Global VP Alvaro Celis : Microsoft focussed on closing digital divide in India
What brings you to India? What are your views on the Indian market?
It’s my first visit to India. It’s a pretty historic moment in India with all the nitiatives aimed at driving digital equality in the country. We are doub ing down on our commitment to ensure that we do our part to enable our partners to achieve a bigger goal.We are ensuring that we make our technology more accessible to more people in India. Our efforts in India are focussed towards closing the digital divide with the use of technology and bringing digital literacy.
What approach is Microsoft taking to participate in various projects?
Our approach is very much partner-led. We believe in creating the ecosystem and we work with our partners.For a lot of initiatives with the government such as education, we work very closely with our partners.
We are playing a very critical role with all our local OEM (original equipment manufacturers) and multinational partners as ecosystem players for getting very affordable devices so that people can get into the compute space.
We are now bringing productivity devices that will help people use, consume and create digital content that will help in workforces killing.
What is Microsoft doing specifically in terms of devices?
On the devices business front, we have been working closely with multinational partner such as Lenovo and Acer to make sure that whatever their plans and ambitions for India are, we are supportive.
We are also working with around 20 relevant local partners that are bringing new form factors to the market on the basis of specific needs.We are working with companies like iBall, Micromax and IDT for devices that are priced under `10,000.
For smaller and medium-sized businesses, we’re bringing innovation and trying to bring devices and productivity, and cloud solutions technology at affordable price points.
How do you view the global technology ecosystem and what is Microsoft doing to expand it?
Investments in the China ecosystem have really enabled and resulted in a serious increase in the breadth and offerings from that part of the world.It has also enabled our local partners in every part of he world including India to have their own manufacturing capabilities to come up with more offerings in the market.
Our 20 partners in India are shipping devices customised for local use with their own brand and solutions.
Besides tablets and 2-in-1s, which are the new form factors your partners are working on?
In parts of Europe, we have devices that are being tailor-made for health.These devices are able to access information that is stored in specific cards and smart chips issued by the government, and can be used in medical profession. This is possible in India as well.
We are working with our local partners to understand the unique requirement of the Indian market, where with biometrics, ID or scan elements can come together to create custom devices that will serve the specific needs of the country.
Which businesses are Microsoft’s partners looking to tap, apart from healthcare?
Globally, healthcare, education and financial services are the three upcoming categories where we are doing a lot of work.
Further, point-of-sale and digital signage are areas where we see a lot of interest for custom solutions. We have actually developed a device which is Aadhaar certified, and customised it to a particular vertical.