IBM CEO briefs PM Modi about company's India investment plans

Great time to invest in India; FDI inflow to India increasing, PM tells Krishna

ibm-arvind-krishna IBM CEO-elect Arvind Krishna | IBM Twitter

This is a great time to invest in India and the country is welcoming investments in the tech sector, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told IBM CEO Arvind Krishna on Monday. In a virtual interaction with Krishna, the prime minister noted that while the world is witnessing a slowdown, FDI inflow in India is increasing.

Modi said the country is moving forward with the vision of a self-sufficient India so that a globally competent and disruption resilient local supply chain can be developed, according to a statement from the Prime Minister's Office.

Talking about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on business culture, the prime minister said 'work from home' is being adopted in a big way and the government is constantly working towards providing infrastructure, connectivity and regulatory environment to ensure that this technological shift is smooth.

Modi also discussed the technologies associated and challenges involved in the recent decision of IBM to make 75 per cent of its employees to work from home, the statement said.

The IBM CEO briefed the prime minister about his company's huge investment plans in India and expressed confidence in the vision of an 'Aatma nirbhar Bharat' (a self-reliant India), the statement said. "The prime minister highlighted that this is a great time to invest in India. He said the country is welcoming and supporting investments taking place in the tech sector. He noted that while the world is witnessing slowdown, FDI inflow in India is increasing," the statement said.

In the course of interaction, Modi explored the possibilities of creating India-specific artificial intelligence (AI)-based tools in the healthcare sector and development of better models for disease prediction and analysis.

He underlined that the country is moving towards developing an integrated, tech and data-driven healthcare system which is affordable and hassle-free for the people.

Modi noted that IBM can play an important role in taking forward the healthcare vision.

Krishna appreciated the prime minister's vision for Ayushman Bharat (the all-India healthcare scheme) and talked about using technology for early identification of diseases.

Modi appreciated the role played by IBM, in association with CBSE, towards launching of AI curriculum in 200 schools in India.

He said the government is working towards introducing students to concepts such as AI and machine learning at an early stage, to further the tech temperament in the country.

Krishna said teaching about technology and data should be in the category of basic skills like algebra, which needs to be taught with passion, and should be introduced early. Other areas of discussion included the issues of data security, cyber attacks, concerns around privacy and health benefits of yoga.

Modi also congratulated Krishna on becoming the global head of IBM earlier this year. He mentioned the strong connection of IBM with India and its huge presence in the country, with over one lakh people working across 20 cities in the company.