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Technology, talent, transformation - 50 quotes from the Future of Work 2021 conference

From tech trends to business design, these quotes from YourStory’s flagship conference capture a wealth of insights for founders and corporate leaders.

Technology, talent, transformation - 50 quotes from the Future of Work 2021 conference

Friday March 12, 2021 , 7 min Read

Launched in 2014, StoryBites is a weekly feature from YourStory Media, featuring notable quotable quotes in our articles of this past week. This special compilation of quotes, divided into 10 thematic sections, focuses on the future of work, workers, and workplaces.

See also our quotes compilation from the 2020 edition of our flagship conference, and full coverage of the 2021 edition. Share these 50 gems and insights with your colleagues and networks, and check back to the original articles for more insights.


Work from home (and beyond)

With offices re-opening, it clearly looks like we’re going to see a hybrid work culture. - Chaitanya Peddi, Darwinbox

Companies are looking for technology and tools to make hybrid work models a reality, so they can enable employees to balance and manage their personal and professional lives efficiently, and be more responsible. - Kelly Waldher, Google Workspace

The new normal is not about work from home alone, but from anywhere. - Priyanka Anand, Ericsson

You have employees working from mobile phones, laptops, from home and even at staycations, which makes the future of work very pleasant. - Krunal Patel, Teamviewer

Organisations have been able to trust their employees and provide a more output-based evaluation rather than a face-time based one. - Aishwarya Kalakata, Flipkart

Founder tips

Bringing people with more experience won't solve your problem, because no one, other than you and your team has more conviction in your idea. - Dinesh Varadharajan, Kissflow

The question for startups really is whether you would want to define the brand or let it evolve organically over a period of time. - Mervyn Raphael, People Business

It's extremely important you have a co-founder who’s a thorough techie. Or make sure that you have a very strong voice from a tech leader in your company very, very early on. - Rahul Chari, PhonePe

It is important that when you architect your systems, you keep scalability and extensibility in mind. - Arpit Chaudhary, GreedyGameMedia


Industry trends

With more and more people being stuck at home, people took to multiplayer gaming in a big way. - Shubh Malhotra, MPL

A lot of factories are creating 360 virtual tours of their space. This will help the person building it walk through the entire factory, understand the processes better, and ultimately bolster better decision-making. - Ashwin Jaishanker, AutoVRse

Over the last couple of decades, travel has actually seen consistent growth, despite various crises. - Kapil Verma, MakeMyTrip

There are a lot of forward-looking banks who realise that it's not about competition, but it's about partnership, it's about cooperation and going to market together. - Shashank Kumar, Razorpay

There has to be a one-stop-shop for everything related to house or land — that is the future of proptech. - Akhil Gupta, NoBroker

If you build the right community teams, the right content will always win. - Piyush Kumar, Rooter Sports Technologies


Kids have a natural curiosity in them, and if you create joyful learning experiences, it can lead to powerful and transformational outcomes. - Ranjith Radhakrishnan, BYJU'S

Earlier, parents and students thought of online as a not-so-serious option. Then in 2020, online became the only option. - Vamsi Krishna, Vedantu

Online allows you to look at learning paths at a granular level and figure out what gaps each student has. It lets you become relevant to every single child out there. - Ranjith Radhakrishnan, BYJU'S

One of the major drawbacks of the engineering education system is that communication skills are not properly taught. - Viral Mehta, Pocket Aces


Tech impacts

When you have data, you are powerful. The data lets you brainstorm and meet the expectations of customers or find solutions to problems that are hindering growth. - Jatin Bhasin, Capital Float

Hybrid clouds keep evolving and should best fit the unique needs of an organisation. - Bhavna Agarwal, HPE India

AI and ML will be master data cleansing technology in the future. - Sandeep Goel, Moglix

Getting to Logistics 4.0 will be a completely data-led transformation. - Vikram Janakiraman, BCG

Security is important in today’s digitally transformed world. - Ranganath Sadasiva, HPE

Organisational culture

Increasingly, even though business schools teach more and more about the smart side, the real differentiator in performance lies in the investments an organisation makes in the healthy side of the business. - Warren Harris, Tata Technologies

Developers tend to stay away from job descriptions that make basic blunders asking for skills that don't exist. - Harishankaran K, HackerRank

Tech is not just a domain today. It is a way of working. - Raghav Chandra, Urban CompanyOnly technology can lead the way when the problem is large, but there needs to be trust and inclusion among stakeholders at all levels. - Swapnil Shah, Freight Tiger

Technology’s role is not just to ship a product relevant for the business, but also empower internal stakeholders within the company. - Kanav Arora, Urban Company



A good design is always functional, efficient, and beautiful, and all the three together. - Harish Sivaramakrishnan, CRED

You have to spend a lot of time on product and UX (user experience) to make it less complex, and then move forward to other aspects. - Saravanan KP, Chargebee

You have to create mission-oriented teams that can build a lot of new ideas. - Ranjith Radhakrishnan, BYJU'S

Yes, beauty is subjective, but that's a terrible reason to not make things beautiful. - Harish Sivaramakrishnan, CRED

Without people and processes in place, tools will never get you the desired outcome. - Vandana Abraham, Atlassian

Sometimes you require the right degree of nuance, and sometimes the right degree of complexity to arrive at a solution, which will last. - Harish Sivaramakrishnan, CRED

Customer centricity

Define the exact consumer and not the segment. - Anuj Rathi, Swiggy

Grow with your customers, and you'll scale and eventually know how to grow your tech architecture. - Vara Kumar Namburu, Whatfix

Personalisation is a combination of art and science. - Yashwanth Kumar, Titan Company

The pandemic has helped us realise that one product doesn't fit all. - Saurabh Tiwari, PolicyBazaar


Diversity and inclusion

Women are better able to balance work and home, not choosing between one or the other. We’ve been able to successfully remove the stigma that was otherwise attached to work-from-home and that adds a lot more to everybody’s life. - Aishwarya Kalakata, Flipkart

It all comes down to communicating. Only if you make your voice heard... only then will things align. - Shraddha Kandpal, Pharmeasy

The narrative is now shifting from unconscious biases to conscious inclusion. - Gopinath Pullaihgari, Verizon India

What women are looking for is a trusting culture in the companies. We need to help them grow personally and professionally. - Pooja Patel, LogiNext

The India market

In India, the gaming industry pays $200 million in taxes to the central government. - Sandeep Agarwal, 24x7

India is running well-optimised games at great scale; businesses are taking notice of this; venture capitalists are also investing in gaming companies and believing in the kind of games that are being made in India. - Arvind Neelakantan, Epic Games

With nearly 60 million SMBs and 30 percent contribution to GDP, small businesses form the backbone of the Indian economy. - Ravish Naresh, KhataBook

SMEs are digitally connected in a few ways, but this is often not a seamless process as they use a combination of semi-automated and manual business processes. - Nabendu Das, Tally Solutions


The road ahead

Tech hiring is the future. It's the right skill to pursue your career, and India is the best place to be, with organisations doing amazing work, and global products being housed and built here. - Vishpala Reddy, Philips Healthcare

There was not a single business that has not felt the impact of COVID-19. This year, 2021, is still going to be a slow pitch. - Anshu Prateek, Grab

The world only rewards those who have been upskilling and building a future. - Jayalakshmi Manohar, Streak AIYourStory has also published the pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups’ as a creative and motivational guide for innovators (downloadable as apps here: Apple, Android).

Edited by Teja Lele