India Inc sees opportunity in UAE’s high-tech leap

Industry group chief takes note of UAE’s Fourth Industrial Revolution headstart

By Chiranjib SenguptaHub Editor
22:46 February 7, 2018
Risky moves

New Delhi: Indian companies will look to learn from the UAE’s leap in technology as it leads the world in heralding the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the president of India’s biggest industry association said Wednesday.

“Many Indian companies have been housing their R&D and innovation centres in Singapore for a long time now. With the UAE leading the fourth industrial revolution, Dubai provides the perfect opportunity for such companies to move their research and high technology operations there,” said Shobana Kamineni, executive vice-chairperson of Apollo Hospitals and the current president of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

“India has become a start-up economy for new tech companies — and the UAE has the perfect infrastructure to act as the incubator of such companies. In the run-up to Expo 2020, this is a great opportunity for Indian companies to embrace and for Dubai and the UAE to benefit from,” Kamineni told Gulf News.

Mainly focused on data, the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is a global road map for the future of technology that blurs the lines between physical, digital and biological spheres.

Early lead

The UAE, which took an early lead in preparing for 4IR, recently signed an understanding with the World Economic Forum to establish a Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The UAE has also launched the Centre for Future Readiness to help shape policies that help prepare government agencies for the challenges of 4IR.

Speaking about India’s conscious efforts to attract medical tourists, Vinita Sethi, senior vice-president of corporate affairs at Apollo Hospitals, said: “We are growing at nearly 25 per cent every year, and this year the value of the medical tourism segment across the Middle East stood at $6 billion. India already enjoys a significant share of the global medical tourism market, and we hope to grow at a faster rate in the future. Many patients visit India from the Middle East, Africa and south Asia due to the competence and cost-effectiveness of our medical sector.”

According to Kamineni, however, India needs to significantly develop infrastructure related to the medical tourism sector.

Wide bouquet

“Hospitals in India cannot be islands of excellence and innovation without necessary infrastructure support from the government. We need better connectivity and the ease of being able to get to the country – this is where India can learn from the UAE,” she said.

A delegation of top Indian CEOs is headed to the sixth World Government Summit in Dubai to pitch for investment opportunities and tap new business sectors.

“There will be more than 20 chief executives of Indian companies at the summit. The companies that are participating are looking at joint investment opportunities in the UAE as well as other parts of the Middle East and North Africa; and there will be infrastructure and service companies looking for contracts,” Kamineni said.

“For the CII, we will aim at a big-picture understanding of what the UAE requires and what Indian companies can provide. From exports to blockchain solutions, there is a wide bouquet of opportunities at the summit,” added Kamineni, who is also the first woman president of CII.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the keynote speaker at the summit on Sunday.