With tech as the key, $5 trillion goal is realistic and achievable: Alok Ohrie, President and MD, Dell Technologies | Interview

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Published: October 21, 2019 2:57:20 AM

Whether it is 5G, AI, IoT, software-defined or cloud, each one has the capability of sparking off a huge amount of innovation. Adding to that, the intersection of innovation from each of these can create very different set of possibilities

Dell Technologies,  trillion goal, 5 trillion ECONOMY, indian economy, Alok Ohrie, Q2 FY20, dell revenue, government, Niti Aayog, UnescoAlok Ohrie, President and MD, Dell Technologies

Dell Technologies president & managing director Alok Ohrie says that the ‘$5 trillion goal’ set by the government is a very bold and ambitious target and is not impossible to achieve. “I believe this will happen if we bring in equality and inclusiveness within the country and eliminate inefficiencies.” According to him, technologies take care of inefficiencies, bridging inequalities and working as a leveler. Dell Technologies has been engaging with the Indian government on numerous projects. “We are positioned extremely well to serve the customers who are embarking on digital transformation in a big way,” he tells Sudhir Chowdhary in an interview. Excerpts:

Dell Technologies reported better-than-expected Q2 earnings of $4.5 billion, on a revenue of $23.4 billion. With Q2 FY20 ending on a good note, tell us about your India business and your roadmap for second half of FY20.
We continue to remain very bullish about the India market and we think the potential in the market is fairly huge. We are continuing to align our resources in a way that can help us build those conversations with customers that are futuristic.
When it comes to a digital future, we co-create with our customers. Whether it is 5G, AI, IoT, software-defined or cloud, each one has the capability of sparking off a huge amount of innovation. Adding to that, the intersection of innovation from each of these can create very different set of possibilities and help customers in creating business expansion opportunities.

How is India progressing in terms of the impact by emerging technologies on work and economy?
Emerging technologies is impacting businesses and individuals, not only in India but across the globe. It is transforming societies and there are three essential elements associated—economy, work and living. We do not completely comprehend the economy, as it is still evolving. A report we commissioned, along with the research group – Institute for the Future (IFTF), has given us an amazing set of future scenarios. It revealed that there are two elements that will play a big role – one is about the entire world moving to the data era, driven by digitisation and automation. The other element being the human and machine partnership.

On the economy front, there are going to be new businesses created because of disruptions by emerging technologies. New businesses got picked up in the survey findings which drove conversations by IFTF in the market, number one being autonomous commerce—machines involving consumers. The differentiation between products that are manufactured will go down dramatically and every product will be about the same features in functionality.

Second, in the process, people with creativity, without any assets at their disposal, will be able to manufacture the products and then serve customers globally. This is called Meta Making and it will become a reality. The third element is leapfrogging economics. Inclusiveness will get to the next level, because of emerging technologies.

On the living side, we will have networked living. The fine line between virtual and real is going to have an overlay of cyberspace. Today, we are all consuming digitisation through screens via TVs and smartphones, but they will be replaced.

Dell Technologies has recently signed a statement of intent with Pune Smart City Corp, what are your further plans in regards to Digital Cities initiative?
We are excited with the opportunity in smart city space for two reasons. One, we have an entire ecosystem of solutions to offer in any smart city implementation. Our stack is very rich and we can play on all possible fronts. Whether it is the data centre, edge devices, cloud-based solution or security solution, we can deliver in any of these four areas. Most of these smart cities will be infrastructure heavy deployments. We have seen good amount of success in the last year and half in all our engagements in smart city projects, a significantly high win rate versus the competition. We are working with master system integrators and are building the solutions. While we are doing all of this, Pune Smart City stakeholders proposed we setup a Centre of Excellence, that will allow various other players who are creating app solutions to come in, experiment and test their apps. It appealed to us because not all the services of smart cities have been imagined and conceptualised.

Security has been seen as an add-on. Customers have never thought about security being intrinsically built into the product stacks and solutions that they deploy. Dell Technologies is taking a slightly different approach with our product being made intrinsically secure. It has the capability that allows the customers to really focus on their core areas and not end up confused about the need to buy separate security products for different applications. Classic example is NSX – a product line that is not just helping customers create a software-defined network, but is also helping in micro-segmentation, which allows the security to be taken care of by itself.

Dell Technologies has been engaged with the government, Niti Aayog and Unesco. Tell us about the ongoing and the new projects in the pipeline.
Our engagement with the government is on two fronts. One, we serve them for their IT requirements. Two, we are collaborating with them in initiatives that are going to take the country to the next level. Dell Technologies is working with Niti Aayog and Unesco for social impact initiatives. We are engaged with NITI Aayog on two fronts – one is, creating a right innovative environment through Atal Tinkering Labs. There are about 86 of these labs and there are three community makerspaces that we are engaged with. We provide our products and technologies in these labs and allow students to experiment, essentially to keep the curiosity quotient high.

What are your views on the ‘$5 trillion goal’ set by India?
It is a very bold and ambitious target and is not impossible to achieve. If the economy can continue to grow at 7.5-8.5% every year, then we are in the striking range of the $5-trillion economy. I believe this will happen if we bring in equality and inclusiveness within the country and eliminate inefficiencies. Look at digital phones, today everybody has access to a communication platform that was a privilege two decades ago. If the internet continues to grow at the same pace, then that will again be a leveler. It’s a case of very quickly bringing in that equality and removing inefficiencies within the system. If it can be inclusive of everybody as a nation, then I think $5 trillion is doable and technology plays a very big role in that.

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