Where is the next business idea for Chandigarh coming from? IT Destination North, a flagship event of CII into its ninth year, meant to promote upper north region as an information technology hub, was expected to glean out answers to the vexed question, this week.
A tall order and a good try, but the conference with innovation as the theme left one a little flummoxed on the apparent effortless way it planned to bring IT to the city.
Apart from talks on innovation in business, specifically in IT, what was needed was a discussion on new ideas that could flower and survive and go on to be creator of jobs.
Is there any new service or product that can enable an entrepreneur or a group to make profits and improve the quality of life for all?
I had some ideas in mind like how can IT help in creation of energy-efficient buildings. For instance, sensing presence in the boss/CEO's room and switching off the lights as soon as he leaves or takes rounds.
Another was an intervention by IT in education like development of billing software that will allow shopkeepers in the city to give receipts and shopping bags with problems-solving modules on those wanting to study. Shopping bags are not mere garbage that is to be recycled by the unfortunate poor of our society. These could be preserved by some of these people to learn, a veritable textbook.
If we want to increase basic literacy, there is no better way at the moment, though the limitation of ensuring intervention by a teacher is a big challenge and remains.
However, the same problem plagues most of our rural schools too and the idea could be tried.
One of the good things at the meet was the presentation of a real-estate analysis of Chandigarh's potential as an IT hub. This mildly suggested that perhaps proper marketing might have brought more IT bellwethers to the city. Vibrant Gujarat summit model was mentioned in the context, though we do not need to be so aggressive for a single business.
IT business thrives on ideas. However, we need to ensure that enterprise and business practicality are married to each other and the conference could have brought more entrepreneurs and innovators to the conclave, giving them an opportunity to share ideas.
Talent acquisition and retention remains a big thing for people to actually run a business with confidence and get to a point of sustainable revenues. Technical education institutes across the region need a large push to be relevant, according to most of the entrepreneurs HT spoke to at the event.
Perhaps, the most encouraging statement to come out of the meet was the statement by Nasscom president Som Mittal that failure was an accepted word today and he was seeing resumes that made a bullet point of such fiascos.
"If there had been an honest try, and most CEOs can judge the cause of failure in such cases, we condone such things."
Increasingly, knowledge, work and administration must converge to make a better society and business was another key learning to come out of the event.