Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Forbes India presents The Data Circle in association with Snowflake Future of a data driven economy

Empowering India's Data Economy: Insights from Mumbai Closed Door Round Table Conference held by Forbes Presents The Data Circle in association with Snowflake

Published: May 14, 2024 04:37:57 PM IST
Updated: May 14, 2024 05:37:55 PM IST

Forbes India presents The Data Circle in association with Snowflake Future of a data driven economy

In the bustling arena of India's digital landscape, where data reigns supreme, the imperative for robust data security measures cannot be overstated. Against this backdrop, Forbes India & Snowflake collaborated to present The Data Circle – a series that brought together Data leaders from across India for insightful dialogues on diverse facets of a developing, data-driven economy. The Data Circle also recognised the exemplary technological contributions of these leaders in their respective industries. The Mumbai round table was an exclusive conversation platform for industry leaders from various sectors to deliberate on the opportunities and challenges inherent in India's data-driven economy.

Charting the Course for India's Data-Driven Economy

The moderator of the discussion Mugdha Kalra set the context, underscoring the criticality of data security in an era where digital transformation permeates every aspect of business. She emphasised how with businesses, government agencies, and individuals increasingly reliant on digital platforms, safeguarding sensitive information is paramount to prevent cyber threats and uphold privacy.

The panel comprised Avinash Naik, CIO of Bajaj Allianz General Insurance; Arunkumar Iyer, Business Head and Senior Director of CRISIL; and Vijayant Rai, Managing Director of Snowflake India. Each leader brought a wealth of experience and expertise to the discussion, offering unique insights into the future of India's data-driven economy.

Embracing Data in the Insurance Sector

During the discussion, Avinash Naik of Bajaj Allianz General Insurance shed light on the transformative power of data analytics in the insurance industry. He elaborated on the future trajectory of the industry, envisaging a landscape where emerging technologies like AI and machine learning revolutionise claims processing and customer service.

He said “Over the course of our last 22 plus years we have acquired over 14 crore customers and now to be able to identify risks, underwrite customers basis such a high amount of data is physically getting impossible. That is where newer technologies like AI and analytics come into picture. To be able to drive insights and identify the right customers, weed out fraudulent customers which is more important, I think that is where the biggest strength of AI lies”.

He further highlighted the importance of striking a balance between leveraging personalised data for pricing and coverage while safeguarding individual privacy—a delicate equilibrium essential for building consumer trust.

Navigating the Challenges of the Data World

As the conversation progressed, Vijayant Rai of Snowflake India shared insights into the existing and emerging challenges that enterprises witness with excess data. He explained the importance of data warehousing and analytics in the cloud. He also elucidated on Snowflake's role in enabling organisations to embrace cloud data platforms and addressed the burgeoning demand for real-time analytics—a necessity in industries such as e-commerce and finance.

He said, “India is turning towards becoming a very large data driven economy and data is the centre of what we are seeing all around us and we believe that is the opportunity in front of enterprises as well, to get control of data and then get those insights to be able to monetise it and make the most out of it”.

Vijayant also explained Snowflake's vision of a Data Cloud, emphasising its potential to foster collaboration and data sharing among organisations, thus driving innovation and efficiency across industries.

Customer Centricity and Data Analytics

Arunkumar Iyer from CRISIL provided a glimpse into the data-powered transformations within the organisation, how CRISIL has been very agile in adapting to the changes that digital transformation journeys have brought about and shared success stories of the impact newer technologies have had on their overall performance.

He said “We have built a tool which is called SMART which automates the entire manual labour-intensive process of financial analysis. We have also built a platform called Phoenix which streamlines entire data operations. These are two large initiatives that we have driven over the years. Data analytics has been our core from an overall perspective.”

As an analytical firm navigating the complexities of data privacy regulations, Iyer also highlighted the importance of balancing data accessibility with stringent privacy measures. He emphasised CRISIL's pivotal role in providing actionable insights not only for credit assessments but also for investment decisions and market predictions—a testament to the evolving landscape of data analytics in the financial realm.


As the discussion drew to a close, it became evident that India's journey towards becoming a data-driven economy is replete with promise and challenges. The round table underscored the importance of data security, innovation, and customer-centricity in navigating this transformative landscape. With a concerted effort towards harnessing the power of data analytics and embracing technological advancements, India stands poised to chart a course towards digital empowerment and economic growth.

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