Author Archive

Where’s my UID?

My favourite session of the day was Nandan Nilekani’s talk on the UID project. He described the work that was being done, some of the challenges and what were some of the goals – clearly, this is a massive exercise with the aim of providing IDs to 600M Indians by 2014. Nilekani was crisp in his communication and explained the ramifications of this mammoth exercise – the ID exercise encompasses both financial inclusion and mobile inclusion. The ID will serve as the proof of your existence as an Indian citizen and this concept has to be made aware to the masses – no mean task that! What was interesting was the possibility of opening up banking especially in the remote areas – as Nilekani put it, there is no use in providing bank accounts to people if the nearest branch/ATM is several kilometres away. So, this problem will be bridged by utilizing the local kirana/grocery shops who will function as micro-ATMS and dispense/distribute cash. And the technology that will empower these transactions is mobile – quite amazing! It was really good to see technology being used to address larger issues in India and no better man that Nandan Nilekani to champion this. more

What does the buyer want?

I attended a session with two speakers from the buy side – Steven Paquette, SVP and CTO of Travelers and Helmut Mahler, CIO Daimler Trucks and Buses and they were giving their views on Industrialization of services and the impact on service providers. more

Are you partnering with your customer?

Day 1 @NILF 2011 –One interesting session that I attended today was the one called “New Normal for Customer-Vendor Relationships: the imperatives” with the speakers being Rajesh Nambiar – VP & GM of Global Delivery @ IBM and Matt Idle, Credit, Operations Director @British Gas. The two spoke about what was needed today to handle the changing market context. According to Rajesh, emerging markets, lower financial leverage and prolonged uncertainty have been instrumental in bringing about sweeping changes in the IT industry. Some of the changes that he talks about were the concept of Frugal innovation, sharing know how rather than keeping it exclusive, nimble operating models, improving resource productivity through usage of cloud etc and being a true partner to the customer. In this context, he also talked about the current buzzword – outcome based models where service providers bank on their understanding of the customer’s industry and business and hence agree to put skin in the game. more

Don’t forget your vinegar

Another very interesting session was the one by Michael Rogers,  who is a “Futurist – in – Residence” at the New York Times. Rogers writes a column called the Practical Futurist in NYT and his area of interest is in understanding new technologies and their impact on human life. His theme for the talk was virtualization – where people worked and interacted remotely and about tools that enabled it.  He gave some cool examples of gadgets that we are quite familiar with and some that are not yet popular – smart phones is of course obvious.  Rogers talked about smart phones that could project a virtual keyboard on any flat surface and could also function as a pico projector. Clearly, smart phones are only getting smarter! more