‘Pub­lic Safety, Se­cu­rity is High Pri­or­ity Fo­cus Area for Smart Cities in In­dia’

—Koichiro Koide MD, NEC In­dia

Voice&Data - - FRONT PAGE - Sanjeeb Ku­mar Sa­hoo san­jeebs@cy­berme­dia.co.in

With over two decades of sales and busi­ness op­er­a­tions ex­pe­ri­ence at NEC, Koichiro Koide, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor at NEC In­dia, is re­spon­si­ble for strength­en­ing and ex­pand­ing NEC’s busi­ness ca­pa­bil­i­ties in the In­dia mar­ket. With his deep knowl­edge of in­ter­na­tional sales, he is cur­rently lead­ing the com­pany in its next phase of de­vel­op­ment in In­dia by lever­ag­ing NEC’s in­no­va­tion ca­pa­bil­i­ties and in­te­gra­tion ex­per­tise in IT and net­work­ing tech­nolo­gies. Koide’s pre­vi­ous roles with NEC in­clude Man­ager, Over­seas Car­rier So­lu­tions Divi­sion for NEC Cor­po­ra­tion. He joined the In­dia team in 2009 as Group Man­ager, where he was re­spon­si­ble for over­see­ing in­ter­na­tional sales and op­er­a­tions for China and Asia Pa­cific. Koide has an in­valu­able un­der­stand­ing of the In­dian busi­ness cli­mate and plans to achieve greater pres­ence for NEC in the ex­pand­ing In­dia mar­ket. In an email in­ter­view with Voice&Data, Koide elab­o­rates about the com­pany’s achieve­ments and plans.

Voice&Data: What are NEC’s core ob­jec­tives in In­dia?

Koichiro Koide: NEC is a very unique com­pany as it of­fers so­lu­tions for both the IT and the net­work sec­tor. To ex­plain fur­ther, our peers like IBM fo­cuses on the IT sec­tor while Eric­s­son fo­cuses on the net­work sec­tor; NEC’s unique­ness lies in the fact that we cater to both IT and net­work busi­nesses. NEC is also known as the world’s No.1 in the Bio­met­ric so­lu­tion provider. NEC’s busi­ness has been con­sis­tently grow­ing in In­dia and hence our core ob­jec­tive is to grow busi­ness ar­eas in IT, Bio­met­ric, Pub­lic Safety, Retail and Car­rier. Car­rier and net­work busi­nesses, glob­ally, is the big­gest con­trib­u­tor to NEC’s rev­enue in­clud­ing In­dia. In In­dia, we are go­ing to fo­cus more on pub­lic safety and retail side of the busi­ness for now as In­dian econ­omy is grow­ing very fast. With the chang­ing busi­ness and eco­nomic sce­nar­ios, Make in In­dia and Smart cities mis­sion, there is also a great op­por­tu­nity for play­ers like NEC.

Voice&Data: What is NEC’s fo­cus on

pub­lic safety?

Koichiro Koide: NEC pro­vides mul­ti­ple el­e­ments in the pub­lic safety and se­cu­rity ar­eas like fin­ger­print and fin­ger vein iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, FRS, video an­a­lyt­ics and mul­ti­ple bio­met­rics. NEC, not only pro­vides the soft­ware ap­pli­ca­tion of the tech­nol­ogy in pub­lic safety do­main but we also deeply in­volved in op­er­a­tions as well. The so­lu­tions of­fered by NEC can play crit­i­cal role in mak­ing smart cities safer, in curb­ing the cy­ber­crime and other theft through strate­gic use of its so­lu­tions.

While our fo­cus is to of­fer the best of the so­lu­tions to en­able pub­lic safety in In­dia, we have lim­ited re­sources, as 100 smart cities vi­sion is it­self a huge pro­ject. There­fore, based on the needs of an in­di­vid­ual city, NEC col­lab­o­rates as a so­lu­tion provider with part­ners in some cities and in oth­ers NEC col­lab­o­rates as a ven­dor where par­tic­i­pate in the op­er­a­tions side of it.

Voice&Data: NEC has been prop­a­gat­ing the ideas of smart cities be­ing safer as the crit­i­cal part of the de­vel­op­ment plan, what is the role NEC is play­ing in de­vel­op­ment of safe and smart cities?

Koichiro Koide: As I men­tioned ear­lier, there are sev­eral el­e­ments to smart cities and hence the re­quire­ments dif­fer too. Of the 100 smart city projects, we can­not par­tic­i­pate and treat all of the cities equally. Based on the need of a city, NEC as­so­ciates as equip­ment and ap­pli­ca­tion provider, which is then ex­e­cuted by our Sys­tem In­te­gra­tors (SIs) and part­ners. For oth­ers, for some cities NEC will have to be­come the equip­ment and ap­pli­ca­tion provider, and the pro­ject will be ex­e­cuted by dif­fer­ent Sis, or part­ners. For some cities, NEC would like to par­tic­i­pate in build­ing the net­work and pro­vides the so­lu­tion as one of the op­er­at­ing part­ner with the Govern­ment.

Voice&Data: How im­por­tant it is to de­velop smart and safe cities?

Koichiro Koide: Some con­sult­ing com­pa­nies say that by 2025 – 600 mil­lion peo­ple will stay in the ur­ban ar­eas in In­dia. So, as the pop­u­la­tion of In­dia would rise and move to ur­ban ar­eas, we will have to start build­ing the foun­da­tions from now on to be able to man­age such a huge pop­u­la­tion shift that will lead to so­cio-eco­nomic is­sue if not man­aged well. The con­cept of smart and safe city and the use of ef­fec­tive so­lu­tions may re­duce the same and help us and the govern­ment cope bet­ter with the ever grow­ing pop­u­la­tion. Hence, in my opin­ion, it is im­por­tant to build not just smart but safe cities as well.

Voice&Data: What are some of the safe and smart city ini­tia­tives that you are col­lab­o­rat­ing with the govern­ment on?

Koichiro Koide: NEC is work­ing very closely with var­i­ous states and cities as a part of its safe city ini­tia­tives in In­dia. Last year, NEC par­tic­i­pated in the safe city pro­ject for Su­rat city, Gu­jarat where we col­lab­o­rated with the state govern­ment to of­fer FRS (Fa­cial Recog­ni­tion So­lu­tion) which is ranked No.1 in the world for Su­rat city po­lice. FRS de­ployed at the city po­lice is de­signed to help them curb crime and theft bet­ter in the city.

Apart from that, NEC signed MoU with APTS (Govern­ment of Andhra Pradesh) for Tiru­pati safe city pro­ject. We are fi­nal­iz­ing the pro­posal of ideas for the same. We also col­lab­o­rated with Keon­ics (Kar­nataka) for Safe and Smart City and Cy­ber­se­cu­rity col­lab­o­ra­tion in Kar­nataka and pan-In­dia.

So, of course, pub­lic safety and se­cu­rity is one of our pri­or­i­ties and fo­cus in In­dia. With few other cities, we are also work­ing with part­ners for pro­vid­ing so­lu­tion be­cause as I men­tioned NEC can­not cover all the 100 cities equally. For now, the tar­get cities for NEC are in Gu­jarat, Kar­nataka and Andhra Pradesh.

Voice&Data: What so­lu­tions can make a smart city safer ac­cord­ing to NEC? What are the key com­po­nents?

Koichiro Koide: There are so many com­po­nents to build­ing a smart and safe city but one big­gest point that NEC would like to high­light is the uti­liza­tion of bio­met­ric so­lu­tions. By just pro­vid­ing CCTV cam­eras alone, one can­not en­sure safety in a city. For ex­am­ple, if we set up 10,000 cam­eras in a city, it will be­come im­pos­si­ble to chase and mon­i­tor 10,000 cam­eras ef­fec­tively at the same time man­u­ally. By align­ing the same with the bio­met­ric an­a­lyt­ics, we can re­duce the re­sponse time and er­ror and hence the re­sponse to a theft. So, that’s why fa­cial recog­ni­tion so­lu­tion (FRS), fin­ger­print iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and video an­a­lyt­ics be­come a crit­i­cal el­e­ment and the ap­pli­ca­tion to those so­lu­tions is also very im­por­tant.

Voice&Data: Be­ing a tech gi­ant and hav­ing de­liv­ered suc­cess­fully on smart city ini­tia­tives glob­ally, how does NEC see things shap­ing up dif­fer­ently in In­dia than other coun­tries?

Koichiro Koide: As I men­tioned ear­lier, by 2025, 600 mil­lion peo­ple will be liv­ing in ur­ban In­dia. That is an in­cred­i­ble fig­ure and I be­lieve that by 2025 In­dia will be­come No.1 in terms of pop­u­la­tion. So, that is to­tally dif­fer­ent en­vi­ron­ment from other coun­tries. For ex­am­ple – Sin­ga­pore is very ad­vanced. They have a pop­u­la­tion of only 5.5 mil­lion so it is not dif­fi­cult to man­age as afe en­vi­ron­ment.

On the other hand, In In­dia, 5 mil­lion is the pop­u­la­tion of mega cities alone like Delhi and Mum­bai -- much big­ger than the en­tire pop­u­la­tion of Sin­ga­pore. So, In­dia’s big­gest chal­lenge is to ef­fec­tively man­age the cities, its de­mand, en­vi­ron­ment and a huge pop­u­la­tion.

Voice&Data: What are the po­ten­tial chal­lenges in de­liv­er­ing to the vi­sion of smart cities in In­dia? What would NEC ex­pect the In­dian govern­ment to do to sup­port this vi­sion or in terms of guide­lines?

Koichiro Koide: Big­gest chal­lenge for In­dia is quite clear and that is the bud­get when it comes to de­liv­er­ing on smart cities. Hence, for In­dia, pri­or­ity is very im­por­tant. It is im­por­tant for the Govern­ment to de­cide on the pri­or­i­ties of each city.

Voice&Data: Can you please elab­o­rate on the fu­ture plans of NEC in In­dia and what are some of the sec­tors that you would like to fo­cus on in the fu­ture?

Koichiro Koide: Apart from safe city ini­tia­tives, in the pub­lic safety do­main, we would like to fo­cus on cy­ber se­cu­rity. We have al­ready started in­ter­act­ing with the Govern­ment and also few of our part­ners. The need for cy­ber se­cu­rity has in­creased day by day but In­dian re­sources are not enough to cater to the grow­ing need and the po­ten­tial cy­ber threat. NEC has the ca­pa­bil­ity to man­age cy­ber se­cu­rity and counter mea­sure re­lated things and also we have the fa­cil­i­ties and knowhow for ca­pac­ity build­ing and train­ing pro­grams. Hence we are fo­cus­ing on it. The other part is retail as with In­dia’s pop­u­la­tion, the pur­chas­ing power of the middle class has in­creased dras­ti­cally and is much stronger to­day. The pro­cure­ment and com­mer­cial busi­ness has be­come much big­ger to­day with ref­er­ence to In­dia’s retail busi­ness sce­nario like e-com­merce. If e-com­merce busi­ness in­creases, the net­work and data cen­tre re­quire­ment to man­age the data also in­creases si­mul­ta­ne­ously. That be­comes an op­por­tu­nity for us. Big data an­a­lyt­ics has also be­come a po­ten­tial big busi­ness for us.

Voice&Data: What do you see as the four or five key trends in the years ahead, with re­gard to smart tech­nolo­gies and cities?

Koichiro Koide: We can see that ev­ery­thing has be­come mo­bile to­day and peo­ple have be­come cashless. In other coun­tries like Ja­pan the pay­ment in cash is still ma­jor.

The younger gen­er­a­tion does not like to use cash. They are ei­ther us­ing the card or mo­bile for ma­jor pay­ments. Such trends will also come to In­dia and like e-com­merce, de­liv­ery and one im­por­tant as­pect is vis­i­bil­ity. We have also par­tic­i­pated in BRT sec­tors pro­vid­ing au­to­matic lo­ca­tion iden­ti­fi­ca­tion sys­tem. For ex­am­ple, peo­ple wait­ing at the bus stop do not know what time ex­actly the bus would come. We will pro­vide vis­i­bil­ity so that peo­ple can iden­tify bet­ter how long do they need to wait. Such vis­i­bil­ity be­comes mo­bil­ity. Vis­i­bil­ity in trans­porta­tion and lo­gis­tics can also be­come a trend in In­dia.

Voice&Data: What are two or three key ar­eas where tech­no­log­i­cal in­ter­ven­tions can help build cities safer?

Koichiro Koide: Of course, the city sur­veil­lance be­cause many cities are al­ready fac­ing the se­cu­rity and crim­i­nal threats, so city sur­veil­lance is a very im­por­tant as­pect. An­other im­por­tant as­pect is trans­port and traf­fic man­age­ment. The third sec­tor is the web as ev­ery­thing hap­pens on the web to­day like e-gov­er­nance projects, iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, per­sonal in­for­ma­tion – all of it man­aged on the web. If the govern­ment can’t give proper pro­tec­tion, it be­comes a big is­sue. That’s why cy­ber se­cu­rity be­comes a big as­pect.

Voice&Data: Any ex­pec­ta­tions from the up­com­ing bud­get?

Koichiro Koide: Of course, the in­vest­ment in the pub­lic sec­tor is highly ex­pected but for In­dia, I think GST in­tro­duc­tion is quite im­por­tant.

Voice&Data: Does NEC have any plans for in­vest­ments in In­dia?

Koichiro Koide: Of course, NEC al­ready has few sub­sidiaries in In­dia and nearly 3,000 em­ploy­ees that take care of the sales ac­tiv­ity, de­vel­op­ment ac­tiv­ity and man­u­fac­tur­ing else­where. If NEC can get more busi­ness, of course we are ready to in­vest.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.