Are Indian ICT Firms Ready For Smart City Demands?

Smart Cities: New Opportunities and Challenges for Indian ICT firms

In the age of Industry 4.0, automation and data transfer are becoming embedded in daily life. The improvements and advances in technology do not affect just businesses, but also governments and citizens in how public services are carried out. These technological breakthroughs has led to the planning and development of smart cities all around the world to meet the issues arising with a growing population and environmental damage. The government of India has initiated a Smart City Mission to create 100 smart cities all across India and for it’s successful implementation Indian companies need to have the technology and capabilities to drive the implementation of the Smart City initiative.

The development of smart cities in India and around the world poses a challenge and an opportunity for Indian firms in the ICT industry. The smart city initiative opens up opportunities to provide solutions for transport, power, waste management, housing, infrastructure and more. On the other hand, the smart city drive is also challenging because many Indian firms need large capital and cutting-edge technological know-how to fulfil the needs of these new smart cities.

Indian ICT firms need to be aware of the major features of smart cities, the opportunities and challenges that they bring and how they can leverage technological knowledge from a country like Finland that is a technology-spearhead to meet the opportunities and roadblocks of the smart city framework.

Smart Cities and their Features

Smart cities are cities that use data and technology to work more efficiently, to develop sustainability and improve the lives of citizens and residents through better infrastructure, energy supply and management, transport and government services.

The government plays a major role in the development of smart cities and through the implementation of relevant policies and regulations, help create the right ecosystem for the urban smart city development. The major features of a smart city are as follows:

E-governance and public participation: Smart cities bring the government and the citizens closer together by offering government services digitally. This means that government services are available to everyone regardless of location and the government bodies also become more transparent and accountable.

Smart Mobility: Smart mobility refers to reducing traffic and congestion by providing real-time data on traffic movements in the city. It also means finding cleaner, eco-friendly and cheaper ways to provide public transport that is punctual, reliable and efficient. Smart mobility fosters ride-sharing, the creation of better roadways, provision for cycling and other activities which make transport efficient and greener.

Security: Cities are made to be safer and neighbourhoods are more secure through the use of cameras, data transmission, modern security and safety protocols, software and infrastructure. Infrastructure and services will be supported by integrated and interconnected systems for controlling, monitoring and automating. This helps gather and transmit reports regarding weather, emergencies, accidents and more.

Smart Grids: Smart grids are an important component in smart cities as the aim of smart cities and smart grids is to use power efficiently and avoid wastage, thus impacting the environment and creating sustainability. Smart grid development also supports electric vehicles and helps reduce vehicle emissions. The integration of smart grids in cities also means that precise information regarding energy consumption is available to the government as well as the residents and better usage of such resources are created.

Waste Management: Efficient and better waste management is a feature of smart cities. Smart technology can play an important role in improving the efficiency and quality of waste collection and management. Waste can be segregated and used as biomass or repurposed to recycled items.

Sustainability: Urban sustainability is a major concern for governments around the world. Smart cities are developed to meet the challenge of creating sustainability in a world of increasing populations and limited resources. Sustainability is achieved by creating efficiencies and removing waste in the other features mentioned here; waste management, better transport and smart mobility, security, smart grids etc.

How Indian firms can leverage Finnish technology for Smart City Solutions

The features of smart cities form opportunities and challenges for ICT firms in the domains of IoT, blockchain, AR/VR, cleantech, security, traffic management and many others. Indian ICT firms have the chance to provide solutions to smart cities in India and globally but also face the difficulty of developing leading-edge solutions that effectively answer these needs.

ICT firms in India face the problems of finding adequate capital, skilled talent, up-to-date technology and supportive government regulations. However, these issues can be faced and firms can develop innovative products and be a part of the smart city initiative by entering into an international tech-hub where they can find government and business support, technology, piloting opportunities and more. By leveraging these advantages, Indian ICT firms can develop their own unique and innovative products which can then fulfil smart city requirements in India and around the world.

A major world tech-hub, Finland, has already shown a keen interest in the smart cities initiative in India. Indian businesses seeking a competitive edge can leverage the business ecosystem in Finland to develop their own businesses and solutions to a world-class and cutting-edge level. With the help of PrEver, a India-Finland Business development consultancy, Indian firms can go to Finland, enter the business ecosystem and rapidly take advantage of the high level technology, competitive workforce and government aid  to take their products to the next level.

Through Finland, Indian firms can increase their own strengths in the following domains that are highly developed in Finland:

Waste Management: Finland is highly advanced in the clean tech and waste management domain. Indian firms can collaborate with other actors in the ecosystem like suppliers, partners, universities and government agents to develop or co-create solutions and services in waste management chains, converting waste to fuel or energy, recycling etc. These solutions will soon become vital to the Indian economy and countries all around the world as the push for sustainability gains momentum.

Biomass energy: Finland produces high volumes of renewable energy and in 2016 produced over 60% of their renewable energy from biomass. Along with waste management technology, this domain can be of interest to the government and businesses in the energy and ICT sector.

Smart Grids: Finland is a forerunner in Smart Grid 2.0 technology. They are well advanced in smart readers, automatic reading systems, remote control & monitoring, providing information to residents and much more. The business ecosystem in Finland is also highly R&D oriented and is deeply rooted in ICT. There is a huge opportunity for Indian firms to grow in this space rapidly and provide solutions for the smart grid initiative around the world.

Traffic Management: Smart cities’ incorporation of data, real-time information and digital appliances will find applications in traffic management for improving the mobility of residents within the smart cities. Traffic management forms a part of smart mobility and Indian ICT firms can derive huge benefits from setting up their operations in Finland where traffic management systems are highly advanced. This can help Indian firms meet the needs for traffic management and smart mobility systems in smart cities.

Digitization: Finland is a world leader in digital technology. It has a pool of over 350,000 ICT professionals at competitive rates, R&D frameworks that provide funding and aid for new product innovation. Clusters of major technology firms, and universities, provide testing and piloting opportunities. Indian firms can deal with the issues of lack of capital, technology and talent by going to Finland where they can operate in a highly collaborative ecosystem and develop their solutions to a world-class level.

Big Questions for Indian ICT firms in the Smart City Mission

Smart cities offer opportunities and challenges to citizens, the government and ICT businesses. High level technology appliances, software and services are going to be essential to adequately develop sustainable and secure smart cities around the world. Firms need to rapidly develop innovative and world-class products to successfully compete at a national and global level.

The opportunities and challenges presented by smart cities raises big questions for Indian companies in the ICT sector; what is the next step? How can your business best answer the upcoming demand for smart city solutions? How will you drive innovation? How will you find the funding, the resources, the capital and the talent force to create a disruptive solution? If you have a unique solution with a global market, then PrEver has the roadmap to take your business to global success. Follow us on social media for information of the Finnish business ecosystem or contact us to begin your global journey today.