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India at forefront of massive global digital change: HP Inc CEO

India at forefront of massive global digital change: HP Inc CEO

India is at the forefront of massive digital change that is happening in the world which will bring in disruption in the way businesses do their work, according to Dion Weisler, President and CEO of HP Inc.

Giving the inaugural address at the main session of HP Reinvent partner forum here, Weisler said that 8.6 billion people would inhabit the earth in just 12 years, and 95 per cent of the new consumers would come from emerging markets. Of this, India and China were in the lead.

Weisler said he visits India at least once a year, and last month when he was in the country he saw it was “undergoing massive change” led by the Digital India pushed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “He is reinventing an entire nation by bringing in digital transformation for 1.2 billion people” from banking to health to industries.

The HP CEO said rapid urbanisation was one of the disruptive changes happening around the world shifting from just goods to service on demand, changing “what we buy and how we buy it”. Businesses would have to meet this challenge of the growing change in the market place.

He talked of Gen Z, the modern youth, who will comprise 2.6 billion in numbers and they not only believe in doing business, but 77 per cent of them believe that “doing good should be a central part of life.” There is no longer differentiation between professional life and personal life, Weisler said, adding that Gen Z believe in mobility and flexibility in work and millions of them are working not in full time work but in service on demand.

He told HP Inc partners that Gen Z was bringing about a “Gig economy” where one billion young people with skills would be doing temporary work, doing their “gig” at their choice, bringing a flexibility into the work places and businesses. He said they think that it was imperative businesses look at sustainable growth rather than just growth, and give enhanced attention to environment concerns.

He spoke of “accelerated innovation” bringing about an exponential change in the office. “In 10 years, the smart phone in your pocket will not be ten times but a million times more powerful than today. Already, the phone is a million times more powerful than the computer which put man on the Moon in the Apollo programme.”

He said everything in the world was run by data and artificial intelligence (AI) would unlock and change how business is done. The rise of AI would need massive amounts of data and soon it would handle 44 Zeta bytes of data – equivalent to 352 million years of streaming high definition video.

Weisler spoke on stage to Hollywood actor Christian Slater who acted in one of their promotion films that talked of how hackers or “wolves were lurking in every corner”, to disrupt businesses. In this context he recalled the Equifax virus attack which compromised data of millions of people in the United States. He said a large proportion of the attacks were against small businesses and it was HP’s effort to help avert such malware strikes.

He also talked of how HP’s printers and other devices were already smart enough and the most secure to identify and tackle malware. Later, another veteran actor, Jonathan Banks was brought in to underline how “wolves” could be defeated.

(Hardev Sanotra is in Chicago at the invitation of HP Inc. He can be reached at [email protected])

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