While, India’s manufacturing industry provides a huge opportunity for digitization, the industry needs to look beyond predictive maintenance and plant safety, top officials from Microsoft India said.
“At present we are seeing companies use digitisation around predictive maintenance, for plant safety and supply chain optimization,” said Rohini Srivathsa, national technology officer (NTO) for Microsoft India.
"What we expect the industry to do is to go further down the value chain in using IOT and look at leveraging that," Sirvathsa added.
Srivathsa added, of the $5 trillion economy that India aims to be, $1 trillion will come from digitization. “The question we have to ask is which sectors will help drive that $1 trillion of the GDP growth and if you break that down and see how your sectors are divided today in terms of today’s GDP and manufacturing in it, it has to grow at least that much,” she added.
So far in India, Microsoft has worked with clients like Piramal Glass. “Piramal Glass collaborated with Microsoft and took advantage of IoT to get real-time visibility into its manufacturing operations and analyze the defects at various stages,” the company said.
On the challenges that the manufacturing industry currently poses, she added, "The challenge we are seeing in maintenance is (with) people’s ability to see Return on investment (ROI) is a long circle. Therefore, organizations need to have the vision to say that I am willing to wait to see the ROI."
Commenting on India’s growth potential on a global scale, Srivathsa added, "India is on the cusp of digitization, it is at a juncture where data is there, it needs to be unlocked to get the value out of it."
Srivathsa is also hopeful the country’s energy sector - power transmission and distribution - will offer opportunities for further digitization. “They are now for security and IT refresh reasons, looking to move data to cloud. That to us is a very positive sign, because it then allows us to leverage it,” she said.
Microsoft also collaborated for a smart street lighting solution in Jaipur, which the company said, has led to 77% savings in energy consumption and a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 36,750 metric tons/year.On India’s Personal Data Protection Bill (PDP), Srivathsa added, “PDP is not new for us, we have been thinking about it and the AI algorithms are already prepared to work around it.”
Microsoft India currently works with various government bodies in sectors like education, agriculture and healthcare. "In Telangana, we work with to predict a school drop-out with data on absenteeism, family background and a host of other data," Srivathsa said, adding active discussions are on to use Internet of Things (IoT) in the water management space.