S Gopalakrishnan: Benefits of data rules must reach citizens, not just companies: S Gopalakrishnan

Clipped from: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/internet/benefits-of-data-rules-must-reach-citizens-not-just-companies-s-gopalakrishnan/articleshow/71142724.cmsSynopsis

Infosys cofounder Kris Gopalakrishnan said worries over data sharing and privacy will subside once the boundaries around data are clearly drawn by the government.

CHENNAI:InfosysNSE 0.76 % cofounder S Gopalakrishnan said the broad strokes of data regulations lie in trying to leverage the economic value of data for the benefit of the citizens, not just for corporations, and protecting them from the vulnerabilities inherent in the digital era. “India has a huge opportunity to leverage data in every aspect: data will be very important in providing credit, better banking services, healthcare, education, retail and ecommerce. Everywhere, the efficiency can be improved, services levels enhanced. It is not just the companies benefitting, the individual also benefits,” Gopalakrishnan told ET in an interview.

On Friday, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) formed a committee headed by Gopalakrishnan to look at non-personal data and recommend a regulatory framework to handle such information. These data could include aggregated data, derived data, anonymous data, ecommerce data, AI training data, etc. — for example, the traffic data collected by taxi aggregators such as Uber and Ola, consumption data from food aggregators like Swiggy and Zomato, search data from Google and ecommerce data from Amazon and Flipkart. The business data can be anonymised so as to ensure individual privacy. The aggregate data on consumer behaviour will help in formalising public policy.

Globally, companies are looking at anonymising data — stripping data sets of personal attributes of individuals and gleaning meaningful inferences from the data points.

Access to and control over various kinds of data are critical for economic advantage, the ministry said in its notification on the formation of the committee.

Last year, a committee headed by Justice BN Srikrishna had submitted a report on personal data protection that is now in the process of becoming a law. “There is public benefit in sharing data. If there is a way to populate a common database for, say to find out the incidence rate of communicable diseases in Chennai and populate this to reflect incidence across the country from data sets from other places… then proactively we can take action,” Gopalakrishnan said.

He said the understanding of data privacy would go through a change once the boundaries around data were clearly drawn, dispelling concerns about disclosing identity. “Establishing policies around data, how industry must responsibly use your data and respect your privacy — today it’s not codified and hence the worry about disclosing your identity,” he said. “I think our concept of privacy will go through a change because we are voluntarily disclosing whom we are because we want some service… In the physical world, property rights have been clearly established. I think, over time, property rights will be clearly established in the online world.”

Gopalakrishnan said the world moving to the data era presented its own set of challenges for sovereign nations. “Unfortunately or fortunately, data, compared to all the previous eras — agriculture, manufacturing and IT or digital — where the economic value lay in physical goods, knows no national boundaries. It can be transmitted without friction. How does a nation create value on the data of its citizens? How does a nation protect the data of its citizens? These are the questions everyone is grappling with,” he said.

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From affordable pricing to top-of-the-range customer service, here’s what made Hostinger one of the best players in the Indian market


In conversation with Amideep Kapoor, Country Manager, Hostinger India, on taking web hosting to a new level.

Hostinger has only been offering its services to the Indian market since 2018 but has an impressive league of 150,000+ clients and a growth percentage of about 30% per year. Where does Hostinger owe this early success in a market as unique as India, and what we learn from trying to sell in different locales?

We spoke to Amideep Kapoor, Country Manager for Hostinger India , and tried to get his insights into how Hostinger has become one of the top players in the Indian market.

  • What makes India such an appealing market for web hosting companies? Is it sheer size or a trend towards digital?
    That’s a great question, and your guesses are right on the money. India is a market that exceeds the 1 billion mark, so even if we are talking about sheer volume, the fact that you have such a big pool of potential clients is exciting. That number is quite misleading, though. Not every single person in India is a potential customer of web hosting companies.

What’s more important than the overall market’s size is the digital evolution the country has been going through in the past couple of years. According to a McKinsey report , India is the second-fastest-growing digital economy in the world, second only to China. The report showed that India has around 560 million people connected to the internet. Now that’s the number web hosting companies can get excited about. People who are active users of the world wide web are the target audience.

What’s important to add here is that this digital shift in the Indian market is not only a result of the consumer appetite to interact with the web but is also a coordinated, structured effort from the Indian government. Initiatives like Digital India, a flagship programme from the government of India with a vision to transform the country into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy, reassure companies that this is a market committed to digital transformation. When you decide to expand to a new locale, you want your investment and effort to have a long-term return. Having the backing of the local government is definitely a sign of promise.

  • Localisation is a word we keep hearing a lot when it comes to new market players. What does localisation mean for Hostinger, and how has it helped the company with its attempt to serve the Indian market?
    Localisation is the process of giving your service and offering the character of the local market. The phrase has different connotations, and it involved everything from translations, understanding of local traditions, national holidays and what a market really cares for.

There are levels to localisation, and I believe that what has really helped us at Hostinger is understanding and owning those more profound levels of localisation. Anyone can translate a website, a banner or an offer on social media. The true essence of localisation is trying to understand what people in specific locales want from your brand. We pay close attention to tailoring our design and our content to speak to India’s rich culture, traditions, and heritage.

Localisation is empathy, trying to become part of the locale and embrace its unique character. It’s all about spending the time to immerse the brand in the locale’s idiosyncrasy. One of the most effective ways of doing that is employing local talent, letting them enlighten us and boost our efforts to understand the local market.

  • Why has Hostinger specifically been able to enjoy such early success in India?
    I think Hostinger owes the early success of being able to understand what people need and want from a web hosting service provider – affordable pricing and top-of-the-range customer service. Hostinger was never interested in entering the Indian market just to sell. The company has always been interested in fostering long-term, meaningful relationships with its users.

If you think about it, the nature of the product itself is one of lasting effect and durability. To host your website, to start your online journey, you need to do it with someone you trust, someone you believe and have faith in. To gain that trust and build that relationship with the people of India, Hostinger has lowered the financial barrier to entry and supports new users with every step of their way.

Mastering the process of localisation has helped Hostinger get a warm welcome from the Indian market. People appreciate effort and attention to detail, and this early success is solid proof. Localisation helped us identify certain behavioural trends that do not apply in other locales. For example, offering a basic package of services supplemented by add-ons is a model that works for India.

Another component of our India localisation efforts was introducing a local payment method, an approach that eliminated any trust issues and hesitation when buying the Hostinger service.

Moreover, we run local campaigns on all the important festivals/national days and have a Youtube channel, known as Hostinger India, where you can find how to create a website in 10 minutes explained in Hindi.

  • What can you do to maintain this success post-COVID?
    What the pandemic essentially did was fast track a process that was already in place. Digitalisation is not a trend but a new reality. Even when brick and mortar shops are back in business, online commerce and digital adaption won’t miss a beat.

At Hostinger, we understand this new reality, and our approach is simple – keep doing what we do by never settling, never being complacent and always refining our offerings. The web hosting market is competitive, demanding and dynamic with or without the pandemic.

Maintaining a high level of quality and service should never be attached to time-sensitive market conditions. The goal is to establish a benchmark and be a web hosting service people can count on both in crisis and prosperity.

  • Price, product quality or customer service? What would you say is the component most people respond to and care for?
    I would say that none of those qualities works in isolation. It is the ultimate combo of success, and if you do not pay equal attention to them, one will bring the other ones down. As far as what people respond to the most, you need to account for and consider the order in which people interact with them.

The point of entry is the price. It will catch their attention and will most probably convince them to try your service and product. That’s when product quality and customer service come in. What use would an affordable service be if it keeps crashing, and you have nobody to help you fix it?

A fair price will always be what excites and converts, but it comes to retention, trustworthy product quality and reliable customer support. The one initiates the relationship between brand and customer, and the other two keep it going for a long time.

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