I had the pleasure to be invited at the ‘YourStory-Cisco Future of Business is Digital’ CXO event which consisted of a panel talk and networking dinner with cocktails , on 25th April 2018.
I occasionally get such invites and was free during the late evening hours so decided to give it a go.
It has a nicely managed affair and seemed to have started on time at around 7:00, although i reached a little late.
There was interesting keynote address by Mr. Vivek Srivastava from Cisco, with a complete power-point presentation talking about the digital challenges and how especially SME’s have to gear up for the same to reach the consumers.
The basic verdict of the whole presentation was that you don’t have a choice now: You have to be prepared, either go digital or.. die !
Whether it is Jio, or Digital India or the increasing maturity and demands of the Indian consumer, digitisation has become the key. Vivek, of-course also explained Cisco role and how Cisco, through Meraki , is providing wings to the growth and aspirations of SME’s in India. Through Cloud services such as for security, networking, routing, meetings, Cisco is helping even the just seeded startups, provide reliability and be prepared for any threats.
Keynote and Panel Discussion at Future of Business is Digital today! event by Your Story – Cisco
The Keynote gave way to a very interesting panel discussion. The panelists included names from Startup India and SME’s which are arguably in the fore-front of Digital and very relevant to SME’s . These were:
1. Founder from Moglix – a B2B e-commerce startup for SME purchase of B2B goods
2. Mahesh Gupta, Digital Network Architecture, Sales Leader – APJ, Cisco
3. A Senior professional from NowFloats
4. Rajat Gandhi, Founder, CEO, Faircent.com – P2P lending in India
5. Sandeep Srinivasa, Founder, RedCarpet – Small loans and lending to the unbanked
The talk revolved about topics such as:
a) What Digital means to these professionals
b) Metrics or focus areas on how they use Digital
c) Emerging trends in Digital.
Emerging trends in Digital identified included the usual suspects: GST, Blockchain, AI, Webbots , move towards Omnichannel experience, IOT and each panelist brought in great insights from his or her fields.
While Mr. Rajat Gandhi talked about how digital helps him reach the farthest corner of the country and lend and recover money in as less as Rs. 100 – Rs. 500 instalments , all virtually sitting in his office of Gurgaon with no one physically present where his customers are; the gentleman from Moglix spoke about how their company has just managed to create space in digital purchasing for SMB’s – a segment which was more or less ignored for a long while, and how there is still a long way to go.
As is generally the case, post discussion questions were even more interesting with the audience asking about stuff such as:
a) How to get the customers from tier 3, tier 4 cities of India to pay online for services purchased ?
b) Security threats in digital growth ?
c) What can companies do and how ethical they can be in protecting the data of customers (especially a’la the recent Facebook spectacle) ?
d) Whether there can be virtual currencies soon and what’ll be role of central banks then ?
e) Getting Medium and Large enterprises to pay for Made in India digital tools and software.
All this was rounded up with a nicely done dinner and cocktails networking session at the Diwan-E-Khas hall of Taj Mahal Hotel , Delhi.
For me the high point of everything was the punctuality and minimum fuss in management. I always like an event where things start on time and end on time with value addition.
Kudos to YourStory for this event, and keep up the good work guys !