Deep technologies as a concept that is relatively new in India. Naturally, there are a lot of challenges that companies face during its implementation. In an interview with Dataquest, Sandeep Agarwal, executive vice president and COO, Digital Business Services, Happiest Minds Technologies speaks about how the Deep Tech scenario is evolving in India.
DQ: Deep tech is a set of relatively new technologies. How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted this technological shift in India?
Sandeep Agarwal: Deep tech primarily consists of next-gen technologies like Artificial Intelligence, 5G, Blockchain, drone-tech, 3D printing, advanced material, quantum computing, biotechnology etc. All new technologies go through their maturity curve, based on their applicability and use cases. Due to COVID-19, Digital has taken center stage, and major companies are re-evaluating newer ways of working and going digital; with deep tech playing a significant role in doing so. We are witnessing an accelerated adoption of deep tech technology in the next 2-3 years which would have otherwise been adopted in the next 5-8 years. Telehealth, edutech, omnichannel commerce, logistics, smart cities and supply chain are some of the areas where these technologies will get adopted at a faster pace.
DQ: What are some of the trends we see in manufacturing as far as deep tech is concerned?
Sandeep Agarwal: Manufacturing companies or OEMs typically have 5 major areas, Connected factory, connected Operations, connected logistics, connected products and connected services. Deep tech has applicability in all these areas to enable significant business growth by integrating digital and accelerating transformation. Deep tech will also help in building a connected ecosystem of vendors, partners, distributors, retailers, and logistics provider to enable speed, reliability, and customer experience.
DQ: Similarly, what are the challenges companies face in implementing Deep Tech solutions?
Sandeep Agarwal: Major challenges for companies are lack of knowledge, concerns over upfront investment, Return on investment considerations, and finding a right partner that can help them navigate the Digital Journey and build a road map for them.
DQ: Kindly shed some light on the kind of Deep Tech that is being used in Happiest Minds?
Sandeep Agarwal: Happiest Minds prides itself on being Born Digital and Born Agile. One of the strong pillars we embrace is rapidly learning and building solutions around newer deep tech technologies to further enhance customers’ business and their digital journey. We bring the best cloud partners and enable a Digital thread journey for our customers. We have done multiple implementations, deploying technologies like blockchain, IoT, AI, conversational bots, Digital process automation to help our customers globally. Though tech changes are inevitable, our focus is to understand customers’ needs better from a business perspective, and then bring the right mix of technology to solve their problem. We always take a platform approach to avoid any silos of apps or data in the customer environment.
Happiest Minds helps enterprise and business owners go through a value discovery workshop with Mindful Design thinking 4E framework. They help their customers Explore, Enable, Engineer and Expand in a seamless way to keep business as usual and at the same time transforming with the right use of deep tech technologies and exceeding business goals.
DQ: What according to you, is the road ahead for Deep Tech?
Sandeep Agarwal: Many new deep tech technologies are rapidly getting into the mainstream, so the primary need is to get these technologies validated to scale with significant deployments. As technology mature, newer technologies will emerge, and the amalgamation of these technologies will make building solutions easier, leading to better problem-solving. Most of the cloud providers, for instance, Microsoft, AWS and GCP will start supporting this new tech as part of their PaaS services, and system integrators will use this to develop solutions based on customers’ needs.