Last week, Indian tech start-up Zomato's Initial Public Offering raised over a billion dollars. This is a welcome new trend in domestic financing for start-ups in India, with more gaining unicorn status in the past year. It is also indicates a sector independent of Chinese backing. In this podcast, Amit Bhandari, Fellow, Energy and Environment Studies Programme, discusses the positive outcome of Press Note. 3 on the sector.
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Altizon’s product uses machine data to help better business decision-making for its overseas manufacturing customer base. It particularly improves productivity, power and utilities consumption and predictive maintenance. Altizon is now in the prestigious Gartner Magic Quadrant, one of only 16 globally-recognised niche players for Industrial IoT platforms. It is getting attention from Indian SMEs.
In June 2019, BITS Pilani became the first academic institution, globally, to offer a Master’s programme in Digital Manufacturing. The programme, currently open only to working professionals, focuses on developing an expertise in the manufacturing of the future including Industrial IoT, additive manufacturing, big data analytics, industrial cybersecurity, and logistics and supply chain optimisation. The ongoing pandemic has exponentially increased digital adoption, increasing the demand for the study of digital manufacturing within corporate India.
A ransomware attack recently targeted Kaseya, a software services company in the U.S., for $70 million, incapacitating hundreds of its clients globally. There is an increasing incidence of such attacks, with perpetrators targeting government agencies and high-tech companies, leading to considerable economic losses. How can governments mitigate these threats and attribute responsibility to those accountable?
Big Tech is powerful and its profits are growing - by 105% over the last year. It dominates economies. This raises concerns about data protection and privacy, anti-trust, fintech and the specific role of intermediaries. India is leading the way on fintech, but is behind several countries and institutions on digital rules. It is important to establish laws and rules to govern technology – whether domestic or through multilateral bodies – with the aim to strike the right balance between innovation and regulation.
ClairViz offers products and services that help manufacturing companies digitally transform their factory floor. It uses its project engineering, design, electrical, automation and software skills to transform them into modern, data-driven facilities. This start-up smartly benefits from government programmes: housed in a state-supported incubator, clients are public sector enterprises mandated to use small and medium entrepreneurs in their supply chains.
Using computer vision and AI to capture factory-wide data of human operators, Drishti Technologies co-relates human actions to line efficiencies, bottlenecks and root-cause analysis. Indian manufacturers operating at the lower end of the automation curve can use this combination to improve productivity, safety and quality by a deep-dive into human-action analytics.
On 25-26 May 2021, United Nations India held a Virtual Conference on Ethics of Artificial Intelligence (AI): Exploring pluri-perspectives in conjunction with OP Jindal University. Chaitanya Giri, Fellow, Space and Ocean Studies Programme, spoke on 'Operationalising AI ethics from a Pluri-Philosophical Lens', where he made the case for Sanskrit as an applicable language for instilling ethics in AI. He also emphasized the need for greater scientific inquiry in natural intelligence to avoid skewed technological progress with AI.
C4i4 is a part of the Government of India's Samarth Udyog initiative, and aims to hand-hold micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the journey towards digitisation. Though MSMEs account for 45% of manufacturing output and 40% of exports, almost 90% of them lack access to markets beyond their limited geography. C4i4 helps them scale productivity and quality, and compete in global markets.
The future is likely to see ‘Big FinTech’ replace ‘Big Tech’. But this time around, India can be part of the story from the ground up. India has been ahead of the fintech game on the technology, regulatory and consumer fronts.