Adoption of a cloud-based data center to ensure the infrastructure was
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How did a trusted Digital Transformation Partner fare during the crisis? To find out we got an opportunity to speak to Jade Global’s CEO and he shared some valuable insights.
It’s the most extraordinary situation we have entered in recent history. A catastrophe and a humanitarian crisis of this magnitude has overwhelmed mankind and crippled global supply chains. The lockdown in March in India was an unexpected move, and if we hadn’t prepared in advance, we would have been in a heap of trouble in ensuring BCP for some of the mission-critical processes that we handle for our clients.
In the Bay Area, where we have our HQ, we went into lockdown by the 15th of March – at the time when Stay At Home order was issued. For our Indian operations, we were very particular that employees’ health is our primary concern and we encouraged people to use the WFH option even before GOI had mandated it. We had learnt from our US experience that precautionary measures had to be taken very early. Having time on our hands, we were able to transition smoothly to the WFH model and provide secure access to all our employees. Our people have been extremely resilient towards enabling this massive change. The positive impact of it all is there to see – no employee has been infected so far, customers are happy and there has been very little disruption to speak of. Admittedly, we were extremely worried in the beginning but so far things have worked well.
At the same time, we were also focussed on the mental health of our employees during this period of great uncertainty. To put people at ease, the leadership team communicated that jobs were safe but we were prepared for the worst-case scenario as well. Being transparent goes a very long way in earning trust and support. When people work out of remote locations, it’s very important to communicate and keep them abreast of the developments.
We communicated to the customers that we were always there to help. That meant if they faced challenges in payment, we doubled up to offer them, flexible pricing models, to see them through. And, we did this proactively.
We dug deeper and re-prioritized tightly bound SLAs even as we continued to partner with them. This helped us a lot and the impact on our revenue has not been more than 10 – 15%. On the other hand, our costs have come down too – no travel or marketing events, etc. We don’t have significant exposure in businesses such as travel & hospitality.
In North America, even in Pre-COVID days, 30% of knowledge workers worked from home. In India, IT Services did see 10% of the workforce adapting to this model earlier – particularly women. But in general, we didn’t see too many of these instances.
Once the lockdown is lifted, what happens? It may turn out that 50% would continue to WFH. A lot of people in India may not have a suitable environment at home which is conducive for the WFH model. They may have compulsions to come to the offices. On the other hand, the WFH model saves a lot of commuting time which can be better utilized. In the new normal, there’s a strong likelihood that this flexibility will continue. I am very optimistic that it’ll work well for Indian conditions in the long-run and help people lead a better quality of life and stay safe.
4. How can India optimize from this crisis – IT and services angle? Things that will work and those which won’t?
Interviewed by Soumitra Dasgupta
Last month, NASSCOM made a detailed representation (see here) to STPI authorities, highlighting industry requirements related to enabling work from home on a permanent basis. Pursuant to our submission, STPI has shared its response with NASSCOM clarifying that there are no restrictions on work from home (WFH) on a long term basis. Given below are the recommendations which NASSCOM made and STPI response against each of them:
STPI response: WFH is nowadays a common practice in the IT/ITeS industry. Earlier, in order to facilitate units enabling them to avail WFH facility and also to secure regulatory compliances, STPI had taken up the matter at appropriate level and ensure that necessary provisions were introduced in Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) and Handbook of Procedures (HBP) many years before the occurrence of COVID-19 pandemic situation. Foreseeing the repercussion and adverse impact of COVID-19 pandemic on IT/ITeS, STPI vide communication No. STPI/HQ/HER/01/2020-21/057 dt. 12/03/2020 had advised all jurisdictional Directors to make the industry /industry associations aware of the rule position regarding work from home. A copy of the same was endorsed to NASSCOM with the request to circulate the same among the member companies.
STPI is continuously encouraging its units to take precautionary measures by enabling their employees to work from home for continuity of business operations in a seamless manner. The provisions enabling work from home are vital ingredients of FTP and would certainly remain in force even after recovery from the current pandemic situation.
STPI response: Para-6.07 of HBP of FTP, inter-alia, permits employees of STP/EHTP units to take equipment (duty / tax free laptop/desktop & video projection systems) out of premised of the unit for working upon by authorized employees. These provisions do not restrict any unit from practising Work from Home for a long term basis. However, these assets belong to a unit /legal entity, the authorized signatory /person of the unit/ legal entity will have the obligation for dealing with such assets (at an appropriate time) and also has a responsibility to safeguarding the Govt. revenue. Hence neither the inclusion of the term ‘permanently’ is of any significance nor the term ‘temporary’ is inducing any limitation. Further, it is felt that industry requires removal of other equipment also for taking out of premises for the purpose of WFH. In this regard, STPI has compiled a list of such equipment based on the inputs of the industry. The same has been shared with MeitY for taking up the same with DGFT for appropriate inclusion in FTP. It has also been proposed that Directors of STPI may be delegated the powers to decide necessity and to allow movement of such equipment outside the unit’s premises for the purpose of WFH for catering the need of the industry in order to maintain continuity and ease of doing business.
STPI response: STPI Directors are already authorized for issuing permissions to the units for reduction in operational area. Powers under FTP delegated to STPI Directors have been mentioned in the Papa-6.34 of HBoP. Each STPI directorate has a dedicated statutory services section for the purpose.
STPI response: E-way bill in an electronic way bill to be generated by a GST registered person/ entity while for movement of goods (other than exempted item/ category /purpose) above a specific value. It is a mechanism to ensure that goods being transported comply with the GST law and is an effective tool to track movement of goods and check evasion, hence doesn’t fall under purview of STPI. However, a recommendation for taking up the matter with the concerned Ministry for considering the ‘movement of IT assets by STP units for the purpose of work from home be exempted from requirement of e-way bill upon a certificate from jurisdictional Director of STPI is being sent to MeitY.
We hope the above the above responses will provide industry clarity and enable them to plan their operations accordingly.
With successful launches, new collaborations and events, the CoE DS&AI witnessed a busy quarter. AsterQuanta, one of the CoE DS&AI incubated startups, received funding approval of £100,000 from the Foreign Commonwealth Office of United Kingdom Government. It was the only Indian startup to win this approval and one of the eight applicants who were selected from a hundreds who applied.
This quarter also saw Government of Telangana launch T-AIM (Telangana AI Mission) in partnership with NASSCOM with the first Governing Council meet convened. Attended by senior leaders across Government, Industry, Academia and Not-for-profit, the launch of T-AIM is another feather in NASSCOM’s cap.
It has been a quarter of collaborations, as we choose to term it, wherein CoE DS&AI collaborated with other NASSCOM divisions and Enterprise. For example, CoE DS&AI collaborated with INDIAai on Investor Connect series “RaiSE” and with NASSCOM Research on playbooks for Enterprise Adoption of AI.
Externally, CoE DS&AI collaborated with Enterprises under the aegis of Co-Innovation to accelerate the AI mandate. For example,
Moreover, CoE DS&AI formed a working group on Innovation which consists of senior industry leaders, workings toward making India AI Positive through awareness, ability and adoption of data science & AI solutions.
Last but not the least, CoE DS&AI launched a series of programs and events to foster connect within the AI Community. The initiatives like Masterclass, AI Dialogue and AI Parley series witnessed around 4000 attendees over last quarter. With rebranding “AI Pathhshala”, a tech-mentoring program, CoE DS&AI helped the developer community an opportunity to gain edge on staying ahead of the technology curve.
The post Executive Summary appeared first on NASSCOM Community |The Official Community of Indian IT Industry.
Technology has become a critical facilitator for today’s businesses. It has a highly profound role in driving optimization and efficiency across all sectors today, including the public and private sectors. CIOs from Government & PSU’s have adopted niche technologies to drive innovation and transformation within the country. Tech-adoption is seen as an investment in keeping the country competitive in an ever-evolving global economy.
Reliance on progressive technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, robotics, augmented reality, and machine learning has helped drive sustained growth within the public sector. This constant strive via automation, and the digitalization of services has led to significant social, economic, technological, & environmental outcomes.
According to a report by MEITY, India has the ability to create up to $1 trillion of economic value from the digital economy by 2025, with half of the opportunity originating in new digital ecosystems that can spring up in diverse sectors of the economy. The potential five-fold increase in economic value from India’s digital transformation by 2025 would create a rapidly growing market for a host of digital services, platforms, applications, content, and solutions.
Few technologies that have been rapidly adopted by the GOI and Public Sector industries today for facilitating the Digital Economy are as follows:Artificial Intelligence and Analytics:
Governments and PSUs can harness citizen’s data and behavior based on interactions with agencies and digital websites. The data thus obtained can be analyzed through the use of AI and analytics techniques. The intelligence collected can offer personalized public services to citizens, derive actionable insights, and help them predict future trends.Blockchain:
Enterprises and governments across the world have recognized blockchain’s potential. More than forty nations have taken initiatives to implement blockchains within their economies and develop a robust, & holistic blockchain ecosystem. Blockchain 3.0, the current version of the blockchain, provides interoperability, scalability, and security vis-a-vis its older versions. More than 50% of the Indian states have initiated blockchain projects (pilot stage) to provide better customer services.IoT:
One of IoT’s significant government applications is in the Smart City category. IoT solutions involve a broad deployment of IoT sensors across the city, providing real-time data about city events; a centralized system analyses data and improve decision-making in cities’ governance. Some of the critical aspects of the smart city as articulated in India’s IoT policy include smart parking, Intelligent Transportation System, Smart Grids, Water & Waste Management, Smart Urban Lighting, Smart City Maintenance, and Digital Signage.Cloud Computing and Virtualization:
Cloud computing has immensely transformed the way IT is consumed and managed, resulting in higher and improved cost efficiencies, a faster time-to-market, and enhanced scalability of applications-on-demand. Virtualization (NFV and SDN) has served as a significant driver of cloud deployment across all sectors. Using Cloud Computing, even small to medium public sector organizations within local communities, have driven innovation in ways that would not have been possible if they were to rely entirely on their own resources.Location Intelligence and Surveillance
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, both the Government and public sector organizations, have adopted surveillance technologies to track the movement of their employees. Cellphones are playing a critical role in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus. The Indian Government, on April 6, launched the Aarogya Setu app for contact-tracing.
State governments and PSUs are also using geo-fencing technology to ensure quarantine for the ones suspected with infection. It helps create a virtual geographic boundary, alerting officials if a particular mobile device leaves a designated area.Digital Twins: Bridging the physical and digital
Digital twins are poised to innovate and transform the way PSUs perform predictive maintenance of products and machinery within their manufacturing units. Sectors involving capital-intensive assets and processes such as energy, utilities, and manufacturing are pioneering digital twin use cases globally.
They can also contribute towards optimizing supply chains, distribution, and fulfillment operations. In the private sector, the FMCG giant Unilever has launched a digital twin project that aims to create virtual models of dozens of its factories.Conclusion:
The public sector has been a strong catalyst for India’s rapid digitization. Digital technologies can contribute significant value towards areas such as online transactions, government subsidy transfers, and procurement to enhance efficiency and productivity in Government and public-sector units. The National and state governments can drive digitization through a partnership with the private sector and placing technology at the core of their operations.
(This article was originally published here)References:
CoE DS&AI launched a series of programs and events to foster community-connect within the AI Community
Masterclass/AI Dialogue Series – Aimed at connecting the AI Community with senior industry leaders and Subject Matter Experts, these series help start-ups enhance their abilities to successfully navigate through a wide range of business topics beyond core DS & AI technologies. In this quarter CoE DS & AI conducted twelve sessions with topics ranging from Go-To-Market strategy to fund-raising to Innovation using AI and around three thousand professionals attending thes
AI Parley – A two-panel virtual mini-conference aimed at bringing together senior industry leaders together to discuss contemporary themes related to data sciences and artificial intelligence. In this quarter CoE has successfully conducted two AI Parley events, with an average of 400 attendees.
CoE DS&AI also re-branded the “AI Pathhshala” Initiative last month putting Technology partners in front of the developer community. These technology workshops aim at helping the developer community gain edge on staying ahead of the technology curve.
CoE DS&AI a collaborates with INDIAai on Investor Connect series “RaiSE” and with NASSCOM Reserach on Enterprise Adoption of AI
CoE DS&AI a collaborates with INDIAai on Investor Connect series “RaiSE”
As the COVID-19 crisis thrust the global economy into mayhem and uncertainty, businesses big or small struggled to sustain themselves. And AI startups were no different. Despite the advantage of a renewed interest in technology for solutions, the lack of funding opportunities hit the AI startups harder.
However, this situation provided an opportunity for investors – to back the startups that show promise. In light of this, CoE-DS&AI and INDIAai collaborated to launch an online Investor-Connect series for AI startups, called ‘RaiSE’. This series focused on seed-stage funding for AI startups across domains.
Top ten AI startups, pitched in their business plans to a panel of distinguished investors over two days, 20th and 21st June 2020. Out of those, five have moved on to the next stage of investment discussions.
Over fifty AI startups across India applied to be a part of this event. Out of which the top ten AI startups were selected by an impanelled jury comprising of senior leaders within technology and financial services domains.
CoE DS&AI and NASSCOM Research collaborate on research focused on Enterprise Adoption of AI
Enterprises across the world have realised the urgency of adopting AI for their business transformation agenda. Though these enterprises possessed the domain knowledge, it was the lack of knowledge and methodologies of adopting of AI across their respective value chains which was creating hurdles for them.
To help the enterprises understand the adoption of AI during various stages of their business operations, CoE DS&AI and NASSCOM Research, in partnership with EY, drafted AI playbooks for four industries. These were Retail, Financial Services, Agriculture and Manufacturing. The Retail AI playbook was launched during one of the AI Parley events in the month of June. Rest will be launched during the Xperience AI summit.
Also, CoE DS&AI and NASSCOM Research have jointly outlined the first draft for the AI Back Office report. This report will have an in-depth assessment of the potential for India as an AI Back Office of the world. More details will follow in the next edition of this newsletter.
The post CoE DS&AI a collaborates with INDIAai on Investor Connect series “RaiSE” and with NASSCOM Reserach on Enterprise Adoption of AI appeared first on NASSCOM Community |The Official Community of Indian IT Industry.
AsterQuanta receives funding approval of £100,000 from the Foreign Commonwealth Office of United Kingdom Government
AsterQuanta, incubated at CoE DS&AI, received this approval under the UK government’s “Global Innovation Fund” initiative. Out of hundreds of applications received globally AsterQuanta made it to final eight and was the only Indian Startup to receive this approval. This approval will help AsterQuanta to expand in other Commonwealth countries.
Commenting on this achievement Pradeep Pydah, Founder of AsterQuanta said “CoE DSAI has been instrumental in opening a variety of connections that turned out to be game-changers for AsterQuanta. This relationship with NASSCOM has definitely been a catalyst of our growth”.
AsterQuanta’s suite of AI solutions provides dynamic insights to the Retail organizations across the world. The startup recently helped a Fortune 50 brand in optimizing its sales-force operations while reducing the operational expense by 70%.
The post AsterQuanta – Made in India, for the world! appeared first on NASSCOM Community |The Official Community of Indian IT Industry.
Organizations will now look at cybersecurity from a completely different standpoint. It was already a major topic for boardroom discussion and now with all of this, it will be even more so. In the drive towards modernization of IT, cybersecurity is now an integral part.
After being associated with leading technology and security organizations for 26 years, Mr. Argha Bose is presently working with Tata Advanced Systems Ltd. as the Head – Cyber Security and Risk Business. Previously he has worked with CA Technologies as Sr. Director; managing Global Services Delivery business and prior to that, he has also successfully established the IAM practice at HCL Technologies. He has been an effective professional amalgamated with several successful high growth organizations. He has a Masters degree in Cyber Law and Cyber Security, a Certified Blockchain Expert and has acquired certificates like CISM, CISSP to name a few.
This is a very different angle to leadership and business as we see often. It is clear that with greatly enhanced connectivity and remote working requirements, the focus on cyber security will be at an altogether different level. We were fortunate to catch up with him over a virtual luncheon session, and he was kind enough to share his insights.
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