21st century will be India’s, says IBM chief Rometty

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

Ginni Rometty, Chairman & CEO

Will meet PM today to discuss ‘Make in India’ projects

Terming big data as a ‘natural resource’ in today’s time, US tech major IBM’s chief said on Tuesday that this the best time for India, and the 21st century could be the ‘Indian century’.

Speaking at ‘IBM Think Forum’, being held in India for the first time, Ginni Rometty, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, IBM, said the way India is developing toward technology, especially with government programmes, such as ‘Digital India’ and ‘Make in India’, the country can soon surpass China.

“I see India soon to be fastest growing country, surpassing China, a wonderful statistic (in terms of data usage)….It (India) makes the fourth largest base for start-ups in the world. So, to me, these are all great indicators and we are proud to play our part in this great transformation,” she said.

Transformational stages

Rometty said IBM is in the midst of three transformational stages – big data, cloud and engagement with newly empowered individuals – to help its customers achieve their business targets.

“The data traffic in India (3.7 Zettabyte) has doubled in the world wide web from what was there in two years ago. I think such information can be the basis of competitive advantage for every company,” she said, adding that almost three out of every five companies have big data project going on.

The IBM chief, who is India to share such plans, will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday to discuss such achievements and how IBM can be part of ‘Digital India’ and ‘Make in India’ projects.

Taking a cue from the success stories of IBM’s IT solutions, Sunil Mittal, Chairman and Group of Bharti Enterprises, said unlike earlier days of only voice and SMS, the telecom industry has changed a lot and everything is related to data.

“Internet of Things or Internet of Everything, whatever we call it, we are getting into a digitalisation of societies…there is a host of activities and if you start combining, you can actually profile the personality of the individual,” he said.

He, however, added that security is also important and the mobile operators believe that customers rely on data and millions of people who are using their services have the faith on telecom companies.

Therefore, telecom companies have to make sure they deliver that by ensuring backend systems/ processors are well maintained, he said.

Meanwhile, favouring bank licences for telcos, Mittal said traditional banks will not be able to deliver financial services to the lower end of the population without incurring huge losses.

Incidentally, Airtel M-Commerce Services, a unit of Bharti Airtel, is among 41 applicants, including Reliance Industries, Aditya Birla Group, Tech Mahindra, Vodafone and Videocon, which are seeking payment bank licences.

“I wish that happens soon (licences are issued) and we will be allowed to participate in the financial inclusion in a meaningful way,” he said.

Published on July 14, 2015

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