Mumbai: The past year and a half has seen digitization play an instrumental role in helping countless industries and sectors back on the road to recovery as well as scale new heights. The pandemic has pushed each one of us to improvise, adapt and embrace digital technologies to keep life moving. Taking this very thought forward, CNBC-TV18, India’s leading English business news channel, in partnership with Standard Chartered Bank successfully hosted the third edition of the Leadership Collective on Friday on August 27.
Themed around Digitisation: Key Driver Of India’s Economic Growth Engine, the virtual event, moderated by CNBC-TV18’s Managing Editor, Shereen Bhan, brought together industry leaders like Arundhati Bhattacharya – Chairperson & CEO Salesforce India, CK Venkataraman – MD, Titan Company, Sanjeev Sharma – Managing Director, ABB India; Zarin Daruwala – Cluster CEO, India and South Asia Markets, Standard Chartered Bank Piyush Singh – Sr. MD & India Lead, Accenture; Pankaj Makkar – MD – Bertelsmann India Investments. The panel also included an interactive brainstorm with Dr. Krishnamuthy Subramanian, Chief Economic Advisor, around what the Govt needs to do to facilitate the rollout of digital infrastructure & provide an enabling environment.
Shereen Bhan, Managing Editor, CNBC-TV18 said, “As India navigates its way through the challenging times that Covid-19 has brought with it, we have relied on the use of emerging technology to keep the growth engines moving. The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digitization, forcing companies to reimagine engagement with customers & employees. While it has been disruptive, the changes have opened up opportunities not just for the large incumbents but also for many new age businesses & start- ups”
Making an interesting observation, Krishnamurthy Subramanian, Chief Economic Advisor, stated that “The pandemic played an instrumental role in accelerating the pace of digitization and that the sectors of education and healthcare are some of the key areas where digital economy will play a key role going forward.” He also weighed in on cryptocurrency boom, and said “We need to ask what benefit do cryptocurrencies add to the real economy? While they could prove to be a way to bring in investment, we have to study its benefits.”
Speaking about the impact of FinTech, Cluster CEO, India & South Asia Markets, Standard Chartered Bank, Zarin Daruwala said, “We shall witness a synergy of FinTech and Banks in the coming days and the country must welcome the arrival of ‘Pure Digital Banks’ with open arms.”
Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chairperson & CEO, Salesforce India, emphasized the importance of digitization. She said, “I don’t see any CEO in the country who hasn’t put digital transformation at a pedestal. The journey has just begun and it is the need of the hour to bridge the existing digital divide.” She also added, that Salesforce has doubled its India headcount in the Pandemic year.
Sharing his insight on the industry 4.0, Sanjeev Sharma, Managing Director, ABB India said that “Automation is a major reason why emerging players are able to upscale so seamlessly and also shed light on ABB India witnessing the rapid adoption of remote services amongst consumers during the pandemic.
Shedding light on his experience during the digital boom, Pankaj Makkar MD – Bertelsmann India Investments said, “Embracing digital formation and adopting it wholeheartedly is the only way how India can not only recover, but prosper amidst the new normal. What we see today are many enigmatic entrepreneurs who ideate innovative, and world-class solutions that have proved vital in solving the many problems that India faces.”
On the impact on the Retail Industry, CK Venkataraman, MD, Titan Company said, “I am positive that retail (brick and mortar) businesses will thrive the moment all of us are vaccinated and restrictions are normalized. With the joy of going to a store remaining intact, we should be braced for footfalls being on pre-pandemic levels, if not more.”
Speaking about the unlocking of businesses, Piyush Singh, Sr. MD & India Lead, Accenture commented, “I do firmly believe that the effects of the pandemic have led to irreversible changes in customer patterns pivoting towards the digital realm. That said, we have only taken the first steps and are very much at the start of unlocking the potential that digital brings with it.”