Explore Bharat Kochi rides on digital transformation

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CRN India’s flagship Explore Bharat series achieved yet another height of success with its event at Kerala’s major port city, Kochi, which is one of the most flourishing cities in the state. Kerala is the eight largest state economy in India, with an abundance in business sectors and brilliant road network with a huge capacity of 4.62 km per 1000 people as compared to the national average of 2.59 km per 1000 people.

The two-day event was attend by over 80 delegates spanning the SMB and the IT channel partner ecosystem. Breakthrough speeches and presentations marked the event. The prospects, adoption and usefulness, and impact of IT in business was discussed far and wide during the programme.

The event started with the keynote speech by N M Sharafudeen, Vice Chairman, Kerala Chamber of Commerce, wherein he said, “Technology has invariably become a part and parcel of our existence. One evident instance is the use of mobile phones in innumerable ways in our daily professional and personal lives. However, today things have gone a great way where there is extensive use of robots in several business environments. We have seen that in the automobile industry, robots have taken up several tasks of humans, which also means that human jobs have been upgraded. For instance, a person who is working as wielder or performing other small technical jobs, will now have to go through skill up-gradation and get on with the work of handling and maintaining the robots. In the next 5 to 10 years, technology will take over 50 per cent of jobs. Also, driverless cars are coming in. All the companies which dream of becoming big will have to walk hand-in-hand with IT, or have to be IT-enabled. Several hi-end technologies have already been implemented in Kerala.”

Sharafudeen cited the example of companies like Uber and Swiggy, and pointed out that today’s big companies were once small, but they scaled due to their talent, business acumen and optimum adoption of technology. Giving an example of one of his companies, OMEGA Services & Consultants – which he claims to be the largest recruiter in Kelera – he mentioned that this technology driven platform gained immense exposure due to which a lot of spent on advertisement, travelling and sourcing was reduced.

Muhammed Ashraf N V, President, Kerala State Small Industries Association, explained, “Although the industrial growth in Kerala is less, compared to what it should have been and given that the state has produced several techies working at the state, national and international level, today it is catching up. Technology is doing wonders and Kerala has huge potential and adoption of technology that can expedite development. The present generation is aware of the boons of technology and is ardently using and promoting the same.”

In his session, Syed Ahmed Tameen, Deputy General Manager, Enterprise Mobility, Samsung Enterprise Business, said, “The enterprise market has evolved drastically when it comes to smartphones. It is of paramount importance for running the business. There is a large number of people who say that their PC is now obsolete and mobile phones are pivotal for the work they do. Looking at the market today, we understand that from small shops to a large enterprise, everyone is inculcating automation.”

Tameen further pointed out, “Typically, even five years ago, automation was a big challenge, which required a lot of investment on infrastructure. But, now the products and solutions are more readily available. Today, the network subscriptions rates and phone data rates have become much cheaper and thus access to internet is much more effective. We see that the penetration and adoption of technology is not just restricted to larger businesses.”

Speaking in his session, Moosa Anwar, Senior Manager, Schneider Electric, said, “All our products are energy efficient products and with that customers spend less on electricity consumption, and it can be monitored remotely or at a local level.”

Channel engagement
The channel track of the event was yet another successful phase. Veteran speakers and delegates from the channel ecosystem graced the occasion. “This event is an opportunity for the system integrators in Kerala to get the focus from IT OEMs. We now need to evaluate our readiness to accept the new changes in terms of sales, technology, products and markets,” said Toshy P Mathew, State PRO, AKITDA.

The keynote speech was followed by presentations.

Providing insights into how mobility devices have become so important, D Vishranth, General Manager, Channel Sales, Samsung Enterprise Business, said, “There was a great penetration of desktops in the enterprise space in the early 90s. As we moved towards the end of 90s and early 2000, we had an explosion of laptops, whereby every single individual in an organisation was given a laptop, so that there is more productivity, ease of data access, convenience and so forth. But now, in last six or seven years, we have seen that slowly the tablets and the mobile phones are actually getting penetrated deeply into organisations.”

Prateesh K, Deputy Manager – Sales, Schneider Electric, said, “We are seeking out the big questions and answers like how we can make the most of our energy and resources. We, the people, employees, developers, partners, investors and inventors at Schneider are all passionate about doing what is right – which is to bring up energy efficient products.”

The next session was the much awaited panel discussion titled, ‘Future of IT Channel: Are partners ready to take up digital opportunities.’

The panel consisted of Madhusudan Gupta, Managing Director, Radha Electronics; Binu Thomas, President, All Kerala IT Dealers Association; K. George, CEO, Digicom; and Shiju Balan, Managing Partner, Comtech Systems. The panel discussion was moderated by Mathew. They conversed on how digital opportunities can be leveraged for the channel growth and what learnings they need to take.


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