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New-age CIOs come out as the showstoppers at  9th VARINDIA EIITF 2018

(From L to R): Dr. Deepak Kumar Sahu, Chief Editor – VARINDIA;  Dr Tinku Acharya, Fellow IEEE, Founder & MD- Videonetics Technology;  Manjit Nayak, Addl. Director- STPI; V K Bhandari, CMD - Supertron Electronics Pvt. Ltd.; Sandeep Sengupta, MD – ISOAH; Ranjit Metrani, VP Sales and Chief Revenue Officer- ESDS Software; Prateek Singh, Director- Orva Networks Pvt. Ltd. and Anil Kr. Sahu, Regional Manager - West, VARINDIA 


Kolkata recently witnessed the successful conclusion of the 9th EIITF (Eastern India Information Technology Fair – 2018) that was hosted by VARINDIA. Amidst speeches and presentations from corporate houses, the event served as a common platform for the corporates to share ideas, discuss issues and challenges targeting the growth of the ICT sector in the region in particular and the country in general. All in all, the event saw the coming together of 200 senior officials from the IT Department, dignitaries from Central and state government departments and spokespeople from IT Corporates.


The special guests who attended the event were V K Bhandari, CMD - Supertron Electronics Pvt. Ltd.; Dr Tinku Acharya, Fellow IEEE, Founder & MD- Videonetics Technology; Manjit Nayak, Addl. Director- STPI; P L Suhasaria, President- COMPASS; Mansi Saha, Regional Secretary (East)- ISODA; Sandeep Sengupta, M.D.- ISOAH; Ranjit Metrani, VP Sales and Chief Revenue Officer- ESDS Software and Ardaman Singh Kapoor, Channel Manager East India and Bhutan- Fortinet Inc., besides the presence of other big-wigs from the industry. 


Giving his opening remark, Dr. Deepak Kumar Sahu, Chief Editor – VARINDIA spoke about how Digital transformation is on top of the mind of the CXOs in 2018 and that digital technology helps to open new doors to innovation. “A recent survey on the 300 CIOs from across the country reveals that newer technologies are bringing newer opportunities in business and investment into certain emerging technologies, offering both quantitative and qualitative insights.”


He also highlighted another survey, which says that the era of new market is going to emerge and the future of retailing is going to merge the online with offline model of business.


V K Bhandari, CMD- Supertron Electronics addressed the audience on the role the channel has been playing in the Indian ICT industry, while speaker Dr. Tinku Acharya, Fellow IEEE, Founder & MD - Videonetics Technology Pvt. Ltd. took to the stage to present his views on how Videonetics looks at the current market from an opportunity perspective. 


During the corporate presentations, Ranjit Metrani, VP Sales and Chief Revenue Officer- ESDS Software told the audience of how ESDS is focusing the market in West Bengal. Ardaman Singh Kapoor, Channel Manager East India and Bhutan- Fortinet Inc. on the other hand spoke on Digital Transformation and Security.


The panel discussion on the topic –‘5 Biggest Challenges for Modern CIOs For Digital Transformation’ was moderated by Deepak Kumar Sahu, Chief Editor – VARINDIA. The panel included speakers like Manjit Nayak, Addl. Director- STPI; Sandeep Sengupta, MD - ISOAH; P L Suhasaria, President- COMPASS;  Ranjit Metrani, VP Sales and Chief Revenue Officer- ESDS Software and Adrish Mukherjee, Sr. Manager( ERP)- Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd.spoke about the rise of challenges in the role of CIO while also becoming vibrant at the same time.


Towards the end of the event, the Best VARs from the Eastern region of India were awarded in the categories ofBest Retailer, Best Reseller, Best VAR, Best Solution Provider, Emerging Brand, Best System Integrator, Best National Distributor, Best Sub-distributor, Best Security Partner and Best IT Services Partner. The awardees were Supreme Technologies Pvt. Ltd., Lalani Infotech Ltd., Technocrat Infotech Pvt. Ltd., Embee Software Pvt. Ltd., Balaji Solutions Pvt. Ltd. (For the brand FOXIN), Wizertech Informatics Pvt. Ltd., Supertron Electronics Pvt. Ltd., Comnet Resources Pvt. Ltd., Macaws Infotech and Techniche Consulting Services.


With technology transformation, distribution and the buying pattern is also changing really fastV K Bhandari
CMD - Supertron Electronics

“Technology is changing very fast, and with it everything is changing really very fast – the buying pattern is changing, the distribution model is changing, presentation is changing. On the other hand, we the channel community is always complaining about the absence of growth and profitability. So what is the reason behind that? Reason is the constant change we are witnessing every day. But the sad part is that we do not want to groom ourselves with that change. This is why we have been unable to grow. There are big opportunities today in the IT business – cloud, digitization, IoT, but it is upon how we grab all of them. If we take the example of Nokia brand which used to be a leading brand globally. But today with the rise in competition, the brand has slowly lost its turf. Similar examples are HMT, Ambassador car that no longer enjoys the huge market share it used to enjoy at some point of time. With time, people have also started forgetting these brands; reason being they have not changed with time. So my message is - only one thing is constant in life and that is the change.”


India needs technology that is conceptualized, designed and manufactured within the countryDr Tinku Acharya Fellow IEEE
Founder & MD- Videonetics Technology 


“We have to build Indian technology that has been designed, conceptualised, intellectual property protected, manufactured in the country. In my case, I left an illustrious career in US and came back to India to start a company with a few boys and girls. I knew that visual computing is going to be the future. I can proudly say that we managed to create the first AI, deep learning based visual computing platform in the world that has been patented in the United States. The patent has been granted in US, UK, Canada, Singapore and Israel. These boys and girls sitting in Kolkata created more than 2 dozen intellectual property. Today we are an international Indian multi-national company. We just opened our office in UK, is in the offing in the US and already started in the UAE. Share of the word GDP in 1840 was 16% by India under British occupation while USA contributed merely 2% and rest of the world 82%. After that the golden age of innovation happened and while the world kept up with the pace of innovating new technologies, we Indians lost the race because we were too busy solving our own problems.”


There is change associated with the application of digital technology in every aspect of human societyRanjit Metrani 
VP Sales and Chief Revenue Officer- ESDS Software 


“Our job is to enable businesses using technology. We all know that digital transformation is going to help each one of us in terms of our journey towards enhancing our businesses. But there is always this confusion of what is exactly digital transformation. I found this to be the best – digital transformation is the change associated with the application of digital technology in all aspects of human society. Today digital is a part of everything today. The size of the digital economy is supposedly a trillion dollars. Some of the large companies are responsible for disrupting this digital technology and used it to enhance their business - like Uber does not own a taxi but is today one of the largest aggregator of taxis in the world, Netflix does not own or produce any movie but it is one of the largest providers of movies in the world. When Flipkart started its business in 2007, they first distributed books. The biggest reason why Flipkart is what it is today is they disrupted that business using the technology platform.”


Digital Technology is about adding new devices and users into your networkArdaman Singh Kapoor 
Channel Manager East India and Bhutan- Fortinet Inc.  


“Digital transformation, according to me, is today adding more and more devices and users into the network and day to day life. Going forward, with respect to digital transformation, there will be a change in the security space. Predominant security things that we were doing will be transformed because of this digital transformation. I am not asking you to change the entire security arena as a result of this digital transformation, but there will be slight changes with respect to the access, with new devices coming in into the network. The attack surface on the devices and the users have broadened. Earlier we used to secure our LAN and devices, but today security has to be borderless. People have smartphones & smart devices and there are wi-fi and roaming users. So we have to secure our users whether they are inside or outside the organization. With the increase in these attack surfaces, we are trying to include more and more products to secure the entire network. With respect to that you will see that in an organization there will a number of OEMs to offer security products and protect the network. The challenge that comes up is manageability of so many OEMs, whether their devices are talking to each other, and whether the organization is getting a full-proof solution or not. So these are some of the challenges that come out of the security transformation.”



The discussion highlighted the point that IT has become more influential and more proactive, and is driving an increasingly enterprise wide culture. With new technologies emerging almost every day, businesses are becoming complex and with it the role of a CIO has also been changing.


Ranjit Metrani, VP Sales and Chief Revenue Officer- ESDS Software agreed that the typical role of a CIO has changed today. A CIO earlier was more or less managing infrastructure and IT but today he/she is responsible for businesses too. “IT has to enable businesses and that is where I believe that technology platforms for CIOs are acting as enablers for their businesses. So more and more CIOs will be seen engaging in business decisions than IT decisions going forward,” he commented.   


According to P L Suhasaria, President- COMPASS, a CIO is one who has to manage things and technology while still keeping his business costs as low as possible. “With the help of new technologies that the company is adopting, a CIO’s major role is to see that business goals are met with lesser expenditures,” he said.  


Manjit Nayak, Addl. Director- STPI said, “A CIO has to be updated and upgraded first as per the modern trends and technologies because they keep on changing very frequently and unless he does that, it will become difficult to manage things efficiently.”


Sandeep Sengupta, MD – ISOAH said that data is spreading very fast, sometimes into the cloud and sometime into somewhere which no one knows. At the same time, privacy regulations are getting tougher too. “So that becomes a big challenge for the CIO,” he said. “In the security industry we always say PPT – People, Process, and Technology. All the tools and hardware that are in use today are becoming people focussed and they are starting to talk about trends. Previously when I bought a box, I used to learn more about it, but now with Machine Learning the box is learning my pattern. This will what the future will behold us and a CIO has to keep this thing into perspective.”


Adrish Mukherjee, Sr. Manager (ERP) - Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd. defines the role of a CIO as that of cost competitiveness and building a strategic position for his organization in terms of speed of delivery.


The growth of the ICT industry in the country is also highly becoming dependent upon SMEs, because of their rapid growth and proliferation. However there are several challenges that these SMBs face when it comes to technology adoption. One of the biggest challenges in the SMB space is the knowledge of technology as far as cloud is concerned, in terms of what and which cloud model they can adopt. The second piece is the security aspect that every SMB is worried about – of where their data resides and the third is the cost benefit. Some of the large players have disrupted the industry by using technology, but the truth is that an SMB today does not want to invest in technology; he would rather invest in his business than in technology. Very clearly if the SMB has to change the way they address the market going forward, they don’t have a choice but to adopt to new technologies and get away from the comfort zone that they are in now. 

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