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Nadella seeks ideas from start-ups to connect rural India

Andhra, Telangana compete to squeeze time out of Microsoft CEO's personal visit to Hyderabad

K Rajani Kanth & agencies  |  Hyderabad 

Satya Nadella

is interested in working with Indian entrepreneurs to connect rural areas with technology and new economy, chief executive officer said on Monday.

Nadella, who was on a four-day personal visit to Hyderabad to attend a family function, visited T-Hub, an incubation facility promoted by the Telangana government to support technology-enabled start-ups.


“Whatever technology you use, like white space technology, it is important to get last-mile connectivity to rural areas. We are interested to work with entrepreneurs in that space. The idea should have marketability,” he was quoted as saying during an interactive session where the media was not allowed. recently launched a pilot project in Kenya to deliver low-cost, high-speed wireless broadband.

to set up Centre of Excellence in Vizag

Andhra Pradesh government on Monday said India would set up a Centre of Excellence in Visakhapatnam, as part of its digital inclusion drive in the state.

The technology giant signed an MoU with the Andhra Pradesh government in deployment and use of information and communications technologies to offer better citizen services in the state, an official release said.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister hosted breakfast for Nadella at his official residence on Monday. “A great start to the day with @satyanadella. Discussed on technology initiatives & @Microsoft’s partnership with AP,” Naidu tweeted.

The meeting lasted for 80 minutes, during which Nadella assured the state government of total cooperation in utilisation of cloud data for improving citizen services. The state government will use technical knowledge from India, which will support building of up to three proof-of-concept (POC) solutions to apply Azure Machine Learning and Advanced Visualisation in education, agriculture and e-citizen services, an official release said.

Telangana seeks help in digitisation of classrooms

Telangana government has sought Microsoft’s cooperation in areas such as digitisation of classrooms and last-mile connectivity to rural areas, the state’s IT Minister K T Rama Rao said.

“We requested Satya to participate in building the start-up ecosystem in Hyderabad. He has shown keen interest in that,” Rao said. “We also talked about collaboration in the white space technology in which the is pioneering. We want to build the last mile connectivity using white space,” the minister told reporters after the meeting with the chief at T-Hub.

“The last initiative we talked about is in the field of education. Telangana is focused on providing best education. Therefore, we requested the to work with us in digitising our classrooms,” Rao added.

Nadella inspires entrepreneurs

Nadella advised the start-up community to learn lessons from the failures.

“Failure plays an important role as it gives an opportunity to learn. Celebration of failure comes only when we learn lessons from it,” an IT executive, who attended the session, quoted Nadella as saying.

Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka, Nasscom Chairman B V R Mohan Reddy and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories CEO G V Prasad were also present during Nadella’s visit at the T-Hub. T-Hub is a technology incubator with collaborative efforts from Indian School of Business (ISB), International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT-Hyderabad) and NALSAR University of Law besides various other organisations. Nadella expressed interest in working with T-Hub to develop accelerators and start-ups.

“I have travelled across the globe, but the thing that excites me the most is the time I spend with you entrepreneurs,” a start-up founder, who attended the session, quoted Nadella as saying.

An entrepreneur, who was present during the interactive session, said it was an inspirational and thought-provoking speech by Nadella who said concept, capability and culture are the mantra of success.

First Published: Tue, December 29 2015. 00:57 IST
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