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What Leaders Say About Technology Creating Industries
If I were younger, I would have advised the young minds in India to be more courageous, says Manoj Kohli, Executive Chairman, SoftBank Energy
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On the day 2 of the Women Economic Forum, the morning kick-started with the leaders of the "Decade in Technology, Public Life & Awards." The session consisted of esteemed panelists, who participated and bespoke about their respective sectors and shared the new disrupting trends that India could see by 2020.
First on the dias to speak was Anurag Sharma, Owner, Baidyanath Herbal India, he said, "Today India has over 100 Ayurveda colleges, several India youth are practising herbal medicine which makes me proud. The faith of the east and the huge knowledge base that originated in India is of immense importance in people's life. I am quite sure that Ayurveda survives because of the women in India because they are the one who knows how to conserve small things of our heritage and they are the medium of passing the ancestral knowledge to our children of today. Ayurveda has become a stock house of knowledge that we at Baidyanath package and provide it in a way which can be consumed in everyday life. Very soon, we are planning to launch mega-store chains outside Delhi, so the alternative science is more accessible to each one of us. "
Then came in, Manoj Kohli, Executive Chairman at SoftBank Energy, he said, "If I were younger, I would have advised the young minds in India to be more courageous. India is at a threshold of growth and innovation led by technology. I come from a telecom sector, but I can tell you about the three major disruptions in different sectors that Indians should be prepared First, is the smartphone/digital revolution, the numbers we would be clocking in by 2020 is 700 million, which is revolutionary, nobody ever has heard about such kind of a growth pace. See what low-cost innovation we Indians are famous can bring about with it. Second, major disruption is in the field of energy, we are moving towards renewable power leaving behind the ever-so-polluting coal & thermal energy. India is adapting solar, wind and hydroelectricity in a big way, with many more milestone to achieve. Last but not the least, is the disruption I see coming in the transportation sector, with electric cars and solar vehicles, automobile automation is witnessing a revolution and this is the time the youth should be taking risks. I believe in three virtues that take a human towards happiness and those are - honesty, hard work and humility. If women can teach these three things to their children, they will be able to relate to success in a much better way. Coach your children to think like entrepreneurs if you really want to change the country."
The next on the dias was Umang Bedi, Managing Director - India & South Asia at Facebook, he said, "Let me talk about the two important women in my life, who instilled immense confidence in me that now I feel whatever I do, it will be successful. My mother and my wife, I have known both of them for the last 39 years and they are stabilising factor. My guru, Professor Govindarajan and my Hindu family both taught me about the divinity, and their stories inspired me to be very selective in actions and keeping thoughts. Managing life means choosing to kill hate for a while and design your activities where you and the people around you can grow too. Look at Nelson Mandela's example, his fight against apartheid and his life in jail was harsh, but he kept all the dark memories aside to build a new nation for the fellow Africans. This way I allow myself to think about Facebook mission also, we weren't destined to be a company but the idea of spreading compassion, and sharing one's life with friends and family was so striking that it became a beautiful community. Everyone in four people, we are connected via Facebook, has a fair chance of being uplifted from poverty. Now, even India has begun subjecting enough importance to cell phones, that the needs have changed to - Roti, Kapada, Makaan and Mobile!
He went on to say that, "Facebook's plans to create 20,000 touchpoints or wifi hotspots in public spaces with entering into a public-private partnership with Indian entrepreneurs. I want to say that since India will have 700 million smartphone users, where 75% of them will be male, we should create communities for bringing more women online, so it can become a safe haven for them too. Women should know that they are the stronger gender and the world is better with you!"
Speaking about her company and logistics industry, Gazal Kalra, Co -Founder, Rivigo said, "Logistics is the backbone of Indian economy. The technology which we are building is meant for solving human problems. We are solving logistics problems of India. Using Technology and Data, we are able to track our business every day. When we launched our company, the main problem that we faced was nobody wants to be a truck driver because they think they will not be able to come home regularly after becoming a truck driver. But we tackled this issue and now our truck drivers come back home in every 12 hours and this is now becoming a profession where people get their salaries on time."
Kamila Rubaninska, AT&T EMEA Women's Network COO & AT&T EMEA Director of Operations said, "Technology plays an important role in the growth of a business. It helps in connecting people with their relevant needs be it - transport, medicines, living or any other." Also, she spoke about her own company and added, "AT&T EMEA Women's Network brings around 600 members together, we are focuses on helping them to learn and grow, personally and professionally. The theme of technicians, how people connect with friends, family and others."
Commenting about what motivates people in an organisation, Michael Setter, Owner, Setter Architects said, "What makes you motivational in an organisation - your job or the team members. Definitely, everyone gets attracted by the working environments which help you to make you more productive. I am an interior designer specialising in hi-tech legal and financial offices in Israel. We are designing work environments to motivate people in an organisation and increase their productivity. We are helping people in increasing their confidence by providing powerful workspaces with best designs.
Talking about the women's agriculture education, Narender Singh Rathore, Dy Director General Education at Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute ICAR, said, "Agriculture education is the only education in this country which gives us the right type of knowledge like what to do, right time of skill like how to do, right time of ability like how to make the system so simple and convenient. It also helps people in resolving the critical issues related to agriculture like how to reduce losses and how to improve efficiencies. In our country, there are many governments and private agriculture colleges and 60 per cent of the women are studying there and I believe future of the women who are working in this field will be bright."
Speaking about herself and her own venture, Shweta Punj, Senior Associate Editor, India Today Group/Co-Founder at Whypoll said, "I am a journalist and my job is to document stories every day. My journalism career spans 14 years across India and the United States. I am also very interested in exploring tech-driven governance models in developing countries which will integrate citizens with government, it was to take this belief forward that I, along with a friend, started the Whypoll Foundation. Whypoll is using technology to make Indian cities safer for women. Also, it has developed a woman safety mobile app and the first crowd-sourced safety map in India."