Corporate Charcha 4th Edition – Koushik R and Sandhili Modak

       Reflectionists Koushik R(left) and Sandhili Modak(right) (ITBM 2023-25)


The Symbiosis Centre for Information Technology has achieved another prosperous year in organizing the 4th edition of Corporate Charcha on 19th August 2023.

The Guest Lecture Committee, in association with the Web & Media Committee, organized this event. The theme for this year was Connectopia: G20’s Digital Renaissance, which is concurrent with India being the host for this year’s G20 Summit. The objective of Corporate Charcha is to unite prominent figures in the business sector and specialized professionals who will offer their valuable perspectives on topics relevant to the industry, with a particular focus on its relevance to G20. This will provide us with an engaging opportunity to gain firsthand exposure to the corporate realm.

The event began with the lamp’s lighting by Director Ma’am and the dignitaries, followed by the panellists’ introduction. The event was graced by the presence of four esteemed IT professionals.

Ms Archana Joshi
is an IT strategy
leader and community leader of EcoITCon – India’s first community dedicated to fostering dialogue around Sustainable IT.  

Mr Rajeev John
is a seasoned professional having over two decades of
experience in IT strategy and enterprise architecture, delivering data-driven solutions for clients across various industries and regions.

Mr. Nikhil Mahadeshwar

is a renowned cybersecurity expert and technology-based innovator with more than a decade of experience in the web industry.

Mr Aakash Ahuja
is an innovator who has engineered a range of mission-critical systems.


The Moderator

Anzar Malik, a student of SCIT, moderated the event.

Anzar began by asking the panellists, in this era of “Digital Renaissance”, how does one keep up with so much going on around us when it comes to technology?

Aakash began answering by explaining that Evolving of Technology (Evolvement of Technology) is a natural course of things, so we should focus on one thing and grow on it. Archana added the importance of having strong fundamental knowledge (and getting the basics right) instead of using jargon. She also highlighted that this is the era of digital overload, and one should detox from it. Rajeev mentioned Gartner’s Hype Cycle to track the technological developments that may happen in the years ahead. Also, to think with a broader mindset to find the business element in the technical problem. Nikhil emphasized that in the era of the Digital Renaissance, it is important to study the market, and in order to keep up, one must choose a specialization and focus on it.

The next question was on the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill- Firms operating in India did not need to comply to any privacy protection bill earlier, how will the scenario change with this bill being passed?

Nikhil initiated that there is GDPR in Europe, and it has been prevalent for a long time. The policy that was on paper has been implemented in real life, and the companies that do not abide by it are penalized. Aakash talked about how, before GDPR, people would easily sue the company, and there was no legal aid to regulate the laws of digital data. He pointed out that the DPDP bill is still in the early stages, and there are some loopholes. Archana made an interesting point that data is the new oil, so why should we give it for free? She asked us to be mindful of the cookie policy of the websites. She also insisted that the bill needs to be implemented as soon as possible. To this, Rajeev added that if PDP is not enforced, we would not be able to set sail in the right direction. “Interesting times lie ahead for audit firms”.

From the perspective of the user – Users mostly care about convenience and not about their privacy in the cyberspace, How does one change that mindset?

Nikhil talked about how user behaviour is tracked by organizations that study the user journey in order to market their products to reach a larger user base. He further emphasized that our purchase decisions are no longer in our hands and are heavily influenced by target advertisements. Archana said, “The onus is on us as customers to be more vigilant about our digital footprint”.

Firms in the healthcare sector are attacked by malware and data leaks — What does it tell us about the cyber security infrastructure in India?

Nikhil stated that we should have a protective approach rather than a reactive approach. He also mentioned the lack of cyber drills in India. The organizations should have proper Business Continuity Plans in place in case of potential threats or disasters.

Corporate Giants have lots of resources at their disposal which makes it easy for them to have all the cyber defense systems that money can buy. How can startups that usually have scarce resources compete with these giants when it comes to having a proper cyber security posture?

Aakash said, “The Good companies see security as Oxygen, and you cannot compromise on Oxygen”. Rajeev said the startups can invest in Cloud Infrastructure as it has pre-defined security features available, so it is a good levelling ground.

It is easy for startups to be established nowadays because many support systems are available, but how does one get the initial stimulus?

Aakash emphasized that “It is just passion — the rest just follows”. Being the founder of itmtb Technologies, he speaks from experience when he said that starting up is easy; the difficult part is sustaining. He advised that in order to build a successful startup, one has to multiply their energy and pass it on to the team. To learn how to manage Unit Economies and be shrewd about cash-flow management. Also, Nikhil added that there are government aids available to assist startups.

The discussion that followed was on Sustainable IT.

Archana took up the question and pointed out that sustainability in the IT Industry needs to be addressed. There needs to be more awareness about the environmental impacts of software systems. She made an interesting point that Python programs consume 75% more energy than C programming and many hidden consumptions exist. It also varies on the chip manufacturers like Intel,Qualcomm, AMD and others. Also, nowadays, due to affordable data plans, internet consumption has increased, which further adds to the exploitation of resources.

With this Q&A, the panel discussion proceeded towards the end with a few life lessons and cherished memories of the panellists. The session concluded with the key takeaway being that we, as Indians, should be more responsible not only as citizens but also netizens so that India becomes more digitally secure and paves the way ahead for a better world in light of the roadmap being discussed in the G20 Summit.