Digital transformation requires cultural adaptation of the organization: Sumit Puri

India is on the forefront of innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship, especially in technology. The technology companies in India are helping people in reducing poverty levels and improving lifestyles with new and innovative developments. According to a report by NASSCOM, India was ranked as the third largest startup ecosystem with more than a 100 accelerators, 200 active angels, 150 VCs and over 4,200 startups. IncubateIND got a chance to interact with Sumit Puri, Chief Information Officer, Max Healthcare and discuss the startup scene in India.


India has seen an addition of over 1,000 startups this year, strengthening its position as the third largest startup ecosystem across the world. What do you think is the current technology startups scene in India?

There is some absolutely amazing innovation happening in India especially in the healthcare sector, which could be pathbreaking. As CIO at Max Healthcare, I meet almost a couple of startup founders every month and am really impressed with many of them for their drive, unique ideas, intellect and natural resilience. While their ideas are usually excellent in nature, would hope many of them work more on fine-tuning their operational logistics and are open to collaborating with other established players in healthcare in order to create a compelling, integrated value proposition for the customers.


In your opinion, how does India rate on adopting new technologies? How can we make it better in the coming years?

India, unfortunately, does not do a great job in adopting new technologies. In my view, this is primarily because functional and IT leaders, in both Government and industry, have a limited shelf life and sometimes focus more on short-term wins, rather than long-term dynamic transformation of operational processes using new technology. As transformational technology initiatives require time, leaders who do not focus on comprehensive change management and organizational cultural aspects, have limited probability of success. Cultural transformation and creation of business impact metrics for monitoring the success of technology initiatives are incredibly important if we need the technology led change to be sustainable and in order to institutionalize systemic processes into daily operations.


According to you, what are the top five technology trends that will empower the digital transformation era? Please do give your reasons for each.

The five key technology trends are –

1) Artificial intelligence and Machine learning, 2) Mixed reality, 3) 3D printing, 4) Cloud and IoT technologies and 5) customer-centric platforms and ecosystems for collaboration.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning will power the creation of new intelligent algorithms which will power bots for automating contact center experience, automated driverless cars etc and eventually,  transform various industry sectors and the way we work and live.

Mixed reality – The new connected world is all about quality of experiences. Mixed reality, which merges virtual and augmented reality aspects, will comprehensively transform the user experience by making it more richer and immersive.

3D printing has the potential to change manufacturing, healthcare sectors in particular and reduce logistics and healthcare costs significantly.

Cloud and IoT technologies – this will usher in an ever more connected world and ensure infrastructure becomes more a commodity than a differentiator.

Customer-centric platforms – which revolve around creating a value-based ecosystem that integrates cost, convenience and quality of experience for end customers will gain traction.


Please tell us the five global tech companies and leaders that you admire.

I admire Apple, Google, Microsoft, Cognizant, and Tesla. Amongst leaders, I have a lot of respect and admiration for Steve Jobs – for the quality of his vision about future customer preferences, Nelson Mandela for the strength of his convictions, APJ Abdul Kalam for his intellect, man management and scientific prowess, Jack Welch for his focused business leadership and JRD Tata for meshing business with corporate social responsibility objectives.


What are the key traits that you look at when you hire resources in your team?

Integrity, the resilience of character and the customer-centric attitude.