Sweden launches a Digitalization Dialogue in Pune

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Pune, 20th March, 2017: The Consulate General of Sweden led by Consul General Ms. Ulrika Sundberg along with the CEO Combient, Mr. Mats Agervi, the Chairman Husqvarna, Mr. Tom Johnstone and Chief Managing Director and Chairman, Bharat Forge Mr. Baba Kalyani conducted a seminar today on Digitalization – challenges and opportunities at Fergusson College, Pune.

Digitisation and the Internet of Things is one of the most sought after topics today. India is taking a huge leap towards its transformation into a digitally empowered knowledge economy and never before, has this digital movement been so publicized and noted as in the past few years. Sweden being one of the pioneers of digitization has a lot to share in terms of digital solutions and technology. Sweden ranks 3rd in the Digital Economy and Society Index 2017. It ranks the highest in the use of internet by citizens (2nd) and is also  among the best performing countries worldwide and its main challenge is to continuously improve its already high levels of digitisation

Speaking on Digitization, Ms Ulrika Sundberg, Consul General of Sweden, Mumbai said Digitalization, industry and services are drivers of growth in the Swedish economy and prosperity. According to a report by the World Bank a 10% increase in broadband penetration in India, can lead to a 1.4% increase in the total GDP of the country making digitization an important factor for enhancing growth. Our aim is to discuss and exchange views on current developments in smart manufacturing and smart tech and the opportunities digitalization offers in different manufacturing sectors. Digitalization paves the way for sustainable human development like smart solutions, smart manufacturing, connectivity and communications. Among the challenges of digitization is putting to use automation and artificial intelligence and for this, skills development is crucial. When it comes to skills development, Swedish companies have a close relationship with India and are investing in skills development and vocational training programs for e.g. employees and students. The objective of this seminar is to identify opportunities and challenges ahead and address them in ways that are innovative and feasible for all. This is an occasion for us to exchange ideas and solutions within areas where Sweden stands strong. Smart manufacturing, skills development and digitalization are integral parts of Swedens success story and I hope this visit will lead to a higher degree of awareness of Indias opportunities and what Sweden and Swedish companies can offer and Make in India

Welcoming the dignitaries Principal Fergusson College Dr. Ravindrasinh Pardeshi said “India’s economy is one of the fastest growing economy and it is marching for fulfilling its dream to transform as Digital India. Sweden being one of the pioneers of Digitization which is ready to share in terms of digital solutions and technology, we appreciate and welcome the initiative taken by Consulate General of Sweden, Ms. Ulrika Sundberg. We look forward for more such interactions and academic exchanges which will help both the countries to expand their knowledge resources.”
CEO of Combient Mr. Mats Agervi, said The rapid technology evolution has reached a tipping point where it will disrupt societies, industries and even how we live our lives. From being something we used to help us do our work more efficient, technology and software has now reached a level where it fundamentally also will change how we do and run our business. As a consequence data is rapidly becoming our most valuable asset. Our ability to capture, understand and take action based on data will decide who will be the future winners, regardless of industry. Incumbent players need to prepare themselves and get ready for this transformational revolution that goes across all processes of an Enterprise – internally as well as externally. Of course it´s about technology, but equally important is having the leadership needed to envision and drive change. The companies that succeed in their Digital Transformation will create huge values for its customers, their employees and their shareholders. India and Sweden represents a perfect match that together can create mutual benefits and speed of change for both parties. India has tech expertise, a huge talent pool and a high growth economy. Sweden provides industry domain expertise, high-tech products and a long industry history with many leading global companies.

Chairman Combient Mr. Tom Johnstone said “Digitalization is a huge opportunity for industry to further develop products, solutions and services which will enhance their relationships with their customers and help their customers develop their business. The long industrial history between Sweden and Swedish companies with India combined with the expertise in India especially in IT and the drive from both governments gives us a perfect platform to build a strong partnership in developing and implementing Digitalization. This seminar and the discussions during the visits to companies are very important parts of this process”

The seminar attracted an audience of over 200 people which included PHD students, faculty members, high level officials from both Swedish and Indian companies, chambers, government authorities and members of the press and media

About The Consulate General of Sweden: Established in September 2012, the jurisdiction of the Swedish Consulate General covers Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa  an area comprising of 173 million people. The Consulates major role in India is to develop bilateral trade relations and also grow finer insights into the Indian system through a gamut of institutions and representatives from varied industries and the regional governments. Its prime aim is to broaden and deepen this coalition with special emphasis on trade and investments. It also focuses on spreading information on Swedish innovations, technologies and services and how they could benefit India. The Consulate works closely with the Embassy of Sweden in Delhi, Business Sweden and the Swedish Chamber of Commerce as Team Sweden to help liaise and increase business contacts between Swedish and Indian companies within certain strategic sectors, such as Energy & Environmental Technology, Health Care & Life Science and ICT.