5 must-haves to survive in a hyper-digital and contactless world, according to Debjani Ghosh, President, NASSCOM
COVID-19 has awakened people to new lifestyles while discarding old, unsustainable, and irresponsible ways of living.
Debjani Ghosh, President of NASSCOM, listed five core differentiators for creating an impact in a hyper-digital and contactless world at Karnataka's flagship annual technology event, Bengaluru Tech Summit 2020 (BTS2020) on Thursday.
Reflecting on the pre-pandemic era, Debjani said, “There were several things about the past that I did not like,” adding, “Future will be created based on the actions you and I take today.”
She said that going forward, volatility and crisis will be the norm in a world which is going to become hyper-digital in the coming times. Therefore, technology will play a very important role. “Technology, at large, is one of the most powerful equalisers created by humankind,” she said, adding, “provided we use it right.”
Leading the new normal will require a new playbook, highlighted Debjani and listed five must-haves for companies to survive and thrive.
“Trust is going to become the key currency in a hyper-digital and contactless world,” she said, adding that people will make decisions on working with companies based on their trust. She also added that companies need to ensure the safety of their employees and trust them to do the right thing, “Gone are the days when you have to monitor how many hours they are working in a day...Trust has changed everything completely (including) the way we thought about engagements and partnerships,” she said.
Debjani also applauded the efforts of the Karnataka government which took cognizance of the uncertainty when the country was under the pandemic-led lockdown and supported India’s IT industry. She said:
“I want to take this opportunity to say a heartfelt thank you to the Karnataka government for not letting that trust down and for taking the right steps. Yes, there were a few hassles and hiccups along the way but that was expected. We were moving four million people to work from home!”
Businesses will hire people who are talented and skilled, according to Debjani. She also addressed the concern about technology leading to job loss, “Technology is not causing job losses but it’s causing job displacements. We require people with newer skills,” she elaborated.
She said that the country not just requires people with excellent technical skills but also communication skills, management skills, domain expertise, creativity etc. She said that there is a shortage of the right digital talent across the globe and the need of the hour is for education systems to foster individuals that have a hunger for life-long learning.
Innovation has been at the forefront of all discussions nowadays. Debjani emphasised that innovation creates impact and will emerge as the winner in the end.
“Innovation is no more about cool technology. Innovation, today, is about creating impact and problem-solving,” she elaborated.
She said that the government also has to start thinking about how it enables companies to make a difference with their innovation. “From funding innovation to becoming a consumer of education, the government needs to ensure that innovation impacts billions of people,” she said.
Inclusion and ethics
Responsible use of technology has now become a much-talked-about subject. Debjani labelled ethics and responsible use of technology as not just a “nice-to-have” thing but a “must-have” thing for companies.
“Government should work with the industry to create a framework for the responsible and ethical use of technology,” she suggested.
She said the inclusion of diversity and ethics in technology should be a priority, which will ultimately become advantageous to the community.
Further elaborating on inclusion, she said, “We need more women data scientists. We need to find abundant women in tech.”
Debjani also pointed out that the trend of people in smaller cities working from home has further bolstered the cause for diversity and inclusion while strengthening the local economies.
Agility and resilience
Speed and resilience will decide the winner, according to Debjani, saying “You may do all of the above things but someone who does it faster wins in the end.”
She said that the government will play an important role, especially in the aspect of ease of doing business. “If the regulation allows us then the companies will move faster and better,” she added.