April 22, 2024

Technology has not just transformed India, Indians too have transformed tech

Sanjay Gupta, country head and vice president, of Google India, delivered speech at the inaugural edition of Mumbai Tech Week, emphasizing the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to democratize opportunity and propel India’s technological ambitions.

Gupta highlighted the shift in the discourse surrounding Indian startups, moving from mere valuations to long-term value creation. He praised Mumbai for creating a platform like Tech Week to foster this crucial transition.

Drawing inspiration from Paul Graham’s essay on cities celebrating specific values, Gupta lauded Mumbai’s egalitarian spirit and its ability to embrace diverse individuals, comparing it to the tech industry’s core value of democratizing information. He cited examples like Shah Rukh Khan and Dhirubhai Ambani, who built empires in Mumbai starting from scratch, highlighting the city’s nurturing environment for ambition.

Hailed India’s Cowin success
Talking about success of India’s vaccination platform CoWin, Gupta said, “Digital Public infrastructure like UPI and CoWin have become global case studies for the ingenuity with which they made tech work for the user, rather than forcing the user to work with the tech. This meant that every Indian could walk into any hospital near them, get vaccinated and receive a virtual vaccine card that was universally valid. This, when developed countries were still struggling with paper cards.”

“In India, it’s not just that technology has transformed India – Indians too have transformed technology,” he added.

At the same time, Gupta acknowledged the existing inequities in technology access, including language barriers and limited capital availability. He stressed the need to demolish these barriers, emphasizing the potential of AI to bridge the gap. He mentioned AI’s ability to translate languages, convert text to video, and assess creditworthiness beyond traditional metrics, making opportunities accessible to a wider audience.

AI can be India’s Fastag to democratising tech


“If you think about it, AI can be India’s Fastag to seamlessly zip past these arbitrary barriers,” Gupta stated, envisioning AI as a catalyst for inclusive growth. He emphasised Google’s commitment to building this future alongside India, citing recent collaborations with the Maharashtra government and continued investments in Indian talent.

Sharing the inspiring story of Sneh Vaswani, founder of Miko, an AI-powered robotics company that started in Mumbai but found its first market in the US, Gupta exemplified the potential of Indian innovation on the global stage. He concluded by expressing his hope that Mumbai and AI technology will provide a springboard for India’s ambitions to soar, just as Mumbai unconditionally embraced him 30 years ago.

Gupta’s speech resonated with the audience, highlighting the crucial role of technology in fostering inclusive growth and empowering India’s entrepreneurial spirit. Mumbai Tech Week serves as a significant platform for discussions and collaborations that can shape the future of technology in India.

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