Try and do something that is very original: Ajay Sawhney

Nasscom organized a webinar on ‘Riding the Storm – Towards the Giant India SaaS Opportunity.’

Delivering the keynote, Ajay P Sawhney, Secretary, Meity, Government of India, said: “We are very happy to launch this report. The crisis has actually made us go back to basics in our own lives. What are the optionals and what are the essentials. Digital world, smartphones, tablets, connectivity, were all loved before the crisis. The crisis has allowed us to have continuity, and dream of big things. Its been clear to us for sometime now.

“The Indian government had come out with the National Software Product Policy. We had laid down many initiatives that we need to pursue. Some of these schemes are the Indian software registration scheme, ICT Brand Challenge, to create major software products within India, etc. There is a grand challenge within cyber security. The government also got into video conferencing products. We are also working on a model RFP for software products. HS codes for software products is another area that will provide recognition for the software industry. As also, software product development, and startup accelerator program. This is all part of the natinal software product policy.

“We also recognize that SaaS should not remain confined to catching up with the rest of the world. Yes, we must catch up with the world! But, we must also try and do something that is very original? Each generation has completely new thoughts. The ones that become huge in 3-5 years, how do we put enough energy into these completely new segments?”

There are national public digital platforms coming up. The concept of opening up projects and databases to become part of something larger. GSTN, UPI, Aadhar, etc., are all part of the national platform. We are now moving forward with digital platforms. Eg., there will be national platforms on health, logistics, agriculture, justice, urban management, rural areas, welfare activities, and so on. These are huge platforms taking shape. They signify a new way of thinking. There are services provided by the government to the people are given in silos.

On this combined platforms, we create opportunities for companies, startups, etc. These are services that will join and enrich the national citizens. The government will be creating a Team India of providing services to the citizens. You certainly have the opportunity to address a unified market. This is a very different ecosystem. It has got impetus and got accelerated through the crisis. We should make best use of the time available. We have two types of crises – Covid-19 and along the border. The twin crises has created a huge impetus for new thinking, for joining up in a national effort.

He added: “As we move forward with SaaS, there is another opportunity of combining software with electronics and hardware. It is time to look at how do we combine these two, and create complete offerings. This is the best chance for us to be different. Each one area, where there is pain, we must try to find new ideas and products. There is no dearth of challenges waiting to be solved. We will walk along with Nasscom.”

NasscomDQI Bureau | DATAQUEST

Earlier, Ms. Debjani Ghosh, President, Nasscom, said: “We are excited to bring the report on SaaS out. The entire ecosystem has collaborated with us, including SaaSBoomi. The entire focus on digitization has been huge.Companies will get divided into essential and nice-to-have. The latter can get into some problems. Our products should be designed in such a way to cater to the essential needs.

The opportunity provided to us are very strong. Nasscom works with the government and the industry to make it happen. The timing is absolutely right to have big, bold steps. We have a government that is tremendously pro-innovation. We need to see how we can move on. We have tremendous from the government. Indian companies tend to be shy. There is need for the government and Nasscom to tell the world about SaaS in India. We should take our work to the world. There should be very strong ecosystem.

In the last few months, everything has come together and saying that we have to get together. This can be game changing for innovation, especially for the tech ecosystem. This is our biggest legacy to India.

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