The Express IT Awards 2017, in its fifth edition, witnessed the grand finale on December 7 in Bengaluru with luminaries of India’s technology industry in full strength. Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant as chief guest addressed the moot point of how advances in technology has opened up opportunities for a new genre of technology professionals. The Express IT Awards comprised a smorgasbord of large established companies, mid-sized firms and new-age startups. There was also a sprinkling of government departments too who showcased how technology has further improved the delivery of public services. The dominant theme for this year’s edition was jobs. The leadership and innovation talks at the Express IT Awards centred around the future of technology jobs. Amitabh Kant, in his address said, “India must embrace technology and we must restructure the education system to ensure we create enough new-age jobs.” Artificial intelligence would replace rather than displace jobs.
Echoing a similar sentiment was Express IT Awards 2017 Lifetime Achievement winner Lakshmi Narayanan, co-founder of Cognizant. The panel discussion at Express IT Awards was a stimulating chat with the presence of six experts who brought in different perspectives on the jobs scenario. The underlying theme of the panel discussion was the emphasis on reinventing oneself and not being afraid of the future. Mindtree executive chairman Krishnakumar Natarajan was hopeful of the nature of new jobs being created through sheer disruption. The awards were given across nine categories and it had representation of the biggies, like TCS, Infosys, Wipro with equal presence of the new-age companies, such as Swiggy, Razorpay, Zomato, Makemytrip, to name a few.
A few of the award winners also had interesting profiles, like a company employing technology in the area of dairy farming. The evening saw young entrepreneurs crowding around seasoned IT professionals to hear them out on the future direction of technology or how to grow the business. Sunil Jain, Managing Editor, Financial Express, said, “It (Express IT Awards) is really about what technology and winners of these awards are going to do to change India. The Indian IT industry changed the way the world looked at India.” As the evening wound up at the Marriott Hotel in Whitefield, there was optimism in the air about India making strides on the global IT map.