Business Today recently hosted the inaugural ‘Tech Today Congress’ - a gathering of technology professionals, entrepreneurs, and business leaders committed to harnessing the power of technology for transformative change.
The event took place on June 2 in Bengaluru. It provided a platform for discussions, panels, and networking opportunities, featuring a line-up of distinguished speakers from various sectors.
With a primary focus on cutting-edge technologies including Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, blockchain, and the future of work, the Tech Today Congress aimed to explore the vast potential of technology in revolutionising industries and society as a whole.
With over 200 delegates in attendance, the event fostered an environment conducive to knowledge sharing and collaborative ideation.
The Tech Today Congress had a roster of speakers, featuring figures such as DK Shivakumar, Ashwini Vaishnaw, Sindhu Gangadharan, Irina Ghose, Dr Manish Gupta, and many more.
NR Narayana Murthy, the Founder of Infosys, shared anecdotes from his entrepreneurial journey during a session titled "India's Techade: The Skills. The People. Vision for the Next Decade”. Murthy's speech resonated with the audience as he highlighted the challenges he faced while taking Infosys public in the early 80s, demonstrating the tenacity required to build a successful company.
The session titled "AI: Super Intelligent. Super Trouble" included speakers like Jaideep Kewalramani (Head of Employability Business and COO, TeamLease Edtech), Kanishk Gaur (Founder and CEO, India Future Foundation), and Vinayak Godse (CEO, Data Security Council of India), with the session moderated by Aayush Ailawadi.
Gaur said, “Every new start-up getting funded has AI and ML enabled. We want AI that can safeguard user privacy, AI that does not have biases, and AI that can prevent misuse- aspects like informational warfare.”
Kewalramani said that every digital job is at risk because of AI. Talking about India's part in AI revolution, Kewalramani said, "We are the tech hub of the world and India recognised the power of AI early on."
Godse said, “We are putting a lot of corporate workloads on AI systems which is creating a lot of problems with privacy and ethics.”
Continuing the exploration of artificial intelligence, the subsequent session titled "Keeping an 'AI' for Transforming Industries and Society" featured Romesh Wadhwani (Chairman and Founder, SAIGroup) and was moderated by Aayush Ailawadi.
The Congress also delved into the 5G revolution and its impact on technology, connectivity, and collateral benefits in a session titled "The 5G Revolution: The Tech. The Connect. Collateral Benefits." Speakers for this session included Mohan Rao Goli (CTO, Samsung R&D Institute India), Muralikrishnan B (President, Xiaomi India), Manoj Gurnani (Head Strategy and Technology, India, Nokia), Harmanpreet Dhillon (CTO, Airtel, Karnataka Circle), and the session was moderated by Siddharth Zarabi.
A session titled "Catching a Cold: Tech Winter. Weathering the Storm." shed light on the challenges posed by the ever-evolving technology landscape. The panel for this session comprised Siddarth Pai (Founding Partner, 3one4 Capital), Mahankali Srinivas Rao (Chief Executive Officer, T-Hub), Anas Rahman Junaid (Founder and MD, Hurun India), with Sourav Majumdar serving as the moderator.
Exploring the digital landscape, a session titled "Digital Bharat and The New Internet" featured Barnik Chitran Maitra, Managing Partner, Head of Arthur D. Little India and South Asia, offering insights into India's digital transformation.
A highlight of the Tech Today Congress was the session titled "World on a Chip: Wafer Wars. Tech Dominance. Supply Crimp." Esteemed speakers for this session included David Reed (CEO, Vedanta Foxconn Semiconductor), Neil Shah (Vice-President - Research, Counterpoint Research), Hitesh Garg (India Country Manager, NXP Semiconductors), Santhosh Kumar (President and MD, Texas Instruments India), and Dr Satya Gupta (President, VLSI Society of India). This session was moderated by Siddharth Zarabi. The speakers emphasised India's potential to become a supply hub of semiconductor chips amid increasing global demands.
“When we were raising money just before our IPO, we had to take our kitty to Rs 1.2 crores. We had to go to a lot of friends and relatives. Almost everybody who was well-to-do asked hundreds of questions and they didn't put money. The only people who put money were my sisters, brothers who had very little savings,” Murthy said.
“I have said this many times, as long as we use any technology in an assistive manner then we all become better and better. How can we use AI in an assistive manner? You can build expert systems, you can improve in a corporation, you can improve your own work productivity, and you can help diagnose diseases. In India, I would like to use AI in food and agriculture and if AI can help us in growing food with minimal agriculture,” Murthy added.
The Tech Today Congress also focused on the critical issue of gender disparity in the tech industry in a session titled "Women in Tech. Leaking Pipeline. Missing Talent." Speakers Sindhu Gangadharan (Managing Director and SVP, SAP Labs India) and Irina Ghose (Chief Operating Officer, Microsoft India) shed light on the underrepresentation of women and discussed strategies to bridge the gender gap. The session was moderated by Aayush Ailawadi.
Exploring the expansive realm of gaming, the session "New Gaming Frontier: Leveraging Cutting-Edge Technologies. Gaming" featured Rajan Navani (Founder and CEO, JetSynthesys), Sai Srinivas Kiran G (Co-Founder and CEO, Mobile Premier League), and Sean Hyunil Sohn (India CEO, Krafton India), with Aayush Ailawadi serving as the moderator.
Additionally, the Tech Today Congress placed emphasis on the development of inclusive AI in India in a session titled "AI for India: Inclusive AI. Developing an AI-ready culture. R&D and Innovation," with Dr Manish Gupta (Director, Google Research India) providing valuable insights. The session was moderated by Aayush Ailawadi.
Karnataka Deputy CM DK Shivakumar was also part of a session which mainly focused on the recent Karnataka win for Congress as well as the state's development. "Today the world is looking at Bengaluru. The world leaders are travelling first to Bengaluru and then to Delhi," Shivakumar said as he assured that the newly formed Congress government is dedicated to improving Bengaluru’s infra.
The Congress concluded with a session led by Ashwini Vaishnaw, the Minister of Railways, Communications, and Electronics and Information Technology. In his talk on "Communicate India: The Big Picture. 5G Foundation. Industry 4.0. Digital Nation," Vaishnaw highlighted the importance of robust digital infrastructure, 5G technology, and Industry 4.0 in accelerating India's journey towards becoming a digital nation.