Uplink from Gujarat, India. Reporting on a Connected, Smart India

July 14, 2016

Rashmi Varma
Rashmi Varma

A digital native and a core techie with a deep rooted passion to creating innovative solutions and spectacular results. Coding, Designing, Algorithms, Strategy, Business, Writing, Educating & Speaking about Next Generation Technologies are Rashmi’s broad skills. Virtualization, Software Defined Networks, IoT, Deep Learning and Virtual Reality are the verticals Rashmi works with.

In her spare time, she is either building projects with her kids, playing with her dogs, sketching, traveling to experience foods & cultures or learning a new software language or tool.
~Our wonderful and exceptional friend Rashmi is visiting India, while she is there she has agreed to check out the massive Smart Cities undertaking currently taking place. 

Uplink from Gujarat, India. Reporting on a Connected, Smart India.

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has led several firsts in the state of Gujarat, in his previous reign as the state’s Chief Minister elect. His projects on infrastructure improvement included creating an eco-system for sustainable and green industrial utilities, public transport strategies to optimize city traffic patterns and myriad others. These projects eventually attracted an influx of both, investment into the state from companies setting up industries and a population looking for a higher quality of life.

As the incumbent leader of a burgeoning nation, Narendra Modi has now initiated the Smart City Mission with a massive funding of nearly 12B USD. The strategy to this project is unique. The Smart City Mission is targeting 100 Indian cities for development, of which 33 cities have been announced, with more to be named.

India’s Smart City Mission Logo
India’s Smart City Mission Logo

India’s Smart City Mission Logo

Reviewing the list of cities on the project, it quickly becomes clear that these are all cities with smaller populations, typically referred to as secondary cities in India. In discussing this information with Cynthia Heyn, Founder of SmartNTX, several questions emerged about how India defined the concept of “smart” and how did that definition equate to providing for basic infrastructural needs, which is a work in progress.

To know more about the Smart City Mission, I reached out to Manav Yagnik, an IIM-A alumnus and the co-founder of Decimal Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

Decimal (www.decimaltech.com) , is a pioneer in creating a platform that accelerates deployment of digital and mobility usecases for enterprises, and have been involved in their own way with the digitization of the banking enterprise workflow with “Aadhar”(see previous article published on this topic).

Mr. Yagnik made a kind introduction to Mr. Sudhanvan, President at Ispat Corp., who is leading an innovative collaboration to define ISPAT’s own and other smart city planning and development strategy.

Mr. BS Sudhanvan
Mr. BS Sudhanvan

 

Speaking with Mr. Sudhanvan made for a great discussion and was an awesome learning experience for me. Summarizing the key take-away from the discussion; India is at an intersection, where convergence of Infrastructure, Internet of Things, Data and People will create a new value proposition model for urban development. This integration, however, should be people focused, rather than technology centric.  Though data and computing has to provide real time intelligence, an emphasis on design will conform the intelligence as actionable and most importantly, acceptable by the masses.

Link to an informative excerpt of the conversation with Mr. Sudhanvan is here.

 

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