narayanan will be in an interview format.
YourStory: What is special about the domestic opportunities that are on focus at the conclave? This is a departure from the conclaves before.
Vijay Anand: The EMERGEOUT conclaves and the Product Conclave are going to start focusing on opportunities in India. Emerging markets present huge opportunities that we are not tapping at all. The new technologies like cloud computing will help deliver services/products at a low cost for emerging markets given that volumes are high. There is a lot of interest in that area. We are now gearing to look at things like that.
YourStory: Any specific sessions that audience can look forward to…
Vijay Anand: I am looking forward to Mr. Bharat Goenka’s talk. The agenda has speakers against the sessions.
We have tried to bring in diversity of speakers into the panels. One of the panels is the CIO panel.
There is one session planned by the CII. Technology services are restricted to providing services to other technology companies. There are 32 million small and medium enterprises in India consisting of manufacturing companies as well. Most of the manufacturing companies don’t have PCs at all. We want to hear from manufacturing companies what they expect the software companies to do apart from the price point. We said let us not get into a pricing discussion because we understand local, domestic pricing would be appropriate. This session is going to be interesting as a couple of interesting companies are participating.
This whole session is planned by CII. This time we are also bringing in other organizations as well. This is very important.
YourStory: What makes the UID-inspired ecosystem session important?
Vijay Anand: The government was not so far open to leveraging public infrastructure for private service till sometime ago. If you look at passport, for example, nobody can build a service infrastructure on passport. The UID is interesting because it is almost like Google’s authentication system. The government wants to manage records of a person at the backend and provide a single identity to a person on top of which you can build systems. I think the credit rating systems will become more strengthened because of this. Banking and finance sector will derive huge benefits out of the UID system.
YourStory: What would be the benefit of the Chennai conclave and the future of the conclave?
Vijay Anand: This conclave is focussed on what is happening around Chennai. NASSCOM is providing lot of opportunities for emerging companies. It is important for companies to take advantage of that. Following the Delhi conclave, other conclaves are planned in cities like Pune and Hyderabad. This might turned into a TEDx format. NASSCOM is planning to branch this off into smaller groups and organize the conclave in smaller cities. All these would culminate in the Product Conclave. Let’s see how this works out. I am quite excited about the Chennai event and there are of lot of things to do after that.
There is a vibrant community of NASSCOM, which is active on CollectiveX – the NASSCOM EMERGE community. Any emerging company reading this can join the community and get benefited. The entire agenda was put together by that community. They mentioned the topics and then we screened the topics and looked into how much depth can we bring in to each topic. This is a very much community-driven agenda.
YourStory: In your interview to us, you had said India can set standards for emerging markets. Do you think this conclave will set the tone for such a kind of system to emerge?
Vijay Anand: We are going to start talking about that. The Product Conclave to be held in November this year will highlight this aspect very strongly. We are planning to bring together a lot of people and make that story much more solid. Post-November, you will hear this tone reverberating everywhere. We are also using the EMERGEOUT conclaves to figure out the concerns of companies and where they want to get into.
YourStory: Setting the tone is alright. What are the sectors in which India will take the leadership position in emerging markets?
Vijay Anand: Automobile, energy, retail, telecom, and especially governance systems like the UID. Even design is relevant with regard to what design is appropriate for emerging markets. Obviously, devices are not going to look like Apple products. But they are going to be different – be cost-effective and elegant. So there are lot of opportunities when it comes to design for emerging markets. I think there a lot of places where we can make a mark in this area.
After any conversation with Vijay, there is always a new insight gained. He rounded off with the opportunities in design for emerging markets. YourStory is confident that NASSCOM’s serving for emerging companies will usher in a vibrant Indian software services/products industry that caters to the domestic market and set the standard for the emerging markets. NASSCOM is a strong enabler of the Vision 2020 or Vision @ India 75 put forward by late Prof. C.K. Prahalad.