IoT for Digital India. Challenge Accepted!

Speaking about Internet of Things, especially in the Indian perspective can lead to the opening of several questions, debates and opportunities. The world is going digital. India is going digital too – in leaps and bounds. And it has got a strong push from the govt. and other public forces. But when it comes to applying “Smart” technologies in the Indian context, there are several aspects to be brought under careful consideration.

And that is what took shape at the Nasscom Tech Series held recently at the Altimetrik premises in Bangalore, attended by masterminds from the industry, academia and the world of start-ups. The session, brought into perspective by Mr. Madhavan Satagopan, CTO, Altimetrik, began by defining the primary precincts of being truly “Smart”. As outlined by Nasscom and well explained by Madhavan, Smart is not merely associated with being “cool”. Instead, it is the progressive evolution of technology towards touching lives. From cool to comfort, convenience, need and alleviation – there are five stages through which the “Smartness” quotient of a technology needs to evolve.

Being ‘cool’ in the real Indian diaspora in fact comes as a comic relief to the actual and serious implication of IoT and the Third Platform technologies at a need and alleviation level, working its way through convenience. An Indian farming family may not need the air conditioner to be turned on before he gets back home, but he could do a lot to his life with smart sensors in his field throwing data on health of crops or pest infestation areas!

So, is the Indian govt., the industry and the academia ready to take up the challenge and do what they need to do to live up to it? While the population of India is generally considered to be a hindrance to progress, is it actually a multi-billion opportunity considering economies of scale? Is India ready to move from being the “services capital” and the land of cheap labor to an innovation epicenter? While the govt. seems to be moving at a phenomenal speed for “Making It in India”, the most pertinent question that rises is whether we want to lead or follow?

Much of the discussion centered on two primary angles of the challenge. First, India, specifically Bangalore, is witnessing a remarkable growth of start-ups – that shyly hints at an inherent eagerness towards innovation. Then is the Indian technology ecosystem doing enough to keep this trend motivated?

Second, if we want to leap-frog or even replicate the Silicon Valley occurrence in India, the only way to do that is by fostering primary research. In that case, are industry and academia going hand in hand to promote primary research and give it the necessary push? To form a healthy ecosystem for a true digital revolution, academia and industry need to work together, where the former makes way for invaluable research with adequate support from the latter. Corporates spend a lot of time and effort on Corporate Social Responsibility – which is leading to a lot of good in the world. It is now perhaps the time to start thinking about ‘Corporate Research Responsibility’ – if we are to do any good to the progress that India needs.

Other thoughts making rounds in the room were around standardization of technology, the humane aspect of becoming increasingly digital, scalability of IoT as a technology, and other challenges and opportunities for IoT adoption in India.

As knowledge partners to Nasscom, and founded on the principles to enable business transformation for touching lives, Altimetrik is committed to work on making India a leader in the digital future. Working closely with universities and academic institutions, Altimetrik is setting an example of healthy collaboration between industry and academia, and fostering research. Every day is a day of innovation at Altimetrik, and every idea is welcome from everyone.

From Altimetrik, Challenge Accepted!

Key Speakers:

Sanjeev Tyagi
Vice President – Engineering, Head of Business Unit, Cloud & IP – India, Ericsson

Ashwini Garg
Director, New business Solutions, Intel

Soumik Ukil
CEO, Lightmetrics

Madhavan Satagopan
CTO, Altimetrik