KTR hardsells Telangana at Davos

Minister K.T. Rama Rao speaking at a panel discussion at World Economic Forum.

Minister K.T. Rama Rao speaking at a panel discussion at World Economic Forum. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Minister for IT and Municipal Administration K. T. Rama Rao had a busy day at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday with a series of meetings with business heads, including chairman of Bharti Enterprises (Airtel) Sunil Bharti Mittal, and vice chairman Rajan Bharti Mittal, chief executive officer of Novartis Vasant Narasimhan and Deloitte Global CEO Punit Renjen and HCL’s managing director Vijay Guntur, among others.

The Minister pitched for investments in Telangana while explaining the industrial-friendly policies and the easy availability of manpower required for the respective industries.

Mr. Rama Rao also joined a panel discussion on ‘AI on the Street: Managing Trust in the Public Square’ and said: “Big challenge in using technologies like Facial Recognition coupled with AI, is for us to be able to gain citizens’ confidence that the government is unbiased in their use of data and citizens are not surveilled unless they have been notified.”

He said governments should first clearly identify the regulatory powers that each of the government organizations would require and the powers must be given to them in a parliamentary and a fully transparent method. Moreover, every single step that the government will take to be able to use Facial Recognition needs to be shared with the public first.

Talking about education within the government, the Minister said: “We need minds that are well-versed in AI, ML, Blockchain, Data Sciences and the risks that come with the use of the same. The data being used must be fully secured and the security must be verified.”

The other members of the panel discussion included president and chief executive officer and representative director of NEC, Japan, Takayuki Morita, executive director of Ushahidi, South Africa, Angela Oduor Lungati and CEO and founder of Edge Tech Coen van Oostrom.

Airtel invited

The Minister met with chairman of Bharti Enterprises (Airtel) Sunil Bharti Mittal, and vice chairman Rajan Bharti Mittal and discussed cooperation and collaboration on T-Fiber, connecting rural and urban households with broadband. He invited the chairman to set up their data centres in Telangana.

During his meeting with chief executive officer of Novartis Vasant Narasimhan, the Minister discussed the growth witnessed by Novartis in Telangana and the expansion plans of the Swiss multinational pharmaceutical corporation based in Basel, Switzerland.

Mr. Rama Rao noted that with nearly 9,000 associates, Novartis Hyderabad has grown into the second largest location for the company, after their headquarters in Basel, based on the headcount. Further, Novartis Capability Center in Hyderabad is the largest such capability center by a global pharma major in India.

Incidentally, the company had also chosen Hyderabad as the APAC hub for its innovation initiative called Biome with a focus on several key new innovative areas like AI, Data & Digital. The Minister said that Novartis has already placed Hyderabad on a global map in the life sciences sector and there cannot be a better endorsement for the ecosystem in Hyderabad.

Ashirvad pipes investment

Another major investment has made its way to Telangana from Davos with Ashirvad Pipes of Aliaxis deciding to set up a greenfield facility with an investment of ₹500 crore in Telangana. The announcement came after Aliaxis CFO Koen Sticker met Minister for Industries on the sidelines of WEF.

This investment will create over 500 jobs and a memorandum of understanding was signed between Aliaxis and Telangana in the presence of the Minister. The firm will manufacture storage and distribution of plastic pipes, fittings and accessories.

Meets HCL’s Vijay Guntur

The Minister also met HCL’s managing director Vijay Guntur and the two discussed HCL’s expansion plans in Telangana and especially into Tier-II towns.

On the political front, Mr. Rama Rao also met Maharashtra Tourism Minister Aditya Thackeray and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on the sidelines of the meeting.

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Printable version | May 25, 2022 2:05:41 pm |