Mr. Pradeep KushwahaDriving the Development of India's Smart Society
Mr. Pradeep Kushwaha is a General Manager and the Head of the Public Safety Business Unit at NEC Corporation India. Pradeep recently sat down for an interview where he discussed some of the current projects he is involved in the country, and explained both NEC's vision for the future of smart city technologies in India and how this vision melds with his personal philosophy. He also discussed some of his best experiences he has had working for NEC in his eight-years of tenure.
Pradeep mentioned two government initiatives in India which he sees as crucial to the social and economic development of India, and in which NEC is playing a major role by leveraging its technological expertise and experience. The first is the Unique Identification Authority of India, also known as the Aadhaar program. The Aadhaar program is a special initiative from the Indian government which seeks to give all residents in the country a unique and biometrically verifiable identification number and is currently used by 99% of the country's population. NEC has played a critical role in the development of Aadhaar as it supplies the multimodal identification system which is the core of the program. NEC is also actively involved in the India Smart Cities Mission which according to Pradeep is an "ambitious program of the government to develop 100 smart cities across India and making them citizen friendly and sustainable." He mentioned NEC is actively collaborating with municipal corporations and local governments in various cities across India for smart city projects.
The Aadhaar program can also help the government to properly collect tax revenue, which has been a significant problem in the country for many years. This in turn can enable more spending on infrastructure and citizen services.
Implementing smart city projects has also been at times challenging according to Pradeep. He noted smart city projects often involved multiple stakeholders, who may at times have differing objectives and hence communication and coordination among all parties involved can be difficult. However, Pradeep believes that NEC's experience as a master system integrator plays a crucial role for NEC in this regard.
One of the best aspects of working at NEC for Pradeep is that he sees a great deal of synergy with his personal philosophy and the corporate culture of the company. Pradeep has always been deeply interested in technologies, and he has a strong desire to apply new technologies to assist in the development of his country. Therefore, to him working at NEC is a natural fit because "as a technology enthusiast, I always wanted to use my skillset and knowledge for the growth of my nation. And working in public safety domain, especially helped transform my dream into a tangible reality. The Indian economy is growing very fast, and the multifold growth in the past few decades in the path of high-economic growth and development, I see NEC is nicely placed to contribute to the journey of India as a country."
Pradeep appreciates the strong client-focused approach that NEC has as he stated "I have developed some wonderful relationships and these relationships are built on mutual trust and respect." Co-creating new products and services as opposed to purely selling solutions is also an important aspect of NEC's culture for Pradeep and he further explained "our customers know that we are not working with them only for income, but rather the outcome of the project. We strive to work as partners with our customers to maximize mutual benefits through our products and services." This is a very important aspect of the company, especially regarding smart cities, as every local city and government has specific and unique needs which often requires a high degree of customization.
Pradeep has also enjoyed working at NEC on a personal level, and while he enjoys many aspects of working at the company, he feels one of the best aspects of his position is the company's global culture. Pradeep noted "being a truly global organization, NEC has provided me ample opportunities to travel across globe, meet people, and understand their culture and even their foods. And I'm surprised to see people across the world have similar aspirations and needs."
Outside of his busy schedule, Pradeep recognizes the importance of work-life balance as a key ingredient of career success. He stated "For a successful professional career work-life balance is necessary, constant support from my family had has really helped me to focus on my work." He also believes that NEC`s internal culture has helped him innovate and focus on projects which carry a great personal significance for him as he mentioned "I like to study new technological breakthroughs as for example currently we are working on new intelligent traffic management solutions. I wish to implement these projects in India. I am vehemently looking forward to contributing to the business goals that lies ahead for NEC India."
NEC is a highly global organization as it has over 110,000 employees in over 50 countries across 6 continents. He considers NEC's global culture also fosters innovation and inspiration as his colleagues around the world "have delivered some wonderful and great projects, utilizing cutting-edge technologies and innovative ideas in their respective countries to make their cities safe, secure and sustainable. I wish and plan to create similar projects in India with their support." And in fact, many of the pioneering smart city projects which were started by NEC in these markets have indeed been replicated in India under Pradeep's leadership.
His first visit to NEC's global headquarters in Japan is a particularly fond memory for him, and continues to be a source of inspiration as he mentioned "one of the most memorable events for me was my first visit to Tokyo. I had heard enough stories of Japan in my life, but still I was amazed to see the great infrastructure and the technologies that are being used in the city. Someday soon, we will make our cities in India similar to Tokyo in terms of connectivity, security, and infrastructure."
Finally, Pradeep has set high goals for himself at NEC as one day he dreams of "being awarded by the President of India for his contribution to society and to have dinner with Dr. Nobuhiro Endo, Chairman of the Board of NEC, at the 47th floor of NEC tower in Tokyo."