Nasscom Product Conclave Kolkata 2016: Key Highlights

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Guest Speech by Shri Talleen Kumar, Principal Secretary, Information Technology & Electronics Department, Government of West Bengal

Highlighted that technological disruption is on the way. New age technologies such as SMAC (social, mobile, analytics, cloud), artificial intelligence, IoT, etc. will take a clear precedence over other technologies.

Keynote Speech by C P Gurnani, Chairman, Nasscom, and CEO, Tech Mahindra

Gave an enthralling speech, corroborating Shri Talleen Kumar’s highlights on technological disruption. Indicated that India gives us the scale to do our businesses. We make good products, and bring forth great ideas, but we only fall behind in sales and marketing. Nevertheless, India is undergoing a paradigm shift. Every business is being re-written, and no one can stop this disruption. Every 10-20 years, 40 percent of the top 100 companies die out, only because they waited long enough to react. Question is ’Are we reacting to this change? Or, are we participating in this change?’ The answer to this question will determine the likelihood of success. He emphasized that Nasscom will be there to facilitate this change, but the onus is on companies to re-imagine their entire tech businesses, in order to stay ahead.

Chat Session on ’IT growth in Kolkata’

An open discussion on key elements challenging IT growth in Kolkata. 4 key challenges were discussed:

  • Overall perception of Kolkata
  • Problems around efficiency
  • Shortage of manpower (IT-skilled)
  • Government Policies

It was also highlighted that for the Kolkata campuses and branches to flourish and attract talent across the country, it is pertinent for leadership teams to be based out of Kolkata itself. Their presence helps in growth of the campuses, and instill more confidence. When asked about Nasscom’s imperatives to promote IT growth in Kolkata, the panel clearly highlighted Nasscom’s continuous endeavour in bringing out a positive image of Kolkata.

Workshop 1: Robotics and its value proposition to industry by Kavi Arya, Associate Professor, IIT-Bombay

A truly intellectual session that makes you feel proud of India’s premier institute – IIT.

Kavi Arya was there to make a value proposition which was quite simple. The ICT landscape is changing – hardware/software costs are coming down – significant breakthroughs in cognitive computing – embedded systems getting inter-connected (IoT – smart homes, smart cities, smart grids), so on and so forth, creates huge opportunity for innovation and entrepreneurship. India definitely has the talent, but the question is how we capitalize that talent. The answer was simple – by the e-Yantra initiative.

e-Yantra: An initiative by IIT-Bombay that aims to create the next generation of embedded systems engineers with a practical outlook to help provide practical solutions to some of the real world problems. Its components:

  • eLSI: eYantra lab set-up initiative, where IIT-Bombay helps set-up eYantra lab infrastructure within other colleges.
  • eYRDC: eYantra resource development center, is a portal developed for eLSI colleges, through which content and resources are shared, to enable them establish their eYantra facilities effectively.
  • eIP: eYantra innovation and entrepreneurship, incubating winning ideas from innovation workshops, and ideas competition.
  • eYS: eYantra symposium, engagement through eYantra Ideas Competition (eYIS)
  • eYRS: eYantra robotics competition, an annual competition for undergrad students in science and engineering colleges. Selected teams are provided with robotics kits and tutorials to provide basic knowledge of embedded systems and microcontroller programming. The winners of the contest are provided summer internship at IIT-Bombay.

eYantra is growing exponentially. The registrations for the robotics competition is coming from PAN-India. Given below is the eYRC 2015 reach (just see the crowded red dots!!):

Picture2…. And so is the distribution of e-Yantra labs. A total of 152 labs already established, and 118 in pipeline.

Mr. Arya’s message was loud and clear, ‘Give us real-life problems, be it related to urban services (waste segregation, cargo sorting, fire-fighting); urban farming (fertilizing, weeding); smart services (recyclable waste management, gas leakage detection robot), and many more, we will find you a solution.’

Mr. Arya and his team is developing the backbone of the supply-side of robotics and automation. The demand-side is now expected to come forward and help complete the supply-demand loop, helping commercialize the ‘WOW’ technologies.

Workshop 2: How we got 80 million app downloads! By Alok Kejriwal, Co-Founder & CEO, Games2win India Pvt Ltd

A highly engaging session, and I, personally, was bowled over. Alok Kejriwal – a typical cool Mumbaikar standing amidst the intellectual Kolkata crowd – trying to put forward a perspective that we had never thought of before. Now businesses are supposed to be serious, right? When you enter a workshop that is going to tell you how to get multiple downloads for your gaming apps, you chose to believe that some serious discussion on KPIs, numbers, and standards are underway. To my surprise, and great delight, he came up with a simple message for the success of gaming apps:

‘The seven deadly sins – Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, Pride. All human beings are inflicted with these sins (although some may choose to believe they are not!). A gaming app should be able to capitalize on these 7 deadly sins.’

What you can’t do in real life, make a game that enables you to do that. No wonder combat games get so many downloads because they capitalize on wrath. Games that temporarily makes you a detective, also temporarily boasts your pride. Isn’t that an ingenious idea!

Examples and cases went on and on, leaving the crowd completely agog and inspired at the same time.

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I do hope somebody writes a post on the other sessions that I missed!! All-in-all, I went back home highly inspired. Thanks Kolkata team for putting together a great show.

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