Frontier Technologies for Greater Good6 min read . Updated: 22 Feb 2019, 05:54 PM IST
Digitisation has touched every aspect of human life. It is also altering how organisations look at business sectors, markets, service their customers and ideate new businesses. Traditionally, governments have been slow to modernise, but today they view digitisation as a panacea that can save time and expenses, while enhancing their extent and effectiveness.
The three-fold transformation of consumers, government and industry are far reaching economic consequences. The number of technologies coming into the fore, be it Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics and so on, are touching every sector, reimagining how goods and services are delivered, impacting lives they reach and heralding what is now being termed as Industry 4.0.
Hitachi, one of the leading Japanese companies with a global footprint, has been engaged in innovating new age technologies. It has been using some of the most advanced technologies in a wide range of products/services, ranging from information and telecommunication systems, digital solutions and services, infrastructure systems, industrial systems like water, oil and gas supply and management, to transportation and urban development solutions. Together with localisation, Hitachi aims to contribute to further fueling India’s digital economy.
As the sixth largest and fastest developing economy in the world, to drive the advantages of a digital sphere to the bottom of the pyramid, India faces numerous difficulties, the most pertinent being to make the economic growth inclusive. Digitisation is radical, as it can bring in the much needed inclusiveness and a true social transformation for a nation as vast and complex as India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi acknowledges India’s unique challenges but is now focusing all the synergies towards the opportunities a radical digitisation can bring to create the much needed inclusiveness and a true social transformation. Many initiatives were launched to take the digital dream to a billion citizens– ‘Digital India’, ‘Make in India’, ‘Skill India’ to name a few. This vision aims at empowering the citizens through the adaptation of e-Governance, a way to infuse technology in governance to drive the last mile delivery of services.
Hitachi in India has envisioned this direction in collaboration with the stakeholders, bringing its rich global industrial heritage and juxtaposing it with its strength in Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT). It has its ethos embedded in its businesses that are aimed at touching the lives of millions. It is only possible when you innovate and Hitachi’s inherent Social Innovation Business, weaves in a multi-disciplinary approach to problems to build innovative solutions that drive businesses and governance to aid the society at large. It has partnered with the government of India in its initiatives like ‘Digital India’ and ‘Make in India’, leveraging its superior technology innovations and global expertise to address India’s unique challenges.
Hitachi has been a leader in OT for industries such as manufacturing, power/energy and transportation for over 100 years. The company has also been a leader in IT for over 50 years—bringing IT applications, analytics, content, cloud, and infrastructure solutions to market that have transformed the way enterprises do business. Combining its broad expertise in OT with its proven IT, Hitachi gives the customers a powerful, collaborative partner in data.
Its extensive presence across industries, enables it to provide a ‘single eye view of macro solutions’, a core competency that the company has earned over the years. It laid its solid foundation in India over 80 years back, as it supplied turbines for the Bhakra Nangal project. Over the years, Hitachi group has diversified and expanded its presence with 28 group companies in India, across sectors like infrastructure, railways, energy, construction machinery, healthcare, IT, automotive systems, along with payment systems.
Be it the problem of rapid urbanisation or large-scale concentration of people in cities; building sustainable transportation solutions or efficient supply and management of water; need for stronger security solutions or advanced machinery to aid smarter manufacturing to fuel India’s 'Make in India' aspiration, Hitachi’s Social Innovation business has driven solutions for the Indian government, private players, businesses and the citizens themselves, incorporating its vision of ‘Collaborative Creation’. Hitachi Group is coming together to work faster, smarter and towards a sustainable tomorrow for India, contributing consistently to an ever evolving digital economy.
"Lumada" aims to be the core of social innovation by being a medium for Hitachi’s customers, helping them be a part of this digital transformation.
Hitachi has been a part of e-Governance initiatives with multiple governments in the country. While some of them have used its IT solutions, others use its technology for various functions. These large data heavy projects include digitisation of land records; single-window handling of grievances and maintenance of essential services; easing tax payments and other dues to the government; along with internet based citizen delivery of services.
Digital transformation is expected to add an estimated $154 billion to Indian GDP and increase the growth rate by 1% annually, according to a research by a technology company and International Data Corporation. The report further goes on to predict a dramatic acceleration in the pace of digital transformation across India and Asia Pacific’s economies. In 2017, while 4% of India’s GDP was derived from digital products and services created directly through the use of digital technologies, such as mobility, cloud, IoT and AI, within the next four years, it is estimated that nearly 60% of India’s GDP will have a strong connection to the digital technologies such as AI and that will accelerate digital transformation led growth even further.
This is a major opportunity for companies like Hitachi, who can amalgamate their global expertise and heritage with complex Indian problems to innovate with products and services.
“India is inevitably heading for a social revolution. A revolution brought in by the transformation in the way people access technology and the advanced digital capabilities possessed by companies. With this social shift, the society has moved beyond from an information to a distinctive culture, built on awareness and technology. The 7 Cs i.e. Common, Connected, Convenient, Congestion-Free, Charged, Clean, Cutting-Edge, introduced by our Prime Minister, works as fundamental for us and drives us to create the necessary novel solutions including efficient infrastructure, transportation, energy, water, and many others. Keeping citizens at the centre, we must adapt to the dynamic confluence culture that is a natural result of convergence. Hitachi will continue to partner and draw upon its wealth of technologies and expertise to provide a diversified range of information technology solutions in various industrial sectors, empowering the citizens of India, transforming the landscape of Indian economy and aligning with India’s growth," says Bharat Kaushal, Managing Director of Hitachi India.
India’s appetite and intent for technology evolution has been applauded globally as well. The World Economic Forum comes out with a Global Competitiveness Report every year. According to this year’s report, “The global economy is not prepared for the Fourth Industrial Revolution: 103 of the 140 economies measured in this year’s index score 50 or lower out of 100 for innovation capability, meaning that for many of these, innovation is a drag on overall competitiveness." However, there is good news for India. The report proves Indian government’s focus is on e-Governance, alongside other reforms like GST and schemes like Digital India, Make in India and Skill India.
India ranks 58th in 2018's Global Competitiveness Index. This indicates a rise of five places in the ranking from its 2017 position and is the largest gain among all G20 economies. India is a leader among the South Asian economies.
This holistic transformation of a country as vast as India has been made possible with companies like Hitachi partnering with multi-stake holders in bringing together the state-of-the-art technology solutions, combined with the implementing agencies driving the last mile delivery of services.
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