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IntelliGen Summit 2021-A CII webinar

As part of its initiative India@75, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) organized the first edition of the IntelliGen Summit 2021 on September 21-22, 2021. The event was supported by MeitY; Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises; Ministry of Science & Technology and Ministry of Ayush. Communications Today was the media partner.

The first session was on Intelligent Living.  As a trend, it involves improved standards in several aspects of day-to-day life. The trend can be identified as Smart Homes, Smart Architect with Sustainable Construction, Smart Utilities which should be innovative, connected, quicker, cost efficient and sustainable.

Discussions revolved around how intelligent living has become an opportunity and is promoting the forward thinkers, leaders and citizens around the world to consider innovative ideas such as smart homes, intelligent construction, travel centric transportation, consumer-based electric power supply and integrated devices leveraging the internet of things securely. Ravinder Reddy, Partner, Grant Thornton moderated the session.

Amit Gossain, Chairman, CII Urban Development and Smart Cities Council & Managing Director, Kone Elevator India Private Limited elaborated on his company’s move toward this trend. At Kone, all the elevators are now monitored remotely, and fixed even before any complaints are received. Also, elevators can be ushered to a specific floor via a mobile phone, offering touchless technology, the basis of smart living.

In the USD 100 billion Indian real estate industry, the commercial segment will be far more easier to automate, as there is a pressing need to integrate automation, increase the efficiency of projects and make profits. In the residential sector, with no underlying standard for automation, the process is not expected to pick up for another five years, asserted Amit Khanna, Founder & Design Principal, Amit Khanna Design.

Ramesh Viswanathan, Senior Vice President & Head-Centre for  Research & Innovation, Havells India Limited is of the opinion that Indians would definitely embrace innovation, provided there is some value in it. As the mobile network was priced the lowest in the world, smartphones were adopted, en masse. On a similar note, in the building sector too, transformation will happen, provided the pricing is affordable.

Moving toward a complete, coherent, digital representation of buildings and adopting building information management (BIM) is key. BIM brings specific benefits to each stakeholder. Clients get a lower project cost, faster project delivery,  reduction in emissions, better customer services and risk management. The architecture and engineering firms have the benefit of improved coordination and visualization, better cost estimates, competitive exports and growth. Contractors and subcontractors have a better sequencing class detection and increased offset manufacturing enabling better safety quality planning. Facility management organizations get help in asset knowledge and better information. For overall project management, it reduces delivery cost, green performance, enables predictive planning, and also helps reduce the OpEx cost. The client gets more clarity, better supply chain management, gets smart facilities and is able to integrate the IoT devices, and sensors.

Dr. Amarnath CB, Head-BIM Strategy, Larsen & Toubro Limited highlighted that the maximum challenge to execute BIM is from the AC installation companies. Availability of skilled workforce and their relatively higher reimbursement, resistance from clients to adopt and appreciate the real benefits and return on investment and thereby cost saving are major deterrents  for incorporating BIM in their respective RFPs.

Speaking from experience, having created five smart cities across the world, the first one, in partnership with Fujisawa Municipal Government on the site of a former Panasonic plant in Fujisawa City, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, Dinesh Aggarwal, Joint Managing Director, Panasonic Life Solutions India Private Limited is of the view that India has a long journey ahead and is nowhere close to intelligent living re smart cities. A smart city is not just about technology, it is  about community building. Before construction is started, the three objectives, environment, energy conservation, and safety and security need to be taken care of, reiterated Aggarwal.

For a commercial space, generating its own energy would be top priority, because that is where the entire justification for investment lies. Whereas when it comes to homes, security and comfort get higher priority.  The Indian government may have launched the 100 Smart Cities Mission, but even the basic infrastructure is not yet in place. It is happening in bits and pieces.  Most of these projects have remained at either generation of rooftop solar or automation of traffic and street lights, and in a few cases creating EV charging infrastructure and solid waste water management. Opportunities, like the Delhi Mumbai corridor announced by the government exist but these are just greenfield cities.

The ecosystem of smart devices and the adoption of technologies such as blockchain, AI, ML, IoT, and cloud computing was the topic of the second session. The discussion revolved on how new technologies are being introduced, and the challenge lies in the use cases not being affordable. And government intervention, or rather support of the policy makers is imperative for adoption to increase.

“In the last five years, the trend has changed and no longer is one technology following another. These new technologies have all come in together,” observed moderator Jaspreet Singh, Partner, Grant Thornton.

Bikas Jha, Country Head & Managing Director, Real Networks India Private Limited brought attention to a new technology. “A few days back, I came across a technology that blew my mind. There is a German startup, NextMind and they have created a device, the NextMind controller. It is a sensor that reads electrical signals from the brain’s visual cortex, and translates those into input signals for a connected PC. It provides a truly amazing experience of a kind that’s hard to find in the current world of relatively mature computing paradigms. NextMind reads the thoughts, and translates that into a “press” action, or a “hold and move,” or any other number of potential output results. Convergence of the devices is already happening, and the technology and the future looks very bright as long as it is directed in right direction.”

On advent of technologies impacting lives and businesses and how we service them.
“We have created a framework, Business 4.0 to align with Industry 4.0. Essentially four business behaviours define organizations, the propensity for absorbing risk, the ability to mass customize, leveraging ecosystem and creating exponential value,” said Shashi Bhushan, Vice President & Chief Technology Officer- Business and Technology Services, Tata Consultancy Services

“The future looks very promising and exciting, As 4G and 5G coexist,  providing additional capabilities, with virtualization, deployment of edge in network and cloud resources, processing computing with communications and storage, interesting paradigms are expected to emerge. And all these capabilities can be executed in a distributed manner. Distributed processing would be very interesting with blockchain, quantum processing or IoT devices. Creating technology will be a new ballgame altogether. And, after the constraints have been identified and resolved, it’s the amalgamation or the coming together of these technologies that will make the solutions interesting,” added Dilip Krishnaswamy, Vice President-Emerging Tech R&D, Reliance Jio Platforms Limited.

“Security is not a destination, it is a journey. And it is a never-ending game between the good guys and the bad guys.  The ransomware companies in the dark web take their business very seriously. The CSOs are very aware of the existence of the back doors in their respective organizations, and that the only way to overcome is to internally have a fairly strong threat hunting practice. And this is where the service provider comes in,” said Rajesh Dhuddu, Vice President & Practice Leader- Blockchain & Cybersecurity, Tech Mahindra Limited.

“ As a new technology is adopted, it is important to capture the thought process of the customer, align the products accordingly, and ascertain his risk appetite. In some verticals like the capital and the securities market, adoption of technology may be extremely high, while not so in many others. Also, often there are not enough people available with the requisite skill set,” commented  Shashi Bhargava, Executive Vice President & Head-Solutions, Datamatics Global Services Limited.

Three more sessions were held, each one more interesting than the last, with senior partners from Grant Thorton as the moderator and senior participants across a wide spectrum of businesses. Discussions were held on the Future of Industry is Intelligent discussing the impact of transition to Industry 4.0. on various aspect of industrial operations and on its value chain; Connected Cities with the panel of experts deliberating on practices forward to achieve liveability, connectivity, sustainability and resilience in the city; and The Future of Smart Mobility with the session gathering leading experts from around the world to present solutions to meet the mobility and travel needs of their citizens.
CT Bureau

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