Mega innovation clusters need of the hour: BVR Mohan Reddy

By Mohammed Shafeeq

Hyderabad, Aug 15 (IANS): India needs ‘mega innovation clusters to innovate leading edge products and services by leveraging on emerging technologies, feels B.V.R. Mohan Reddy, a prominent face of the information technology industry and former chairman of NASSCOM.

According to Reddy, ‘mega innovation clusters' is one big idea which can take the country forward as it celebrates the 75th year of its independence.

He believes that the application of emerging technologies to innovate leading edge products and services will put India ahead of many nations.

"History tells us that nation's economic progress has direct correlation to education and skills in the country. Intense research leads to deep domain knowledge and birth of new emerging technologies. Application of skills to the emerging disruptive technologies will lead to emergence of new products and processes," the founder chairman and board member of Cyient, a leading digital engineering and technology company, told IANS.

"This will be more true as acceleration of technology and its application would happen faster than ever before. Technology will become all pervasive and omnipresent in every walk of life. Emerging technologies such as AI, 5G, Mobility, personalisation, and others, will have overwhelming number of uses in products and services," said Reddy, who received the Padma Shri award in 2017.

He pointed out that several of the emerging technologies are currently incubated in Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs),Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) labs, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) labs, etc.

"The application of these technologies to innovate leading edge products and services will put India ahead of many nations. Indian government initiatives in programs such as Software Technology Park (STPI) and Special Economic Zone (SEZ) had very positive impact in accelerating Indian IT industry position in global marketplace," said Reddy.

"The mega innovation clusters could house industry, academia and research institutions and should be incentivised by government with a 1:1 matching grant. Further the government could create programs to facilitate leading edge research and development by academia, world class infrastructure to speed up 'go to market' and market access using Indian missions abroad," added Reddy.

Reddy, who holds postgraduate degrees in engineering from IIT Kanpur and the University of Michigan, founded Cyient (earlier Infotech Enterprises) in 1991, with the vision of providing engineering services to global markets.

He established the "Engineered in India" brand and led Cyient to contribute more than $5 billion in cumulative exports to several international customers, including many Fortune 100 companies.

He served as the Chairman of NASSCOM, the apex body of the Indian IT industry in 2015-16 and has been a member of its Executive Council since 2003 and continues to shape the industry agenda.

He was also the Chairman of CII, Southern Region, in 2008-2009 and currently serves as the National Education Council Chairman. He is also the Founding Director of T-Hub, the largest start-up incubation centre in India.

Reddy has taken up several leadership positions to promote higher education. At present, he is the Chairman of the Board of Governors of IIT Hyderabad and IIT Roorkee. He is a member of the Leadership Advisory Board (LAB) at the University of Michigan College of Engineering, and a member of the Court of Governors of Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI).

In 2017, he received the Padma Shri, India's fourth-highest civilian award for his contribution to trade and industry.

He is also the recipient of the Distinguished Leadership Award of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (CIE Division). He was conferred Lifetime Achievement Awards by the Hyderabad Management Association (HMA), Hyderabad Software Enterprises Association (HYSEA), and the Centre for Organization Development (COD), recognizing his industry leadership, corporate excellence, and institution building. A recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award from IIT Kanpur, Reddy is also a fellow of the Institution of Engineers (India).


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