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Nadella, Nilekani Commit To Provide Real World Applications Comprising All Technologies To Millions

The big vision is to create a digital first economy, leveraging the power of digital technologies, said Nilekani

Photo Credit : Rohit Chintapali


(L-R) Nandan Nilekani, Co-founder and Chairman, Infosys; Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO, Microsoft

The commitment of India in the upcoming year will be to provide real-world applications utilising all available technologies, including Unified Payments Interface (UPI), Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) and more, to millions of people, said Infosys Co-founder and Chairman Nandan Nilekani on Thursday at the Microsoft Future Ready Summit in Bengaluru.

Highlighting India's distinctiveness in terms of digital public goods and the journey of digitalisation in India, Nilekani said, “I think we are about halfway through in the journey. Basically, the big vision is to create a digital-first economy, leveraging the power of digital technologies. The main aim is to actually improve the lives of people, economic growth, to make it more equitable, more inclusive, more accessible and allow people to use their own data to move forward.”

During a chat with Microsoft CEO and Chairman Satya Nadella at the event, Nilekani cited examples of Aadhar card and UPI while talking about Indian innovations and digital public goods. He said that UPI processes 7-8 billion transactions per month today. 

“India also has Account Aggregator (AA) system, which democratises lending by allowing anyone to borrow money using their own data”, added the Infosys co-founder.

Elaborating further on India’s digital public goods, Nilekani said ONDC would entirely democratise eCommerce and allow suppliers, consumers and deliveries to work through an open protocol. 

Appreciating India’s digital efforts, Microsoft CEO and Chairman Satya Nadella hailed “the magic of India Stack”. 

“The technology stack, yojanas and policies are all co-evolving at the same time. That is a virtuous cycle that is developing,” said Nadella. “These two, in my opinion, represent India's potential for making the greatest global contribution,” he added.

Hyderabad-born Nadella said that the concept of digital public goods is great. However, he also pointed out that there are newer methods to use them, which will allow every society and economy to be more inclusive. 

In the later part of discussion, both leaders talked about the entrepreneurial energy in India. “We had 1,000 startups in 2016, but now that number has reached 90,000 startups. It's incredible,” Nilekani commented.  

He added that e-KYC had enabled Reliance Jio to scale to one million customers in a single day at one point. "In the payments space, PhonePe built large franchises out of this,” he added.

Speaking on the emergence of OpenAI’s ChatGPT AI-powered chatbot, Nadella commented, “It’s phenomenal to see what's happening with the foundational model. The key point is that we are observing effects on an emerging scale. We are thrilled about our partnership with OpenAI.” 

He also talked about the cloud and AI technology. Nadella noted that building AI needs the support of cloud technology. “But you need a cloud that's very different. The types of infrastructure that is required to do the large-scale AI model is very different, the network becomes crucial,” Nadella said.

Both Nadella and Nilekani had a positive stance on future and agreed that there will be several innovations in architectural models and newer and more effective technological breakthroughs in the coming times. 

“Technology is great but let's now make it,” concluded Nadella.

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satya nadella microsoft infosys digital india