Digital Accessibility: Sectors like retail, education, finance and media have leveraged digital transformation and they are using digital infrastructure for our nation to develop further. Our goal now is to make digital usability as good as digital accessibility, mentioned Mr. Ajit Pai, Distinguished Expert, NITI Aayog in a webinar organized by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) on ‘India’s Digital Transformation to Drive Post Covid Economy’.
Giving a background about the telecom sector since the 1990s, its transformation and challenges faced by the sector, especially during the pandemic, Mr. Pai emphasized that India’s financial transformation has been tremendous during covid, like the Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile (JAM) scheme has enabled India to leap frog in the world. He said that some of the most critical things post the pandemic would be- the traditional view of people for e-commerce, the retail sector and the education sector.
He also mentioned that the government and private sector are both are investing in telecom infrastructure and the BharatNet project will accelerate the digital transformation in the future. Talking about initiatives undertaken by the government in digital and financial verticals, he said that even though mobility, access, usability has improved, and we need to improve the quality of connectivity. We also need to ensure that what we build has to be resilient, secure and efficient.
Mr. Deepak Chanduka (ITS), Deputy Director General (Special Projects), Department of Telecommunications, Government of India, mentioned that digital transformation is already happening, the pandemic has surely accelerated its pace and it will continue in the times to come. Digital transformation is highly dependent on robust connectivity and he elaborated on how the Department of Telecommunications has taken the initiative to cover urban and rural populations through various projects.
Mr. Chanduka also emphasized on how the GDP has been severely affected due to the pandemic and plunged the Indian economy into a recession. He spoke on how digitalization could help in our economic revival and how some of the comprehensive initiatives undertaken in the region of the northeast, border districts and other backward villages of the nation have helped in this regard. He mentioned that fiber connectivity needs to reach all parts of the nation.
Mr. Amit Malik, Managing Director- Asia Pacific, Japan & China, CISCO Systems India Pvt Ltd while discussing about the impact of the pandemic on digital transformation, opined that telecom and internet are at forefront of digital transformation and connectivity. He said that the most critical thing today is innovation which needs to be properly cultivated and that would become the platform for further technological development.
Mr. Malik stressed on the fact that in the post covid world, we need to adapt to change, transform our mindset, fasten the pace of innovation & digitization, increase our availability of bandwidth with the help of 5G and use automation as a key driver as that would become most crucial to adopt to. He emphasized that convergence, collaboration, and connectivity are important for ensuring digital transformation in the nation.
Mr. Arun Karna, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, AT&T Global Network Services India Private Ltd threw some light on the edutech and fintech aspects of digitalization in our country and how the boundaries between physical and digital are blurring giving rise to phygital. He also spoke on how the cloud business, reliability on internet, mobility, dependency on software programmes have all increased in the pandemic. He also elaborated on how organizations need to have a strategy for threat intelligence, so that AI & IoT can pick up on the treats and resolve them immediately, as cyber security has become an issue.
Mr. Karna discussed about the prominent digital transformation trends in the market that will accelerate further in the post covid world; network security in the context of digital transformation and leadership aspect of technology. There is a need for effective and affective digital transformation to materialize for business and nation to flourish.
Mr. Sanjay Aggarwal, President, PHDCCI in his presidential address deliberated about how digital transformation amidst the pandemic has been complex for both businesses as well as consumers. He mentioned that all Indian stakeholders will need to gear up to capture the opportunities and manage the challenges of being a connected nation.
Giving a background about the evolution of the telecom market in the past years, Mr. Aggarwal mentioned that telecom has the advantage to transform one’s life. Digital transformation is here to stay and there will be a change in the business working and functioning, post covid. To build a modern, post-COVID economy, India will need to strategically evolve a global brand position and adopt a global innovation mindset.
Mr. Sandeep Aggarwal, Mentor, Telecom Committee, PHDCCI while sharing his industry perspective said that the transformational shift in different sectors of the country during the pandemic has helped in making India a digital economy for the present and future times. The latest technologies that have been adopted are enabling faster working and smooth functioning of business in these challenging times.
Mr. Rajiv Gupta, Chairman-Telecom Committee, PHDCCI discussed about the impact of the pandemic on digital growth and transformation. New strategies and practices have been adopted giving more emphasis to research and production to make India an Aatma Nirbhar Economy in the future. He said that technology and digital tools like drones, AI, and Machine learning are having an impact in all sectors of the industry and at the same time helping the country to eliminate the digital divide.
Prof. N.K Goyal, Chairman, Emeritus Telecom Equipment Manufacturers Association of India mentioned that there is a connectivity divide in the nation that needs to be improved and the cost of internet & technology gadgets need to come down. He also emphasized that we need to look at cybersecurity issue so that all the cyber-crimes can be mitigated.
The webinar was moderated by Dr. Yogesh Srivastav, Assistant Secretary-General, PHDCCI and supported by Paramount Communications Limited and AT & T Global Network Services India Private Limited. It was successfully attended by many senior members of PHD, Embassy officials and stalwarts from the telecom industry.
PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s webinars are supported by the Annual Sponsors namely DLF India; Multani Pharmaceuticals; UFLEX; JK Tyre & Industries; Marble City; Paramount Cables; SMC Investments and Advisors; Blossom Kochhar Aroma Magic; Comtech Interio; DCM Shriram Industries; Radico Khaitan; Ajit Industries; Synergy Environics; Timberworkz and IFFCO.