Digital Transformation

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Digital Transformation

I had the opportunity to attend a lively and interactive session on “Digital Transformation” organized by the India International Maheshwari Society (IIMS). The event held at the Malviya Smriti Bhawan in Delhi in June 2015 was attended by a packed house of around 150 community members.

It was one of the rare platforms that connected thought leaders with the knowledge based professionals within the community. Digital transformation has already created waves and will have a deep impact on every individual. Hence, I am sharing some of the key pointers that were discussed at the event.

Event Highlights

The event witnessed a series of thought provoking speeches. This was followed by a lively interactive session with the engrossed audience. Here are my thoughts and notes from each of the sessions.


Mr NC Maheshwari kick-started the evening with a quick re-cap of the objectives of the IIMS. The vision outlined by Hon’ble Justice R.C. Lahoti, Former Chief Justice of India set the tone for the discussions. The key objectives of IIMS are:

  1. Create ways and means to promote educational, cultural and economic growth in Society.
  2. Create effective means and ways by which eminent persons of the Maheshwari Samaj receive due National and International recognition and place of pride.
  3. Recognize the achievements of our present day Maheshwari dignitaries and luminaries.
  4. Share the experiences of successful Maheshwari professionals.
  5. Impart training, professional education and skill to promote rural development and entrepreneurship.

Digital Transformation and the Government

Speech by the Chief Guest, Shri Shyam Jajoo (BJP Secretary and now Vice President).

  • He spoke with great humility and wit about the Government’s landmark forays into digital transformation.
  • The journey covering numerous eGovernance initiatives touching all aspects of our lives is indeed very impressive.
  • The future of India is bound to reap the fruits of digital transformation with programs such as Smart Cities and Make in India.

Digital Transformation – Financial Markets

Mr Ankur shared the digital transformation journey of NSDL and articulated a vision for the future of financial markets and all its stakeholders.

  • He clarified common misconceptions regarding NSDL, as he spoke about the wide spectrum of it’s responsibilities.
  • He also highlighted the transformation initiatives that NSDL has already executed. The digital transformation of creation and execution of wills was especially illuminating.
  • He finally shared the high level roadmap for future digital transformation initiatives. It was a very interesting account of the inter-connectivity across all aspects of the financial markets and services.

Impact on Work

Dr Vasant Bang spoke about the impact of digital transformation on work.

  • A birds’ eye view of the impact of digital transformation across various skill categories was presented. The varying impact across sectors was explained lucidly by Dr Bang.
  • The commentary on the skills available and required in the digital economy was thought provoking. The dynamics of the future job market will change drastically.
  • Dr Bang informed the group about the work being done by MVPM (Maheshwari Vidya Pracharak Mandal). In particular, he mentioned the scholarship award for meritorious students passing out in the current academic year. The audience (and the readers) are requested to share the details of the Scholar award.

Tax Guru on Digital Transformation

The well known “Tax Guru”, Mr Subhash Lakhotia, kept everyone engrossed with his sharp wit that had the audience in splits.

  • He emphasized the increasing need for tax compliance with digital transformation. The Revenue department will increasingly leverage Big Data to connect the dots and increase the compliance rates.
  • The “Tax Guru” also touched upon some little known provisions relating to cash transactions that have already been implemented this year.

Rounding up – The “Primary” Need

Shri Gauri Shankar Moondhra moderated the Q&A session in a charged audience. The discussions covered various dimensions including entrepreneurship, investing and advisory support, Make in India and social issues relating to the have nots of the digital era.

He fittingly closed the discussion by pointing out the need to focus on primary education. Pearls of wisdom indeed, since the children are the future of the country.

Focus – Primary Education:

We cannot achieve sustainable growth or standards of excellence in any field, if the quality of primary education is compromised. Since the internet is a great equalizer, its potential needs to be leveraged. While a lot of people are still thinking of the traditional challenges and solutions for primary education, the cry for disruptive innovation in this ecosystem has never been louder.

The Future of Digital Transformation

Several interesting propositions were discussed during the evening and the lively discussions that continued over dinner. It will be interesting if some of these ideas are implemented:

  • Support for the start-ups promoted by the community members. This could take the shape of advisory support, angel investing or even setting up a dedicated fund.
  • Organizing similar discussions on issues that may benefit from the knowledge based professionals in the community.
  • The skill (and employability) gap is widening rapidly on account of the tsunami of digital transformation. The implications on primary, secondary and higher education and skill development need to be examined very carefully.

The Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) times need a very different approach to skill development and career management.

When the waves of change of SMAC (Social Media, Mobile, Analytics and Big Data, Cloud Computing) are of this magnitude, it is only the pro-active and far-sighted who survive!

In conclusion, I cannot but help remember Shakespeare’s words

“There is a tide in the affairs of men,

Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.

Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries.

On such a full sea are we now afloat.

And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.”

Wish you all a happy digital transformation journey!

Note: Special Thanks to the team that put this wonderful event together.

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