India and Israel should strengthen their partnership to define the digital world’s new norms, the president of a leading trade association of Indian IT companies has said here.
NASSCOM President Debjani Ghosh said that collaboration, being integral to the DNA of India and Israel, has inspired innovation.
“My trip to Israel has convinced me that innovation is not something that you do. Innovation is about how you think. I think there is a huge difference there. There is a huge difference between what we see in Israel and what we see pretty much elsewhere in the world,” Ghosh said after interacting with the leading Israeli IT companies as part of the India-Israel Innovation Week.
Touching upon the history of Israel’s establishment, she noted that for the “immigrant society here assembled from various parts of the world, collaboration was very much in the DNA which inspired innovation”.
Ghosh noted that the Indian IT sector was blessed with some extremely visionary leaders who believed that the country had the potential to do something big to become a powerhouse in the IT sector.
Similar to Israel, they also believed that they could not do this alone and it was possible to do only through collaboration, which gave birth to NASSCOM, she said.
“Two things define us. We dream big. We love to dream big. It started by saying if we can go from 50 million (USD) to a billion. Very soon it became 10, 20, a 100 and today we are a 181 billion USD industry and growing.
“Indian companies have footprint across 80 countries. It’s a fantastic transformational journey. Indian IT sector today is not only about IT and BPM sector, it is big on R&D. The industry is diversifying and is now impacting across sectors including health, energy and many others. Everything almost today is digital,” Ghosh said.
Emphasising on the strong partnership built between India and Israel in the field of technology, the NASSCOM chief said that after going through a phase of lot of knowledge sharing, the stage was now set to take the relationship to the next level.
“We need to think as to how to unleash the power of collaboration. We can play together in this. How do we work together to define the new norms of the digital world to create a future that we want,” she said.
In a panel discussion as part of the OurCrowd Global Investor Summit, Ghosh outlined how technology through a collaborative effort penetrated the grassroots in India by impacting on people’s livelihood while she worked on a project as the Head of Intel for South Asia.
“The technology adoption in India was limited to urban areas. And that is roughly 30 per cent of the Indian population. The next billion, the most interesting piece, was totally untouched. So the biggest challenge was how to take technology to the next billion.
“One thing that you realise in India is the power of the ecosystem. As one company you can do very little. But if you bring the entire ecosystem to play, it changes everything. We asked the government to intervene and we got all sorts of companies like Google, Mocrosoft, not just Intel, all sorts of Indian companies, the academia, all joined hands to set up the National Digital Literacy Mission (NDLM),” Ghosh said.
She said that the big challenge was to show the farmers how technology actually impacts their earnings because explaining technology itself would not have resulted into anything.
“So you have to talk about benefits in a way that is relevant. NDLM was about taking technology to the grassroots in a way that it connects to livelihood,” Ghosh said.
The India-Israel Innovation Conference was inaugurated by India’s Ambassador in Israel Pavan Kapoor and DST Secretary Ashutosh Sharma earlier this week.
The India-Israel Joint Committee on Science and technology held
It was also agreed that India will host first women’s STEM conference later this year, officials said.
“We have taken collaboration to another level and the participation of a large delegation is a reflection of our continued interest and the potential we see in the sector. The participation in OurCrowd fit directly into our objective of giving Indian start ups a platform for collaboration,” Kapoor told PTI.
Some 24 Indian companies have participated in the India-Israel Innovation Week and showcased their ideas at the OurCrowd Investor Summit in Jerusalem at the India pavilion set up for the first time at the prestigious event.