I was in two sessions yesterday and found both to deliver what I have come to expect from the Forum – thoughtful debates and interesting dialogues.
The first session revolved around what, or rather, whose standards should apply in emerging markets. This is a very important discussion as standards are directly related to cost and now there is a fear that standards can be used as barriers to entry for emerging market MNCs into well-developed markets.
I was happy to note that there was consensus on the view that there are too many standards and too many requirements. Rationalizing all these is important and we should have a single set of standards across what is legally required, what is an industry standard, and what is the company standard. After all, multiple audits done by multiple organizations can be quite confusing.
The second important point which came out was that in these standard bodies, (and standard bodies should really be organizations which are globally respected), there must be representation from developing nations and you must facilitate developing nations to participate and be part of the standards setting process. There were also a lot of discussions about government’s role, and general opinion shared was that government’s role must be limited unless it is legally required.
The other interesting session I attended was on innovation. This is a session I always enjoy attending because I am passionate about innovation. In this “hands-on” session we tried to work with three different models: the open source model, “Al-Qaeda model” and lastly the “market lead” model. The whole exercise was fun and it was very interesting to see how everything progressed. These types of sessions are an integral part of Davos – there was a high level of good participation and excellent discussions.
Of course, in addition to these sessions, Davos has had its fair share of socializing and fun as well. Last night, Infosys had a cocktail reception and we were overwhelmed with the response. There was great Indian food and many people could be overheard saying that it was “probably the best food in Davos” – or at least it was the best variety of food at Davos!
Today is Saturday and things are winding down. When we arrived in Davos we all thought we were going to experience some mild weather with no snow, but towards the end it is a pretty white winter here in Davos, lots of snow in fact! Compared to last year I believe this year has more snow. It has certainly been a very fascinating week for me here.
Kris Gopalakrishnan, President and Chief Operating Officer, Infosys Technologies Ltd.