File image of Wipro Chairman Rishad Premji.
Microsoft #FutureReady is a leadership forum curated by a stellar line-up of world thinkers and innovators. Over a period of two days, it covers 10 technology trends, over 30 topics, and conversations with 55 world thinkers and innovators.
On day one of Microsoft’s annual flagship event, a range of unique perspectives emerged on future-proofing the Indian economy by adopting a human-first mindset.
"From mega trends like the metaverse and zero trust security, to defining topics like the hybrid workplace and the future of clean technology, experts conducted curated sessions on diverse themes and stressed on the need to accelerate the tech intensity of businesses and organizations in a bid to realize India’s vision to become a truly digital economy," Microsoft said in an official release.
Highlights from what tech industry moguls said at the event:
Rishad Premji, Chairman of Wipro
It is important for people to come back to work for two reasons, to build culture, and to build idea exchange and innovation. Close to 30-40 percent of your workforce are working from their hometowns, and there are many women who want the current work from home model to continue. All these will change the talent base as well. The number 1 challenge companies are facing is talent. Companies that win the war for talent will win the game.
I am a big believer of retaining employees. People don't only leave for compensation or for better opportunities. People leave when they don't feel a sense of connected-ness with the organisation.
Amar Batra, MD, Spotify India
We invest a lot behind machine learning and artificial intelligence
Monika Shergill, Netflix India
Streaming is not the future of entertainment, it has become the very real present. And we’ve seen that transition accelerate since last year
Dr Devi Shetty, Chairman and Executive Director, Narayana Health
Technology gives the rich people what they always had in a better format. But technology will give poor people what they can never dream of having ... what it will do is to democratise healthcare. And this is one industry which is ripe for digital disruption.
About 95 percent of the people who are unwell do not need to be operated upon and thus do not require physical presence of a doctor. I can be anywhere. I can talk to them, get the data and explain to them what the problem is and I can make the decision.
AI and software linked to electronic medical records (EMRs) would help doctors to make better diagnoses. Within the next five years the smart EMR will start making smarter diagnoses than doctors. And within seven years, I can tell you that we doctors will be mandated to get a second opinion from the software before starting the treatment. That is going to happen.
In any industry, you may create a fantastic product, but if your customers cannot afford it, it is of no use. So in my industry I keep getting excited when somebody has developed an artificial heart. We have been implanting artificial hearts for the last 12 years. It is a phenomenal achievement. But an artificial heart in the Indian context costs more than a few million dollars. How many people in my country can afford it? So that is not of any use here.
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Union Minister of State for Entrepreneurship, Skill Development, Electronics & Technology
This is the Y2K moment for the Indian digital space and India is not late for the tech party. The next 2-5 years represents a huge opportunity for companies in the digital space to have a step function jump.
The next wave of computing performance is going to come from software optimization, semiconductor design, electronic systems design and innovation.
N Chandrasekaran, chairman, Tata Sons
India's growth going to be more fundamental going forward because global growth is going to be good. Given that I feel India has a role to play. There are many things going for India. There are many policy reforms such as GST, bankruptcy code, reduction in the corporate tax rate, and there are many things that are happening today, which will be tailwinds. In my assessment, this decade will belong to India.
For inclusive growth, national priority should be access to education and health using digital infrastructure and driving the momentum for the sustainable future. India has the volume and mindset to build the platform at scale for cheaper cost. Running marathons taught me perseverance, and that you cannot be distracted by someone’s else.
Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft
For years, we have been talking about creating digital representation and now we have the opportunity to do so and bring the humanity with us, through metaverse.
Also Read | Metaverse next, Microsoft is approaching carefully: CEO Satya Nadella
Metaverse enables us to embed computing in real world and real world into computing, bringing real presence to any digital piece. Human presence is the ultimate connection. You and I can have a meeting where we are all present together without actually being physically present. That's the next thing and we are approaching this thoughtfully.
Sanjiv Bajaj, CMD - Bajaj Finserv, MD - Bajaj Holdings & Inv, Chairman - Bajaj Finance, Bajaj Allianz & Bajaj Housing Finance
Nimble innovation is key for any transformation at scale. We continue to see that at Bajaj Finserv and across the fintech space.
Trust plays a very important role and trust means going beyond what regulation requires you to do.
Rekha M Menon, Chairperson and senior MD at Accenture & Chairperson at NASSCOM
Everybody has to be tech literate because in all aspects of our life we are dealing with technology
Rekha M Menon, Chairperson and senior MD at Accenture & Chairperson at NASSCOM; Ronnie Srewvala, Chairperson & co-founder UpGrad
Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India
The one big shift each one of us have seen is that the future of work is hybrid. We are no longer bound to traditional notions of space and time for how, when, and where we work. Cloud readiness, digital business processes, and a Zero Trust security architecture will be key enablers in adapting to the new hybrid reality.
Skilling is critical in bridging India’s digital divide, placing India on the path to inclusive economic growth and preparing it for the future.
Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog
Your policy regime should be pro-innovation, light touch, progressive. You should benchmark yourself against the world's best, even better than the world's best
Bharat Puri, MD, Pidilite Industries
We have done 6,000 meets virtually on platforms like Teams with carpenters, masons and plumbers
Dr BS Ajaikumar, Executive Chairman of HCG Cancercare
What used to take weeks or more, a decision can be taken in a matter of minutes literally, and that is a phenomenal change in healthcare
More about FutureReady
Future Ready Talent is tech giant Microsoft's virtual internship program. As per the company website, it is aimed at empowering India’s youth with technology skills for employability.
The internship program is for students in their second year of college and upwards. The initiative aims to impact over 1.5 lakh higher education students who will join the workforce between 2022-2024.
The program is open to students who will graduate in 2022, 2023, and graduated in 2021. Students from all specializations are open to participate.
The platform provides an opportunity to learn the in-demand azure cloud and security skills aligned to industry needs. It aims at preparing learners work towards solving business challenges and creating innovative solutions using the power of Microsoft Azure & GitHub tools.
How does it work?
Future Ready Talent is a virtual internship platform for students with an opportunity to learn the in-demand technology skills and work towards solving real world problem using the power of Microsoft Azure & GitHub tools. The students can earn internship credits on completion of the program with an entry to exclusive career fairs. The program is open to all students who will be joining the workforce in next 2 years along with students who graduated in 2021.