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As India navigates the Covid-19 pandemic, technology is helping bridge social and economic gaps as well as foster innovation and transformation, offering a massive opportunity to work collaboratively and deliver inclusive growth for all, Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India, said here on Tuesday.

Speaking at Microsoft’s annual flagship event ‘Future Ready’, Maheshwari said that “tech intensity is the engine of future readiness across small and large businesses and industries, and this has further been accelerated by the pandemic”.

From trends like metaverse and zero trust security and hybrid workplace, experts stressed the need to accelerate the tech intensity of businesses and organizations in a bid to realize India’s vision to become a truly digital economy.

“Starting with the Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile (JAM) Trinity, in terms of the India stack, to biometric, the e-locker and the digital signature, we’ve really grown and evolved hugely,” said Amitabh Kant, CEO, Niti Aayog.

“As far as the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is concerned, linking up all these banks has been transformational. If you look at the FinTech movement, many young unicorns have really transformed the insurance space or even stock markets,” he told the virtual audience.

India is creating at least three unicorns a month.

“We’ve been able to do this because our young entrepreneurs are tapping into this data and using it to technologically leapfrog and that is what India needs to do. We need to leapfrog in all these emerging areas of technology, whether it is metaverse or Artificial Intelligence because India has the size and scale of data and the use cases, which no other country has,” Kant emphasized.

Dr. Devi Shetty, Chairman and Executive Director, Narayana Health, said that India can use technology to make healthcare preventive, predictive, accessible, and affordable without compromising on empathy and trust.

“Technology will give rich people what they always had, in a better format, but technology will also give poor people what they could never dream of having, and this is the beauty of what technology will do, to democratise healthcare,” he stressed.

In a session, N Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Sons, said that the acceleration of ‘bridgital’ is the way forward.

“It is happening, as we see people from all walks of life adopting digitization. What is important now is how we make AI and Machine Learning relevant for more people. How do you take AI, machine learning, and cloud to work for all kinds of professionals in urban and rural areas, he said.

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