Industry Day- 2018 :: Interview with Mr. Sriram Raghavan

Vice President at IBM Research Mr. Sriram Raghavan has an overall responsibility for the Research Lab in India and the Research Center in Singapore. He also serves as the global leader for blockchain research, working closely with the business units to drive innovations into IBM's blockchain platform and solution offerings. As CTO for IBM in India/South Asia, Mr Sriram is responsible for communicating IBM's overall vision and strategy around emerging innovations and technologies with key stakeholders in the region - from developers and startups to clients, analysts, media, and industry experts.

An alumnus of the IIT, Chennai and Stanford University. Mr Sriram has established and grown IBM Research in the region into a world class center of competency for blockchain and AI, developing both deep technology platform innovations and first of a kind solutions in industries such as supply chain and logistics, retail, agribusiness, and financial services.

He is one of the Speakers at the Industry Day at IIT Delhi on September 22. In an interview with Dr Vanita Srivastava he talks about the need for better Industry-Academia interaction.

How do you see events like Industry Day forge better Industry-Academic collaborations?


The foundation for any successful collaboration is awareness of each others’ work, interests and priorities, and the opportunity to interact to identify areas where these elements intersect. So an Industry Day is a great way to accomplish this information exchange and to lay the foundation for such collaborations. Also such days provide a forum for those of us in industry to share learnings and experiences from applying technology to solve real business and client problems. These learnings are a rich source of more problems that faculty and students can work on – driving further collaboration that is mutually beneficial.


Can you elucidate a bit on what you will be talking on?


I will be talking about how emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and blockchain are fundamentally transforming the businesses professions and reshaping business networks and entire economic value chains. I will use examples from financial services, agribusiness, supply chain and logistics, and retail to illustrate these transformations.


What in your opinion, should be the roadmap for better Industry-Academia linkage for CSR initiatives and technology interventions? What are the major challenges and how can they be overcome?


The two biggest roadmaps to such collaborations are mis-alignment of interests/topics/areas and rigid IP terms. I think the former is really a matter of deeper and more regular conversations that allow common areas of interest to be identified. The latter requires both sides to be willing to come together and be flexible —recognizing the need to protect the interests of both parties and being willing to explore new models of joint IP development including open source.