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Digital Ideas That Matter

Digital Ideas That Matter

The Digital Conclave

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To provide a window to the digital space, the Department of Management Studies, IIT Delhi organized a digital conclave in collaboration with The Digital Council. Professionals from different spheres had gathered to share their views and opinions on the topic: ‘Digitalization is the key to transformation.’ Following the tradition of lighting of lamp as a significance to spreading knowledge, the foundation for this session was laid down by Dr. P. Vigneswara Ilavarasan who welcomed the panel on behalf of the entire department, coupled with his views on digitalization and the current scenario of the same in India.


Mr. Amardeep Bajpai, one of the visionaries of The Digital Council introduced the topic and the significance of the conclave. With the Prime Minister of India spreading word about Digital India and everyone trying to do something digital, The Digital Council also deals with pathbreaking and revolutionary ideas about digitalization in the form of transforming digital in real space, digital in analytics, digital in publications to cite a few examples. The idea behind the conclave was to welcome fresh ideas from students and panel in form of questions. Mr. Prasanna Singh initiated the discussion by throwing light on the difference between digitization and digitalization. Transforming analog to digital is digitization whereas transforming the entire industry is digitalization, which is a matter of size and massivity. Leaders of digitalization in any sector are mostly the new players and not incumbents because they are resistant to changes and impossibly difficult to be influenced. In the media industry, print has almost disappeared even when it was predicted to have a brighter future few years ago. However, the sudden boom of smartphones and digital services had not been detected. Nevertheless the strongest point of the print companies is the extensive distribution channel due to which newspapers are not dead. He focussed on the need to understand the impact of digital and then harness the associated advantages.


Mr. Ram Jalan continued the discussion by introducing the recent technological and marketing trends that have been shaping consumerism. British Airways’ new campaign called “Look Up” is an example of intention of innovation in outdoor media to catch the audience where they are present instead of where the company wants them to be. In today’s era, there are prosumers and not consumers who have instant skills like clicking selfies. To cater to their needs, concepts like fast laning, personalized experiences, currencies of change, sympathetic pricing and robolove have evolved. Introducing the topics coupled with examples, Mr. Jalan captivated the audience with the collaboration of marketing concepts, technology and digital space. However, an important point to note was necessity of ground activation for all the concepts to function fully. In order to make marketing truly successful, it is not just digitalization or offline channels that matter, rather the complete 360 degree experience. Concluding with the concept of Life 2.0, Mr. Jalan impacted on students the influence of digital and automation in their lives.


Representing the students, Mr. Narayanan Kannan talked about his views on digital automation. Automation is not a new idea; it has been there for ages transforming and evolving with generations and has also created the fallacy of jobs and automation. To move to the next level, it is important to address this fallacy and it was precisely described with the example of introduction of ATMs. The number of bank tellers per bank started dropping however the number of branches increased and again there was a surge in the positions of bank tellers. Since ATM catered to most of the previous responsibilities of bank teller therefore instead of doing clerical jobs, the new scope of work was promoted to cognitive work. Thus, automation will always contribute to increase in jobs. Trends like Artificial Intelligence, Smart Logistics, Miniaturization and many more covered in digital automation is paving way for Industry 4.0. Supporting his facts further, Mr. Kannan also talked about his summer internship project that involved enabling of communication between trains in real time to reduce train accidents. Improved operational efficiency, metric visibility, data driven insights, reduced costs are the few benefits of digital automation.

Mr. Javed Alvi resorted to using example of Mr. Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns to explain the importance of digitalization. The challenge always is getting people interested even when they have no clue, on the same lines, in January 2007 nobody knew a lot about Mr. Obama but later in January 2009, he had become the most powerful leader, President of United States of America. The process starts with identifying unique selling proposition given the opposition even when the situations are unfavourable. Mr. Obama’s USP was the change people could believe in, similarly in any kind of marketing there is always an angle of a uniqueness that can be harnessed. For the 2008 presidential elections, the entire execution strategy for campaigning was centered on the digital space like the use of CRM systems, low cost media broadcast channels and micro transactions to raise funds online. The CRM case study was taken up by Mr. Alvi who explained the mail that was sent as a part of the election campaign to the citizens. Catchy mail subject, personalized addressing, unsubscribe buttons to prevent spams, colour schemes to catch the attention and to depict the American flag was used to leave a strong impact. The lesson was to understand that most executable ideas have simple thoughts supporting them. For any digital campaign, it is important to let the numbers reach a critical point and then fire catches leading to paradigm shifts.


The last speaker, Mr. Kall Ramanathan talked about the DIKW paradigm, which includes embracing a data-based, knowledge driven strategy to expand customer experiments also by making use of machine learning, artificial intelligence and logics. The DIKW paradigm talks about data, information, knowledge and wisdom wherein machines can effectively deal with data and information but beyond that only human mind can understand and interpret. Even with so many transitions, artificial intelligence has not reached higher levels of understanding contexts or application of principles and knowledge. As compared to the intelligence of living beings, artificial intelligence has just reached a chimp’s intelligence far below that of humans. In order to make changes, a complete use of logics, emotions and abilities has to be done even though a full grasp of emotions, behaviour has not been achieved. Nevertheless, the need of machine learning and analytics is necessary in today’s era due to the problems of large volume and velocity of data, managing them and then analyzing them, which is not possible to be dealt by just humans. This brings the need of advanced artificial intelligence. The session was concluded by Mr. Bajpai who hoped that the discussion helped the students to embark on a walk towards the future of digital followed by a vote of thanks by Mr. Ramanathan.


DMS, IIT Delhi expresses its heartfelt gratitude to the entire panel for sparing their valuable time and delivering an informative content to the students.

Utkarsha Mani

Media Cell and Public Relations Cell

DMS, IIT Delhi

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