A couple of multinational corporations, a few large home-grown and mid-sized IT enterprises, a clutch of budding start-ups and a bunch of e-commerce unicorns, all of whom have not just innovated but excelled at it, will take home the Express IT awards from communication and information technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday. Applauding their brilliant ideas, in the country’s IT capital of Bengaluru will be the tallest leaders from the IT space and rising stars from the e-commerce and start-up worlds.
The gathering at the third Express IT Awards will also salute the achievements of Nandan Nilekani, who takes home the IT Lifetime Achievement Award, and Vishal Sikka, who is IT Newsmaker of the Year. It promises to be an eventful evening of discourse and debate, the mood one of celebration and cheer.
The heavy lifting has of course been done by a team of top professionals — Google India MD Rajan Anandan, Manipal Global Education chairman TV Mohandas Pai, Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan, Nasscom president R Chandrashekhar and IIIT-B director S Sadagopan — all of whom took time off their busy schedules to pick the winners. Given the abundance of talent and skill, it wasn’t an easy job — at the end of the day, there were several of the 360-plus candidates who may have just missed out. But that’s how keen the competition is. The awards, the most coveted in the Indian technology world, are being given away in a total of 11 categories and the entries were scrutinised by knowledge partner PwC.
There was virtually no doubt in anyone’s minds that Nilekani, the multifaceted personality who has donned many roles including that of entrepreneur, CEO, UIDAI chairman with Cabinet rank, author and philanthropist among others deserved the Lifetime Achievement award.
Nilekani’s biggest contribution is probably is his work in evangelising the role of technology in governance apart from making Infosys the IT giant that it is, as its co-founder and CEO.
Infosys CEO and MD Vishal Sikka, who promises to be an agent of change, championing the next generation of IT services, was a unanimous choice for IT Newsmaker of the Year. At a time when the sector was seen to be stagnating, Sikka has provided a breath of fresh air with his expertise in artificial intelligence and robotics.
The awards will be given away by Prasad and guest of honour NR Narayana Murthy, co-founder of Infosys, at Hotel Marriott in Whitefield, Bengaluru. The various categories for which the awards are instituted include IT Innovation (Large Enterprise & MSME), Analytics Solutions, Cloud Solutions, Mobility Solutions, IT Infrastructure, Software Product of the Year, E-commerce Solutions, Digital Citizen Solutions and Start-up of the Year.