“EMERGEOUT has always been about SMBs,” say Suresh Sambandam and Kishore Mandyam, organizers of EMERGEOUT Conclave at Chennai on June 7, 2011

By Team YS|28th May 2011
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NASSCOM’s EMERGE community brings cricket into the Conclave this time

The EMERGEOUT Forum in NASSCOM is an active ingredient in the industry body’s startup agenda. Primarily meant to encourage technology startups, this forum holds two EMERGEOUT Conclaves every year, one in Chennai and one in Delhi. The highlight of the conclaves in the past has been on the latest trend in technology that is of relevance to early-stage technology companies and collaboration at the industry level. Volunteers, who are millionaire entrepreneurs themselves, form the elite group of this forum. This volunteer-driven community has been at the forefront of enabling startups think big and scale.

The 7th edition of EMERGEOUT Conclave is slated to be held in Chennai on June 7, 2011. The organizing committee, headed by Suresh Sambandam, founder of OrangeScape, and Kishore Mandyam, founder of PK4 Software, have added one thrilling ingredient to the agenda this time -- cricket. Technology has become indispensable for cricket on the field and off the field. Suresh and Kishore share their thoughts on the conclave in an email chat with Venkatesh Krishnamoorthy, chief evangelist.

YourStory: What are the highlights of the EMERGEOUT Conclave at Chennai on June 7, 2011?

Suresh Sambandam: This is the first time NASSCOM is doing a conference that is focused in brining value to the user community rather than the software developer/service provider community. The EMERGEOUT program team has created a great content that will help the users in the lastest and the greatest that is happening the IT landscape and how they can be leveraged to bring innovation into their organization.

Kishore Mandyam: The biggest difference this year is the User Focus. The whole conference is focused on what SMB User-side people, not tech people, want. We’re gone to great lengths to engage with various external bodies like industry associations (in Tiruppur, for example) in the run-up to the conference. And we’ve structured the conference specifically for such Users. The idea is to give bring technology consumers and providers together in a platform that is consumer-oriented more than provider-oriented.

YS: SMBs are drivers of the economy. What inspired the EMERGE community to focus on SMBs this time?

Suresh: EMERGE is always about SMB. This conference further solidifies this position by focusing and bringing SMB users also into the conference. This provides a great opportunity for providers to network with the users/buyers and understand their pain points in an informal setup.

Kishore: EMERGE has always been about the SMB, but till recently only about the tech SMB. This time around, it is ANY kind of SMB that consumes or provides technology. Yes, SMBs drive the economy, but more to our context: they are hungry for technology – much hungrier than their large counterparts. SMB managers recognize that technology can make a huge difference in the way they market, sell and operate. And that it can be a true leveler where they are competing against large companies in their domain. We’re working to make this EMERGE a place where they can understand what’s possible, see what’s available and go away with a concrete plan to implement some of the things that our constituent members can provide.

YS: What in your view are significant opportunities that are available for SMBs and what the Conclave with focus on?

Suresh: The software industry in going through a phase of convergence and standardization with the emergence of mobile and cloud technologies and how they interplay. This opens an unprecedented opportunities to the providers and the SMB organizations to adopt technologies that can help them compete with large enterprises. Technology is getting democratized and IT will become an equalizer rather than a differentiator - making Davids compete with Goliaths.

Kishore: On the Tech Consumer side, the opportunity here is for attendees to understand the overall technology landscape in a way that makes sense in their own business contexts. For Tech Providers, the opportunity is of course for them to understand User-side pains and figure out how they can help alleviate them.

YS: There is an interesting addition – cricket. How did that happen?

Suresh: The triumph of CSK (Chennai), winning of the World Cup and Krish Srikkanth as the head of National Selection Committee were some connecting dots. And it was Raja VB who was very convinced about bringing cricket into the conference. There is quite a lot of technology applied in cricket both on field and in back stage and one should not forget the live telecasting technology. Hence we thought we will innovate ourselves in the conference by bringing in an unconventional but something everyone would relate to - cricket.

Kishore: Wrong question to ask the week of the IPL Finals! Seriously, though, we were looking for areas that would provide inspiring, intriguing stories of the use of Tech in India. And Cricket just fell into place, thanks to (Rajendra) Raja and others pointing that out. It provided the ultimate combination of real-life and real-tech, along with the fact that Cricket is such an obsession in India. On a larger scale, Sports in general is becoming a big part of the Education and Careers boom in India. A number of EMERGE companies are rolling out solutions in that space. The Conclave’s Cricket focus will help seed a number of new ideas, I’m sure, in their minds.

YS: Who will deliver the keynote?

Kishore: Krishnamachari Srikkanth, of course.

YourStory is the online media partner for the Conclave. Don’t miss the Srikanth keynote. Register here.

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