Sushobhan Mukherjee

Dewang Mehta Memorial Lecture & Felicitation of Toppers

2 Comments

Preface

I had never been to Jorhat earlier even though I am a frequent traveler to North-East for last 10 years. This time the option arrived due to Nasscom for the occasion of Dewang Mehta Memorial Lecture to be held at Kaziranga University, Jorhat. I was invited being a Nasscom member to represent Industry side to the academia.

The event was scheduled on 21st August, 2015.

We started on 20th morning and flown to Dimapur. It was around two hours ride to reach Kaziranga University. We reached around 5pm and literally rushed towards Kaziranga Golf Resort to take part in the inaugural dinner at 7pm onwards.

This was an awesome place. Such a lush green with 18 holes golf course is one of the neatly maintained in India.

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We got introduced with distinguished guests, delegates, trustees, officials due course and the same was followed by cocktail dinner.

We returned hotel quite late and the return journey was quite adventures. Coz it was quite dark (rather no light) and the 30 mins drive through tea gardens was fascinating.

Actual program was next day.

Dewang Mehta

Dewang Mehta was one of rare visionaries from India in nineties when IT boom was not that prominent.

He envisioned a world where the Indian ICT industry would play a key role on the strength of its technology talent and skilled IT manpower.

Dewang Mehta envisioned of connectivity as commodity and vouched for the slogan “Roti, Kapra, Makan, Bijli and Bandwidth” (Food, Clothes, Homes, Electricity and Bandwidth) as a need of emerging, 21st century Indian.

The period 1991-2001 was the era of transformation and growth, for both Nasscom and Dewang Mehta. He was instrumental in defining Indian it strategies and roadmap for future. The NASSCOM got a new dimensions under his leadership.

Post his sudden demise, his family and relatives accumulated all his wealth and formed a charitable trust on his memory for betterment of the society in India.

Nasscom Tribute Video on Dewang Mehta must be watched if you have not seen earlier.

 And the occasion we all gathered at Kaziranga University, Jorhat is for the “Dewang Mehta memorial Lecture & Felicitation of Toppers”

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Kaziranga University

Kaziranga University was founded in the year 2012 by Khetan Industrial Group and promoted under the banner of North Eastern Knowledge Foundation (NEKF). The University is aspired to be a 21st Century University with a focus on research in emerging areas of Science, Technology and Management. The vision is to change lives through knowledge and apply it for the benefit of humanity. The futurestic vision found with Dr.PK Mishra and Dr.Rai were truely instrumental.

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The day

We reached the venue by 9.30am and the program was about to start. Chief Guest and dignitaries were in the dais and initiated the program with lamp lighting. It was followed by felicitation of Guests, Welcome Address by Prof. Sunil Rai (VC, KU), Inaugral Address by Rajiv Vaishnav (VP, Nasscom), Address by Shri Vishal Solanki (IAS, Deputy Commissioner, Jorhat), Felicitation of Dignitaries from Industry and academia. These were followed by the next special sessions.

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Dewang Mehta Memorial Lecture by Sanjay Mehta

Sanjay Mehta, MD of Teleperformance, India kicked off with the emerging trends of business in a tribute to Dewang Mehata, the visionary of IT in India. His enlightening pitch was truly instrumental and unveiled different spheres of business. He said that our competitions are following us and if we are not attentive, disruption of existing businesses will be the outcome. Yellow taxis could not visualize the Waves of Uber and Ola. The entire dynamics got changed with the appearance of Spotify, Natflix and so on.

The scenarios will get complex day by day. The baton of decision making power has already been shifted to “Customer”.

If we cannot adopt with the evolving trends, the existence might be at stake like Nokia (who got vanished from the market within two years).

The customer centricity has even flattened down organization pyramid structure. Instead of CEO, customer is the king in today’s scenarios.

Hence in order to be in the wave of changes, we need to be transparent, versatile, innovative and strategic.

Non-metros will be the future of India and if we focus there instead of competing only in metros, we can address the larger audience with bigger scope, spirits and opportunities.

Time has come for the non-metros to be proud as it holds huge potential to lead India.

Windows 8 was globally launched from the BPO of Indore and Jaipur, whereas Jaipur led it during Windows 10 global launch. And incidentally it was done by Sanjay Mehta’s company only.

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Workshop by Dr. Bhooshan Kelkar

Dr. Bhooshan is the director of MobiuSutra Consulting Pvt Ltd. He is an ex IBM and presently envisioned to train Indian youth starting from higher education to engineering and management cadre. His topic for the discussion was “Employability and Innovation”.

He put us to think on our approaches, thought processes. There are several scientific tools and technologies to map human affinities and channelize/ focus towards that to achieve greater heights of life.

Self-Discovery Tool, Psychometric Tests, Johari Window, IQ and Aptitude Tests are few of the mechanism as briefed by him.

Similarly there are “Criticality and Innovation Tools” as well like 6 thinking Hats Workshop, Creativity Workshop, Games.

Next sections were amazing. He revealed some wonderful unknown free tools/portals on Online remote internship, online learning for school/college students, general learning courses, publishing journals and surely filing patents.

The Eye-opener fact was all the tools he revealed were having major industry acceptance, world’s renowned university accreditation. Moreover, he narrated a case study on against each of the tool, how it was beneficial to the students/participants in terms of better opportunity, getting jobs, getting sponsorship and so on.

He shows two videos on the ground to changing thought process. “Visa all it takes” and “You can do it” both were awesome.

Finally the one punch phrase of “Hungry and Angry” was the killer. If you have fire in the belly, success will follow.

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Interaction of CEOs with Students

This section was moderated by Mr.Nirupam Chowdhury, Regional head, Nasscom-East and Panel Members were Ms. Soma Banerjee (Co-founder and CEO, Business Brio), Myself (Sushobhan Mukherjee, Co-Founder and CEO, Prime Infoserv LLP) and Ms.Atreyee Borooah Thekedath (Director, Webcom Media). The discussion agenda was “Industry needs for Employment”. We kept on talking on the same points which keep on saying in other institutes as well:

  • Attitude matters than skills
  • Instead of Skills , the thought can be mold towards knowledge so that it inherits the capability to apply the same to life
  • The shift in mindset towards start-ups instead only dreaming about biggies.
  • The differences between “Job” and “Earning” to be understood.
  • The sense of accountability, ownership, approach may act as the differentiators.
  • Keeping eyes open and adopting to upcoming technology trends (like Internet of Things) beyond academia will lead them towards the leading path.
  • In case, students are having risk taking appetite, entrepreneurship may help them in long run as well.(In case of any mentoring, guidance, funding , directions, they may reach anyone of us).

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Topper’s Felicitations

The felicitation program was not only for Kaziranga University, rather almost all colleges from Northeast like Silchar, Dibrugar, Jorhat, Assam were invited. There was majority of girls in the toppers list.

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Cultural Program

Cultural program was with traditional Assam dances, songs followed by blockbuster Hindi songs. All the performance was conducted by the students only.

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Return

Return was 22nd August, 2015(Saturday) afternoon. We did not leave the chance to have city ride and also collecting some very special local legacy.

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Conclusions

It was refreshing three days out of traditional busy schedule. In midst of nature, with the orientation with industry leaders, academicians, students were truly energizing. Overall arrangements, hospitality by Kaziranga University, Dewang Mehta Foundation Trust and Nasscom were awesome. I intend to come back here in the university and off course the golf course in near future with different objectives. The students found to be having entrepreneurial spirits. Me and my fellow members in Bengal entrepreneur echo system would love to assist, mentor in near future.

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Author: Sushobhan Mukherjee

Co-founder and CEO of Prime Infoserv LLP, one of the leading System Integrator and IT-space consulting ecosystem of Eastern India working with top pan-Indian and global brands. 18 years of experience in the domain and is a key industry voice with memberships in Indian premier IT trade bodies like NASSCOM and TiE. A bootstrapping enterprise-builder with a high flair for teaching and mentoring.

2 thoughts on “Dewang Mehta Memorial Lecture & Felicitation of Toppers

  1. I am very impressed by the event, its description, the photos and the wholeness of it. India (and the world) need more visionaries like Mr. Debang Mehta. Indian Information Technology industry has crossed its historical ‘juvenile’ period. In the early nineties, the industry needed soldiers and as growth and demand were very high, soldiers with little experience were promoted as front-line officers (managers). In those heady days, every soldier felt that being an officer (manager) is just few years away. The growth, the boom, the money, the offshore / onshore pendulum, the great dreams and social and media awe did one lasting damage : forgetting the fundamental difference between man-power and talent.

    Talent and man-power are not the same thing. In the flux of growth, the distinction becomes blurred. However when the dust settles, only the real talent remain standing.

    IT industry has entered its irrevocable next level of historical evolution. Even Indian middle class is detecting this changeover – seats in premier (what to say institutions with ‘college shaped buildings that mushroomed”) engineering institutes reporting empty seats in many IT and related trades.

    In 1990s, Mr. Mehta envisioned something which was not possible for anyone thinking of leading ‘man-power’. Mr. Mehta could see the new landscape and worked on this vision. India lost a real talent (not touted or media-made or because of ovarian lottery) when he had a sudden and pre-mature departure from the world.

    We now need visionaries in IT industry who will chart the new landscape where manpower is not talent.

    This is more relevant when I hear a similar cry regarding Analytics which is touted to be another kind of Y2K – windfall – man-power brute force and momentum win.

    It is not.

    Every powerful innovation is cloaked in a tragic irony. Let us take an example of a sector of which I was part :

    Since early 1990s, telecom sector witnessed innovation, investment, scam and in short – great activity and some of the innovations that changed the world. Packet-switching demanded massive broadening of bandwidth and telecom companies ( mostly monopolies having lots of cash) invested massively in under-sea fibres and causing over-supply of bandwidth and prices fell sharply. Their greatest cash channel : circuit witched telephone calls and data links became cheaper and margins (and tariff ) fell rapidly. Finally, the telephone call became skyped ( borrowing from the verb ‘bangalored”)

    Indian IT needs and the need is desperate : How to come out of the paradigm of man-power based business models to talent based business model.

    The problem is : man-power comes from nature’s womb naturally. Talent needs an ecosystem and that needs l broad-based investment from family, educational sector, government, industry and from each individual person.

    There is no shortcut. There is no leverage. There is no Y2K miracle round the corner.

  2. Good

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