Suited Up for Digital Haryana Summit

  • November 15, 2017
  • Avni Mehta
  • Uncategorized

Digital India was launched by our Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on 2 July 2015 with an objective of connecting rural areas with high-speed Internet networks and improving digital literacy. The vision of Digital India programme is inclusive growth in areas of electronic services, products, manufacturing and job opportunities etc. and it is centred on three key areas – Digital Infrastructure as a Utility to Every Citizen, Governance & Services on Demand and Digital Empowerment of Citizens.

On 15 September 2017, Haryana Government decided to bring together industry experts, visionaries, leaders, heads of states, policy makers, academicians and corporate leaders to script Haryana’s digital transformation journey aligned with the Digital India vision of the Prime Minister.


  • Help put together the building blocks of digital governance, innovation, and citizen partnership.
  • Provide a forum to discuss major development areas that will shape the future of Haryana.
  • Understand the challenges and opportunities posed by digitization.
  • Envision creating an environment that spells efficiencies and creates user-centric digital services to improve the relationship between citizens, investors, corporations and the state of Haryana.


Being a young industry leader, our team wanted to learn the new developments which are envisioned by the Haryana Government and the various industry leaders. There were sessions where one could get the taste of how the IT giants are coming up with strategies to make the world efficient and connected. In total one could have been a part of these 6 sessions out of which only 3 could be attended:

  • Learning from global stories of transformation- Smart Cities
  • Haryana- The next ESDM Hub
  • Skilling for the future technologies
  • Driving Geo Governance- Making new starts in Haryana
  • Leveraging NOFN to bring the next 22 million online’ (Monetization of NOFN and building a PPP model around it)
  • Digital government- Transforming into a Digital State

We had decided to split up and attend all these 6 sessions. There was no reason for not being a part of any of these.


Before the sessions, during the inaugural, there was a remark made by Shri Manohar Lal Khattar(Hon’ble Chief Minister Government of Haryana) which still comes up to my mind and makes me wonder how well can someone think. He said and I quote, “ ‘Digital’ could be interpreted as the Gita in one’s heart— GITA (Bhagavad Gita) within DIL (heart), if you split the word into DI-GITA-L.”

This particular remark spread a spark of energy and laughter across the delegates and moments later the hustle began, the hustle for FOOD. We were famished and decided to have some breakfast before gaining a deeper understanding of the various sectors and ideas which the delegates had.

Sipping our coffee, we sighted the rarest, hiding in plain sight was Mr Ganesh Ramamoorthy. There and then I decided that by the end of the conference, he would be captured.

The Afternoon Part 1

After the breakfast, our team decided to split up and seek out the various delegates. Being totally new to the experience of Networking, a lot of courage was required to ask people their area of expertise and gain insights on the ways they are trying implement and tackle the bottlenecks.

There were a few things I realised after my first few interactions with people:

  • Officials working for the government do not want to talk and discuss much.
  • Ideas are floating in the market waiting to be formulated and implemented.
  • Age and Experience in today’s world are not directly proportional to each other.

After these nervous yet bold encounters, it was time to feed our stomachs, again. I had never seen people wait so patiently for FOOD. The queues were long and trailed like a giant centipede. With no head or tail, people moved in directions unprecedented after the lunch to attend the remaining sessions.

The Afternoon Part 2

Very few people were to be seen in the common area, and I believed the worst was over but life is neither that simple nor that generous. We all still had the urge to gain more and more from the wisdomous. The task which I thought would become easier with time made me realise that here time referred to is in months, years and not hours, the task to indulge people about their problems and acquire knowledge.

There was a bit of laziness in the environment and the energy level had dropped down significantly. I was frustrated over the unwillingness of people to share but surprisingly enough a full stomach is like a magic pill. A magic pill that enables you to think less critically and sceptically about the person you’re striking a conversation with.

I did not let this opportunity pass by and had a few learnings then and there:

  • People are hungry for knowledge but the amount of people inclined towards sharing it are very few.
  • Bestowing trust takes a lot of time and your first handshake is enough to make up their mind.
  • Aspirations and motivation have gone higher but people lack the skills and knowledge to execute.
  • There may be an entrepreneur in all of us, but the true potential cannot be achieved without guidance.

The only happiness since morning except the good FOOD was me being able to meet and have a good conversation with the then unknown to me, the CIO of CK Birla group, Mr Puneesh Lamba.


Coffee is a wonderful mind booster. We(all the delegates) were totally refreshed after this round of snacking. Then came a moment my team was waiting for, waiting for Mr Ramamoorthy who was within our range. I had my eyes set and started walking towards him with all my courage, EMPTY HANDED. Sooner than I had anticipated, I caught his attention. Taking a deep long breath with every cell in my body asking me to turn away, as it could be a devastating blow for me being a rookie. I knew this was my only chance, there was no turning away and out of the several thousand thoughts, scenarios running by in my head, I tried the most basic and effective approach by a hello and introduce myself.

Yes, it was shocking that the MVP of Gartner had accepted my greetings. We talked for a few minutes and a haughty meek smile was on my face. And before saying farewell, I did not want to return empty handed. I had to capture him and then coming to my rescue was a friend I had long cherished, my smartphone. Eventually, the wait was over and I was able to capture the beautiful moment of me standing by his side.

He was captured in my memory and the image of my phone, I had done the impossible.

Not much was left to do that day and soon all the sessions ended. It was time for the dinner and drinks, a moment many of the delegates were waiting for. It was my cue to leave. I left with a lot of mixed feelings, the first one was the pain in my legs from walking around Leela, Gurgaon for more than 11 hours.

In Shorts

I had never been a part of such conference before and I definitely took a few things back with me, a few thoughts and the urge to rise. I realised the following:

  • One can never be qualified enough. You always are lacking in one way or the other.
  • People at top of the ladder are very HUMBLE and MODEST.
  • Simple yet harsh beginnings would be your key to success.
  • Being humble is a qualification of its own.
  • Food makes people happy.

Please visit our Twitter handle for the images from the event.


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