NASSCOM Product Conclave 2016, Kolkata

The NASSCOM Product Conclave Kolkata was held on 15th July 2016 at the Hyatt Regency. Driven forward by the theme of “Technology Fueling Business Growth”, the 2016 edition of the annual Product Conclave saw enthusiastic participation from industry personnel, nascent and established startup members and the student community, leading to the event being sold out more than a day before it commenced. The Conclave brought together entrepreneurs, startups from technical as well as non-technical fields, investors, analysts and academicians in a bid to promote the startup ecosystem in the region, allow networking and exposure to entrepreneurs and pass on insights and growth hacks to scale up and maintain a thriving business.

After the formalities of registration and felicitation were done with, the Chairman of the NASSCOM Eastern Regional Council Mr. Kamal Agarwala inaugurated proceedings by welcoming all delegates to the Product Conclave and explaining the vision behind the event. Mr. Talleen Kumar, Principal Secretary of the Information and Electronics Department, Government of West Bengal, provided the inaugural address followed by the Keynote by Mr. C.P. Gurnani, Chairman, NASSCOM. Mr. Gurnani then spoke about the growth of technology in the Indian context in a chat session moderated by Mr. Ravi Gururaj, Chairman of the NASSCOM Product Council. The session directly led to the next discussion – “IT Growth in Kolkata” featuring Alok Aggarwal (CEO, Brookfield India Office Parks Ltd.), Sumeet Anand (Global Infrastructure and Logostics Leader, GENPACT), Biswajit Ghosh (Head Global Real Estate Procurement, Cognizant) and Suresh Menon (Vice President and General Manager Eastern Region, TCS) moderated by Anuj Puri, Chairman, JLL India.

A networking break ensued, allowing delegates to get to know each other and ideate in collaboration. Following this, three simultaneous workshops were held at the Ballrooms – “Digital Growth Hacking” by Som Singh (Founder and CEO of Unspun Consulting Group), “How we Got 80 Million App Downloads” by Alok Kejriwal (Co-Founder and CEO, Games2Win India Pvt. Ltd.) and “Data Science and Analytics” by Aarti Kapur (Principal Consultant, Fractal Analytics). The workshops saw invigorated interaction between the speaker and the audience, evolving into fruitful brainstorming sessions. Topics such as Data Analytics or Growth Hacking are pertinent to all modern tech startups, and concepts such as leveraging human emotion to generate business are necessary for nascent startups to understand in order to market themselves properly.

Post lunch, three more simultaneous workshops were held. Alok Kejriwal returned with “Gaming and India”, a session on growth hacks and how to cater to an Indian audience on the appstore. Srinidhi Rao of Robosoft Technologies spoke about emotion being the driving factor in designing for mobility in “Emotion Engineering and Design”, and Kavi Arya (Associate Professor, IIT Bombay) spoke on “Robotics and its Value proposition to Industry”, covering the emerging technology of robotics and its application as a technological tool for business growth.

The session on Emotion Engineering and Design continued after a short networking break, while the other sessions held were “Story Telling for Business” by Ameen Haque (Founder, Storywallahs) which covered the art of weaving a story around true facts to leverage customer emotion, and “Application of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality” by Harsha Padmanabha (Co-Founder of Visarity Technologies) where the discussion was about the rapidly emerging trends of AR and VR and how they could impact business plans going forward.

Following the actionable workshops, Mr. Ravi Gururaj took the stage once again to chart the Indian Product Roadmap and Vision. Speaking about the enthusiasm of entrepreneurs NASSCOM has worked with, and the ones who attended the NASSCOM Product Conclave seeking to learn the tricks of the trade, he was optimistic about India’s role to play in the startup boom. This was followed by a Product Showcase and subsequent Showcase Award. Ten startups, incubated or assisted by NASSCOM had been given space to showcase their products to all delegates and spread word of their ideas. The startups on showcase for NPC Kolkata 2016 were TYGR, VComply, Kovair ALM Studio, Green Field Soft Crane DCIM, HealthBuds SOS, Eyezon, Pedagoge, Planmyad, TradeDesk and TDSManOnline. These startups operate in fields as diverse as accounting, academics, advertising, health etc but are all bound by the fact that they have innovative ideas and viable business models. Their demonstrations were followed by a depiction of PS Srijan Corporate Park, leaders in real estate and housing and presented by Mr. Pradip Chopra (Owner, PS Group).

To conclude the day’s proceedings, Mr. Ravi Gururaj engaged in a Fireside Chat with Mr. Amit Jain, President of Uber India. He spoke about the phenomenal rise of Uber in the Indian and global market, the vision that keeps him going, and the sort of inspiration he wanted the delegates to gain as a takeaway from NPC 2016. With the evening winding to a close, the delegates enjoyed a live musical performance before moving on to cocktails and dinner whilst engaging in conversation and networking with other delegates.

The NASSCOM Product Conclave has been a huge success. Being Eastern India’s Largest IT Conclave, the showpiece event seeks to inculcate the spirit of entrepreneurship in the ecosystem and especially the youth.  All of the events focused on the implementation of technology to further a business goal. It was definitely a pleasure to have men and women of such stature passing on their experiences and sharing their strategies for success. We hope aspiring entrepreneurs and nascent entrepreneurs are inspired by the stories of perseverance and dedication that characterize success.

NASSCOM will return with its 2017 edition of the Product Conclave in Kolkata. More startups will evolve, more technological advances will occur and more problems will be solved. And this can only happen when we learn, network and engage. NASSCOM is here to enable entrepreneurs to do just that. Kolkata Bloggers is very proud to be associated with the developmental vision of NASSCOM.