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Microsoft fund entrepreneurs in Indian smart-city space

The initiative is anticipated to impact over 50 smart cities in the next year through a catalogue of over 50 start- ups and ISV solutions.

November 09, 2015 / 03:12 PM IST

Microsoft chief Satya Nadella said the tech giant will fund hundreds of new entrepreneurs in Indian smart-city space and is overwhelmed by the country's start-up culture, especially in e-commerce arena.

Describing the pace of growth of ecommerce and start-up ecosystem as "pretty mind boggling," he said he is not worried about the valuation part of this segment as Microsoft is not looking at acquisitions, but is looking at the quality of ideas these entrepreneurs have. Delivering keynote address 'Future Unleashed: Accelerating India', the US-based firm's largest ever customer conference here, Hyderabad-born Nadella also announced new partnerships with e-commerce players Justdial, PayTm and Snapdeal.


Unveiling the company's new cloud start-up initiative, Nadella said Microsoft will work closely with the three firms to develop solutions suitable for smart cities, apart from areas such as farming, healthcare and education. On the funding for local start-ups in the tech space to fasten the development of smart cities, Microsoft will provide individual fundings worth USD 120,000 or Rs 80 lakh worth of Azure computing so that these entrepreneurs can explore solutions and run smart city digital pilots. The initiative is anticipated to impact over 50 smart cities in the next year through a catalogue of over 50 start- ups and ISV solutions, the company said.


"At Microsoft, we strive to empower every Indian citizen and every business and government organisation to achieve more," said Nadella, who runs an average of 5 kms a day and finishes 10 books on his weekends. Interacting with a group of reporters, he said that he is extremely impressed with the adoption level of cloud computing in India since the company opened three data centres in Pune, Mumbai and Chennai 12 months ago. Microsoft said it will make available its flagship gadgets Lumia 950 and 950 XL as well as Surface Pro 4 computing device in December and January respectively.


On the projects engaging Microsoft, he said that with growing concerns over security of emails and mobile phones, it is working on ways to rid tech users of their worries over passwords. "One of the biggest security issues is passwords. One of the things that we are working on is a world where passwords are not going to be the ones that you know can get hacked but you really have other biometrics that really help us secure our computing interfaces," he said.

He added: "We had a mission of putting a personal computer on every desk in every home, but in retrospect that was a goal..Our mission was to empower every individual and organisation. That's really what I look at as we go forward.

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