Pandemic accelerated digital adoption by a decade: Satya Nadella, Microsoft

Having digital technology at the core of everything can make the business more resilient, and faster to adapt to any headwinds, said Satya Nadella.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the digitisation process by at least a decade, and it has now become an essential part of how we function, said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft.

In a conversation with Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Group CEO of Flipkart, on the sidelines of the Resurgence TiEcon Delhi-NCR event, Nadella said, "Technology has become core to how we think about business productivity — right from hiring to scaling."

He added that even though no company can be 100 percent immune to issues, having digital technology at the core of everything can make a business more resilient, and faster to adapt to any headwinds.

Krishnamurthy, who has had the vantage point of being at the helm of digital transformation in the country during the lockdown, said that in India too, technology went where it had not gone before — many first-time users went online during the pandemic to seek entertainment, shop for daily necessities, and explore fintech products.

The COVID-19 pandemic bridged a tech gap that would've otherwise taken years to close, he added.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Startups in 2021 are full of ambition and the transformation they're bringing about in the economy and society at scale is exciting, Nadella said about the year ahead.

"For me, the next exciting phase in the way startups build and re-jig the economy is not about the tech industry in its narrow sense — it's about digital technology becoming more pervasive in part of all industries and entrepreneurial activity," said the Microsoft CEO.

Particularly in retail, tech has caused a radical shift in the way people shop, with technologies such as VR/AR providing a richer experience. It has also transformed backroom operations such as payments processing and settlements, as well as inventory management, logistics, and delivery.

"Digitisation has opened up a world of opportunities for online retail. On the other hand, it has also levelled the playing field for up and coming startups and brands," Krishnamurthy added.

Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta


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