Nadella’s advice to the ‘next gen’ Microsoft CEO: Stay bold and ambitious

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: May 30, 2016 14:00 IST
During the Q&A session, when asked for advice for younger generation of India, who have ambitions to become the next Microsoft CEO, Nadella said that the only piece of advice he could give them is to continue being bold and ambitious

Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella delivered the keynote to launch ‘Tech for Good, Ideas for India’ event in New Delhi on Monday. Beginning his speech by quoting Ghalib, he praised India’s ability to inspire. When asked for advice for young aspirants, he advised them to stay bold an ambitious to achieve their dreams of becoming the Microsoft CEO in the future.

The chief executive, who will be visiting India for the third time after taking over from Steve Ballmer as CEO in February 2014, during his first trip, on the occasion of Microsoft’s completion of 25 years in India, had opened three local data centres offering its Azure cloud services. His second visit in December 2015 was a personal visit.

“I want us to be the platform that invokes the ingenuity of people in India,” said Nadella.

The Keynote featured a video of their HoloLens technology for augmented reality and even smart glasses that can interpret and interact at an advanced level to assist the visually impaired.

He also spoke about the importance of infusing cognitive technology into apps for services to come. Thus, pushing for smarter apps backed by artificial intelligence like bots.

Pointing out that the fourth revolution is being driven by IT, Nadella talked about the sustainability of apps in India because of the lowering age demographic of developers.

He is also later expected to attend a meeting with industry leaders at the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). However, there has been no confirmation on whether Nadella will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Nadella’s visit, like Cook’s, will focus on bridging the digital divide in the country and empower businesses and individuals with its technology. While on the commercial front, cloud will take up focus, low cost connectivity initiative - TV White Spaces - will take up the consumer focus.

Microsoft had launched the TV White Spaces technology in 2015. It uses unutilised low-band frequency to transmit data. The initiative has found more favour with the Indian government than rival Google’s Project Loon and Facebook’s Free Basics programme. Microsoft has already ran pilots and are involved with projects in Maharashtra and Andhra to provide internet to villages.

The company is also looking to tap the entrepreneurs of the country via its accelerator programme. The company also offers digital literacy, online safety, and computer science education programmes through its YouthSpark initiative, as well as cloud product donations and training for non-profits in communities around the world.

Nadella, who after taking over from Ballmer, had said that the company would move towards a cloud-first and mobile-first approach, will also look to drive cloud as the major growth factor. The company is expected to grow to $1 billion by 2020 and it could very well achieve that figure as 50 percent of the top 100 Indian firms listed on the BSE on Microsoft cloud.

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