Saudi Arabia, India can partner in transformation, webinar reveals

October 12, 2021

Saudi Gazette report

With both Saudi Arabia and India embarking on developing new programs and policies to foster innovation in different sectors of the economy, providing platforms and collaboration opportunities for different stakeholders, and overseeing innovation & entrepreneurship ecosystem of their countries with Saudi Vision 2030 and AIM (Atal Innovation Mission) respectively, the two nations are seeking ways to cooperate in order to enhance their capabilities.

This they emphasized in the 2nd edition of Datalogue — an exclusive virtual private IT B2B on Monday. The webinar, attended by a host of people in both nations was conducted by the Consulate General of India, Jeddah, in association with NASSCOM (National Association of Software and Service Companies).

The first edition was conducted in the month of March, 2021 which saw around 50 B2B sessions with major Saudi companies. The second edition would have a total of 100 meetings scheduled with Indian and Saudi companies. Datalogue gives a fillip to closer collaboration between India and Saudi Arabia in the IT sector.

Dr. Faisal H. Al Sugair, president & CEO, Saudi Center For International Strategic Partnerships, was the chief guest. He spoke about closer ties between the two countries in IT within the ambit of the Strategic Partnership Council

Dr. Al Sugair said that it is exciting to see that government and business enterprises are collaborating. After COVID-19, the disruption caused by technology is so huge that it would have a long lasting impact on the future of how businesses would be conducted.

“Our two nations enjoy cordial ties historically with our long standing economic and socio cultural ties. The mission of the Strategic Council headed by PM of India and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia is to enhance relationship on all fronts,” he said.

“Technology is vital. Vision 2030 aims to transform the Kingdom into an ICT Hub. Some of them have already been realized like 5G deployment. There are many ways for India to partner in these transformations with close cooperation between MCIT, KSA and MeITY, India,” he added.

Indian Ambassador Dr. Ausaf Sayeed earlier spoke about the growing connect between the two countries in non-oil, non-traditional sectors which reflects the depth of the strategic partnership between India and Saudi Arabia.

“Datalogue would be a half yearly event which would accentuate and engage the IT capabilities of both the countries,” he added.

A panel discussion on skilling: How organizations and the government can collaborate was also conducted which was moderated by Shivendra Singh, vice president and head of Global Trade Development, NASSCOM. Singh had earlier introducted the content and concept of the Datalogue while highlighting the synergies between the two nations and a possible road map for cooperation in the IT sector.

The panelists in the skilling discussion were, Abdullah Biary, CISO, United Cooperative Assurance, Kirti Seth, CEO, SSC, NASSCOM and Mukund Nair, director, Global HR, Nagarro.

Kirthi Seth, CEO, Future Skills, India, spoke about the key triggers to kickstart Future Skills program with NASSCOM and where it holds in the global scene.

Future Skills was triggered by a report that came out in 2017 to see the impact of disruption the report suggested a need to reskill 50% of already existing IT workforce.

Industry was creating the content of requirement and NASSCOM curated it accordingly and Future Skills was launched by India PM in 2018.

Abdullah Faisal Biary, CISO, UCA, spoke about digital transformation in private sector and how cyber security plays a key role.

Mukund Nair of Nagaro spoke about the continuous change in the skilling landscape with regard to expectations. So as an organization, Nagarro also focusses on self-driven culture of learning to a learning marketplace model.

Consul General Mohammad Shahid Alam in his remarks said that Indian IT services export was mostly concentrated to US and Europe. The MENA region in general and Saudi Arabia in particular is making great strides in development.

“In alignment with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, India can be a formidable partner in development of IT/ITES solutions for futuristic cities like NEOM,” he added.

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