By Prasenjit Roy, Senior Executive Vice President and CMO, NTT Netmagic
The global pandemic has turned the entire world upside down with a huge impact on the Indian technology services industry. To visualize and springboard to the next level, there is a need to look at creating new business models using a ‘Digital First’ mindset.
A Digital First mindset challenges the conventional norms of doing business, and explores the unlimited possibilities of using a digital model to change the way we do business. Take the example of the travel and tourism industry, which is reeling from the effects of the pandemic in a big way. Can technology help in reviving this sector? One way is to recreate the same or nearly the same experience virtually, as you would experience physically.
By creating a platform that allows hospitality players to create their own virtual experiences or apps that allow visitors to have a virtual tour of their premises, small revenue streams can be created. This can be complemented by technologies like augmented reality that can help tourists to know more about the places they visit. Further, revenue streams can be created by incorporating goods that can be purchased locally. Imagine taking a guided tour of a Taj Mahal or an Eiffel Tower, from the comfort of your home. While technology has always been available, and there are numerous use cases too, the real need is for a platform approach that can help hospitality players to use automated self-service platforms and create their own guided tours.
A similar approach can be explored in other sectors too, and we must use our extensive understanding of technology to create domain specific IPs or platforms. For example, with our excellent knowledge of cloud and other emerging technologies, can we look at creating a world class telemedicine platform that can be used by even any small hospital to provide a virtual experience? India’s rich culture and excellent knowledge of traditional medicinal practices can be assimilated in a platform and offered for the benefit of the world. There is no reason why India cannot be a virtual healthcare hub – as India has for long demonstrated its ability to scale with quality – be it software services or creating vaccines.
Today, with good bandwidth available, and with 5G around the corner, India can experiment with a digital first mindset even in sectors such as manufacturing. For example, a high degree of expertise is required to operate high end machines in industrial plants. A greater effort is required in repairing these machines in case of a breakdown. Using augmented reality technologies, India can easily transition to offer proactive predictive maintenance services and even training for high end machines around the world. This when combined with AI can be used to take our efficiencies to a different level – similar to what we are doing today in the highly competitive software services space. The world of OT offers an even bigger opportunity. Considering the number of machines that are getting connected to the Internet, ensuring maintenance and high performance of these machines will be a big factor.
To ensure that India utilizes its full potential, we need to create a global platform for innovation talent that helps India create the skill sets that matter. AI, Blockchain, IoT, Quantum Computing are technologies for now and for the future too. India’s ability to invest in creating knowledge bases of technologies and frameworks will help us create a sustainable advantage for the future. We are only limited by our mind.
Think about how the vaccines against a deadly virus have been created ahead of time, and unheard of in history. At no point were quality parameters disregarded, and we now have hope of normalcy. This could be achieved because we relooked at the entire process of vaccine approval, and achieved the same outcome in a lesser timeframe.
We need the same approach for a Digital First mindset. What has worked earlier may not necessarily work now – and we may have to look at a different alternative altogether. Thankfully, with the confluence of technologies like AI and cloud, India is at the cusp of becoming a titanic force in the technology industry.
We have the talent and the firepower – we just need the intent and the will. The next decade will belong to India, if we act today!