‘India is the world’s largest experiment in digitalisation’ - 30 quotes from CII Digital India Summit

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Over 30 speakers and 200 attendees gathered in Bangalore for CII’s annual Knowledge Summit, titled ‘Digital India: Pathways to a Knowledge Economy.’ Topics discussed ranged from e-commerce and IoT to Big Data and knowledge management.

By 2018, India is expected to have 250 million online shoppers, 200 million online villagers, and a $70 billion e-commerce industry. India will also have the largest youth population in the world – along with serious shortages in skills, infrastructure and electricity. All these trends have major implications for India’s growth, innovation capacity, global competitiveness, social safety and organisational practices.

Here is my pick of Top 30 quotes from CEOs, CKOs, investors and startups at the event (see also my earlier YourStory writeup on the 2014 edition of the Knowledge Summit: ‘The rise of Indian product companies.’) In the next article, we will share key insights, takeaways and tips from this leadership summit.

“Digital platforms help make the India of our dreams happen.”

- Ganesh Natarajan, CII/Zensar

“The major disruptors in India today are the youth, mobiles and broadband.”

- Dinesh Malkani, Cisco India/SAARC

“Jugaad innovation may be good for the short run but is not sustainable for long term growth.”

- Vanitha Narayanan, IBM India

“India is the world’s largest experiment in digitalisation.”

- B. Santhanam, Saint-Gobain India

“There are many initiatives for Smart Cities, but we also need Smart Citizens.”

- Ankit Lal, Aam Aadmi Party

“The last mile of the digital highway is not infrastructure but skills of the users.”

- Debjani Ghosh, Intel South Asia

“Consumer-grade user experience is transforming the industrial workforce.”

- Ipsita Dasgupta, GE South Asia

“In 2018, 60% of the Internet users of India will be from rural areas.”

- Jaideep Mehta, IDC India

“There are 60 million people with disabilities in India. How do we extend digital dividends to them as well?”

- Rumi Mallick Mitra, NASSCOM Foundation

“Getting better skills and jobs helps people get out of poverty.”

- Sean Blagsvedt, Babajob.com

“The energy of startups in Bangalore is mind-boggling and hugely motivating.”

- Vishal Bali, Medwell Ventures

“In ‘search,’ you need to know what you are looking for; with Big Data insights emerge in unexpected ways.”

- Ved Prakash, CGI

“Social media has made our consumers visible to us, such as buyers of soap.”

- Aneesh Chaudhry, Hindustan Unilever

“Organisations need to blend analytical skills in Big Data along with capacity for dialogue and debate.”

- Sagar Paul, ThoughtWorks

“Success in Big Data calls for good design thinking at the organisational level.”

- Sundara Rajan, Infosys

“An airline pilot doesn’t just want to be told that he has a defective engine – he also wants to know which airport is closest in case of emergency.”

- Ananda Byrappa, GE India

“A key competence of the future is how well you share your knowledge.”

– R. Rajnarayan, Titan

“Youth of today want social networks over hierarchy in the workplace, ambient awareness over narrow focus, continuous partial attention over single roles, quantified self over performance appraisals and gamification over procedure.”

- Elizabeth Mathew, TCS

“Knowledge management must also capture shopfloor practices, and find ways to bring in ideas from non-tech savvy workers.”

- Venkatesh D.N., Akshaya Patra Foundation

“The practice of knowledge sharing, a culture of experimentation and an attitude of customer care help us feed 1.4 million children each day.”

– Shridhar Venkat, Akshaya Patra Foundation

“Our ‘Dare to Try’ initiative captures, recognises and celebrates learnings from failures.”

– Richard Lobo, Tata Chemicals

“Showing the bottom-line impact of knowledge management helps sustain and grow the initiative.”

– Bheemesh Kumar, Tech Mahindra

“Our knowledge management initiative piggy-backs on other initiatives and strengthens knowledge sharing.”

– A.C. Chidanand, Titan

“The spirit of debate, sensitivity and integrity is instilled in our knowledge management initiative.”

– N.Rajendhiran, Wipro

“Make knowledge sharing easy and relevant in your organisation, and it will find acceptance and grow.”

– Shyam Prasad, Infosys

“Storytelling by employees about knowledge management benefits is the best way to get others also to share knowledge.”

– R. Dileep, TCS

“Knowledge management is successful when you see regulars helping regulars, not just experts helping regulars.”

- L. Ravichandran, COO, Tech Mahindra

“Knowledge management is successful when employees participate in voluntary knowledge sharing communities and not just mandated ones.”

- Uma Ganesh, Global Talent Track

“IoT can help generate data for predictive decisions; knowledge management comes in with rules and repositories about maintenance, problem solving and learning from experiences.”

- V.R. Vijay Anand, Wipro Technologies

“Connectivity, manageability and security are success factors for IoT.”

- Satish Jadhav, Intel South Asia

“CCTVs have helped reduce crime rates in cities; IoT and better analytics will improve safety.”

- Chandrashekar Kakal, L&T Infotech

“IoT is primarily about information and time. How fast can you make a better decision?”

- Uday Prabhu, Bosch

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