STPI Pulse: An initiative to discuss and address IT industry challenges amidst COVID19

Amid an unprecedented, extraordinary event that has global repercussions on the economy and lives of several millions of people, COVID-19 has impacted the entire world on many fronts. Keeping the ramifications of the pandemic on various industries, and especially, the IT industry, and to spread the knowledge and make the Indian IT Industry more resilient, Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) and AIC STPINEXT INITIATIVES have initiated STPI Pulse, an online webinar series, where speakers of global repute are sharing their knowledge and experience for the benefit of the community at large. STPI Pulse is a pioneering initiative to help industry & start-ups stay afloat by deliberating on the challenges, opportunities, and strategies to become more sustainable, efficient & resilient in front of global crises. The maiden episode was launched on 15th April 2020 and STPI conducted the 3rd session of the webinar today. The three webinars received an overwhelming response with the participation of over 4000 participants.

The maiden episode, which was launched on 15th April 2020, featured Dr. Omkar Rai, Director General, STPI, and Shri Subroto Bagchi, Co-founder of Mindtree and Chairman of Odisha Skill Development Authority. The 1st session focused on the topic “Overcoming the Unprecedented COVID-19 Crisis: A Strategy for MSMEs & Startups in IT/ITeS Industry”.

As a keynote speaker, Shri Subroto Bagchi accentuated on 11 strategies comprising lead with sacrifice, communicate continuously, rewrite your business plan, don’t follow the herd, leaders are sense makers, how can I help, cut your costs to the core, question your relevance, seek external help, never miss opportunities in crisis, and newer opportunities will come.

Before taking off the maiden session, Shri Subroto Bagchi appreciated the pioneering initiative by STPI, and said, “I salute STPI for starting this series which promotes communication & is addressing COVID-19 challenges at the right time. Communicate with customers, suppliers & the last person in your organisation.” Keeping the human angle at the core of tough decision making, Shri Bagchi further added, “When you make your decision according to your situation, you are more likely to stay with it. It is not necessary that all the popular tough decisions are meant for your company as well. Do what you can to support as a leader and a human being.”

While addressing at the maiden session of STPI Pulse, Dr. Omkar Rai, Director General STPI said, “As you can see from the name itself, this knowledge series will ensure that all stakeholders know the pulse of the things happening around us. The IT industry is so innovative, it is coming forward with ideas, solutions & suggestions to not only mitigate the challenges but also to capitalize on them and come up with solutions that can benefit the society at large. The industry is fast adapting to the measures and the government is also quite proactive while supporting them.”

When STPI Pulse is focused on disseminating knowledge to Indian startups, it was natural to choose a home-grown product Airmeet to connect with audience. The maiden webinar series was a massive success with 1418 people registered on Airmeet and 1109 people attended live through this platform. Similarly, on Facebook 623 people watched live.

The second session of the webinar series “Sailing through Uncertainties: Impact on startups & how to leverage the current crisis to emerge as leaders” was conducted on 24th April 2020, presenting Dr. Omkar Rai, Director General, STPI and Shri Senapathy “Kris” Gopalakrishnan, Chairman, Axilor Ventures and Co-Founder & Former Vice Chairman, Infosys.

During the conversation, Shri Senapathy “Kris” Gopalakrishnan while deliberating on how investment can be attracted from institutional investors said, “My discussion with Institutional investors tells me that they are very keen to support their companies. They are allocating them disproportionately & protecting existing investments. If you are doing reasonably well and executing plans well, investors will support you.”

While extolling the role of STPI in promoting Indian start-ups & product creators, he accentuated, “I’m glad that STPI has conducted this webinar on Airmeet, which is an Indian start-up.”

After the ground-breaking success of session 1 & session 2 of STPI Pulse, STPI today conducted the 3rd session on Design Thinking for Building Global Class Products by roping in Shri Arun Jain, Chairman and Managing Director, Intellect Design Arena Ltd. & Founder & Former Chairman & CEO, Polaris Consulting and Services Ltd. as keynote speaker; Dr. Omkar Rai, DG, STPI as a distinguished speaker and Shri Subodh Sachan, Director, STPI & CEO, AIC STPINEXT INITIATIVES as session moderator.

“We must focus on building innovative products.” While talking on the various dimensions of design thinking.” Shri Jain explained, “Design Thinking starts with listening to customers in an unbiased manner, moves on to dialogues, and focuses on observations. It’s is about understanding requirements, observing, connecting the dots, and unearthing blind spots.” He explained about the 3 laws of Design Thinking include less is more, the last 2% is 200% & theory of prioritization. He also explained about the 5 forces that drive Design Thinking, which comprises skill, expertise, perspective, idea, and alignment.

The 3rd session was a considerable success in terms of participation and engagement. Over 2000 people from the IT industry & startups participated in the 3rd session, and massive engagement took place during the Q&A segment of the session.

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