Microsoft Future Ready: Industry leaders call for recalibrating businesses to embrace digital-first India

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Digital innovation key to building a secure, sustainable, and inclusive economy

New Delhi, Jan 11, 2022: On Day 1 of Microsoft’s annual flagship event, ‘Future Ready’, 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.

Drawing attention to how digital innovation holds the key to building a secure, sustainable and inclusive economy, Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India, said, “Tech intensity is the engine of future readiness across small and large businesses and industries, and this has further been accelerated by the pandemic. Technology is bridging social and economic gaps as well as fostering innovation and transformation, and we see a massive opportunity for us to work collaboratively to deliver inclusive growth for all, given that technology is truly about people and empowering them to do better. It’s a privilege to have path-breaking and inspirational thought leaders share their insights at Future Ready to envision sustainable growth for India.”

During the keynote session “Growth Enablers for a Hybrid Reality”, Maheshwari expressed his confidence in India’s ability to emerge as a global powerhouse owing to its compounding entrepreneurial energy, digitally connected population and large developer base. Microsoft remains committed to making technology accessible to individuals and businesses alike to build an ecosystem that would accelerate Indian industries like healthcare, fintech, govtech, EdTech while many others continue to evolve.

The optimistic views were welcomed by Amitabh Kant, CEO, Niti Aayog who shared his perspective on the transformation that digitization is bringing in and the government’s goal of putting India on the global map of sustainable development. Speaking on policy and innovation, and how India could leapfrog technologically, in the session, “The Growth Trinity – Digital Innovation, Sustainability, Social Balance”, Kant emphasized on the digital uptake in India and how, supported by ambitious policy goals, it has touched lives of millions of Indians across the nation. He shared, “Starting with, the JAM Trinity, in terms of the India stack, to biometric, the e-locker, the digital signature, we’ve really grown and evolved hugely. As far as the Unified Payment Interface (UPI), is concerned, linking up all these banks has been transformational. If you look at the FinTech movement, many young unicorns have really transformed the insurance space or even stock markets. So there has been huge transformation, as far as digitalization is concerned.”

Mr. Kant added “We are creating three unicorns a month. We’ve been able to do this because our young entrepreneurs are tapping into this data and using it to technologically leapfrog and that is what India needs to do. We need to leapfrog in all these emerging areas of technology, whether it is metaverse or Artificial Intelligence, because India has the size and scale of data and the use cases, which no other country has. We are also doing a lot in terms of making India go green, in the context of renewable energy and the hydrogen mission. I think that story is still unfolding in the next three to four years and India is set to take the global lead in this area.”

Talking about disruptive transformation driven by accelerated digitization, Dr Devi Shetty, Chairman and Executive Director, Narayana Health, in the session, “The New Health order built on Technology, Trust and Empathy” shared how he anticipates a data-driven healthcare revolution in India. During the insightful conversation, he shared his views on how India can use technology to make healthcare preventive, predictive, accessible, and affordable without compromising on empathy and trust. He further stated, “Everyone has access to smartphones, and they can access doctors like us, by just the touch of a button. And this is the reality. Technology will give rich people what they always had, in a better format, but technology will also give poor people what they could never dream of having, and this is the beauty of what technology will do, to democratize healthcare.”

Speaking about India’s digital connectivity and the disruptive potential of technology, N Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Sons, in the session “Leadership Mantras for Building a Sustainable Future” outlined the need for India to be AI-& tech-literate as a critical component for India to grow at an unprecedented rate. “Acceleration of ‘bridgital’ is the way forward and it is happening, as we see people from all walks of life adopting digitization. We have some fantastic platforms in India including UPI and Aadhar-India has the volumes and the mindset to build platforms at scale. What is important now is how we make AI and Machine Learning relevant for more people. How do you take AI, machine learning and cloud to work for all kinds of professionals in urban and rural areas?” he shared.

Click on Future Ready event website to learn more about the sessions as industry experts welcome a digital-first economy driven by tech-innovation in the coming few years.

About Microsoft India:

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Microsoft set up its India operations in 1990. Today, Microsoft entities in India have over 16,000 employees, engaged in sales and marketing, research, development and customer services and support, across 11 Indian cities – Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, New Delhi, Gurugram, Noida, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Pune. Microsoft offers its global cloud services from local data centers to accelerate digital transformation across Indian startups, businesses, and government organizations.

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