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Time right for next set of technology giants to be born in India: Pawan Munjal

09:54 PM Aug 29, 2021 | PTI

Time is now right to show to the world that the next set of technology giants will be born in India, with the largest digitally-connected open marketplace waiting to be leveraged and monetised, the Chairman and CEO of Hero MotoCorp, Pawan Munjal, said on Sunday.

Addressing the 10th convocation of the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar virtually as its chief guest, he urged the graduating students to grab opportunities and challenges that "the largest digitally-connected open marketplace" offers.

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"While many new-age ideas have flown in from America, such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Netflix, Twitter, Uber, it is now time that we step up to the challenge and show the world that next set of technology giants will be born out of India," Munjal told in his address to the graduating students.

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The numbers also point towards the opportunities, with as many as 700 million Indians are online and connected to the world, making them "perhaps the largest congregation of connected people in the world, behind only China," he said.

"We have over a billion telecom connections in India, and on an average an Indian is consuming a mammoth 14 GB data every month at one of the cheapest internet rates in the world, the most economic rates in the world," he said and asked if this did not make the largest digitally connected open marketplace waiting to be leveraged and monetised.

"Digital is surely becoming the backbone of whatever we all do, be it shopping, ordering food and groceries, buying electronics, automobiles, motorcycle, scooters, or connecting with families, friends and loved ones, and even, most recently, attending school, college and office," he said, adding that this is just the tip of the iceberg.

"If the past two decades saw countries like China and Vietnam emerge as manufacturing powerhouses of the world, it is now time that India led by resolute political leadership grabs its rightful place in the global economy," he said.

Munjal mentioned the 2011 O2 Arena event in London, where Hero MotoCorp unveiled its logo and launched its new name after its partnership with Japan's Honda in their erstwhile joint venture Hero Honda ended, as the company celebrates a decade of its solo operations in India.

He said now was the time to make the most of the traits associated with Indians such as "ingenuity, demographic dividend, and our never-say-die spirit," and the young graduates will have to lead the charge from the front.

In his convocation address, Munjal also talked about his father Brijmohan Lall Munjal and said that the late Chairman Emeritus of Hero MotoCorp exhibited passion, grit, courage, perseverance, tenacity, agility, and most importantly, integrity.

"During a time when everyone just wanted to play safe and not experiment, he challenged the status quo. He did not let anything come in the way of pursuing his passion and his vision," he said.

He further told the graduating students that they are privileged to be in an era where they can "afford to fail, learn fast and move on," and asked them to allow themselves to dream big, experiment in life, "and create the world that you want to live in." "A secret sauce that I want to share with you is that we are not in an era of doing it on our own any more. My secret sauce is to connect, communicate and collaborate," he said.

A total 548 students were conferred with degrees at the online convocation ceremony. A total 52 students received 58 medals for their outstanding academic performances and other proficiencies.

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