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Rediff.com  » Business » Show what you have done for countries, Nadella urges MNCs

Show what you have done for countries, Nadella urges MNCs

May 11, 2017 16:28 IST

"In terms of local taxes, in terms of local small business productivity, local large business competitiveness, their educational outcomes, their entrepreneurial work, that's what matters," the Microsoft CEO said.

 

Microsoft's India-born chief Satya Nadella has said that multinational companies need to give back to local communities and generate businesses for them to ensure long-term growth at a time when politicians from major countries are harping on nationalism.

"Any company that just collects rent internationally will be in trouble," Nadella told financial analysts at the company's annual developers conference 'Microsoft Build 2017' in Seattle.

The 49-year-old Indian-American CEO underscored the need for multinational companies to give back to local communities and generate businesses locally. This, he said, is important for any company's long term growth.

"One just cannot set up shop and give nothing back, one has to 'create local opportunity'," he asserted during the three-day conference that kicked off on Wednesday.

This becomes more relevant at a time when politicians in major countries are stressing on nationalism and challenging the decades-old globalisation trend.

"Every head of state only cares about one thing: it is about their country first. In the US it is about America first, and in Britain it is about Britain first," he said, referring to US President Donald Trump's 'America First' policy.

Trump vowed to focus his foreign policy on American interests and American national security.

In April, he announced a new executive order to promote his America First agenda, ordering the federal government to implement his buy American, and hire American policies. Trump also called for a review of the H-1B visa programme, saying they should never be used to replace American workers and must be given to the most skilled and highest paid applicants.

Nadella said companies must be able to show in terms of what they have done for that country.

"In terms of local taxes, in terms of local small business productivity, local large business competitiveness, their educational outcomes, their entrepreneurial work, that's what matters," said the Microsoft CEO.

Earlier in the day, Nadella said the global tech community is witnessing a major shift.

"Even the micro services, workflows, advanced analytics that people are building in the cloud are all pointing to what I think is a fundamental change in the paradigm of the apps that we are building, a change in the world view that we have. We're moving from what is today's mobile-first, cloud-first world to a new world that is going to be made up of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge," he said.

Nadella said the user experience is getting distributed across devices.

"It's no longer just mobile first, in other words, it is not about one device, and app model for one device. The user experience itself is going to span all of your devices," he said.

"Whether it's precision medicine or precision agriculture, whether it's digital media or the industrial internet, the opportunity for us as developers to have broad, deep impact on all parts of society and all parts of the economy has never been greater," he said.

But with this enormous opportunity, comes enormous responsibility, he said.

Talking about Microsoft's plan to push artificial intelligence in a big way, Nadella said he believes that the move would drive the company's growth in the years to come and give it a distinct edge over other companies.

"IoT, big, big, big workload in the cloud. AI is everywhere. The ability to reason over large amounts of data, create intelligence, distribute it," Nadella said in his key note address.

IoT stands for internet of things and AI means artificial intelligence in common technological parlance.

Nadella said even the micro services, workflows, advanced analytics that people are building in the cloud are all pointing to what is a fundamental change in the paradigm of the apps being built, a change in the worldview that they have.

"We're moving from what is today's mobile-first, cloud-first world to a new world that is going to be made up of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge," he said.

Describing artificial intelligence as the "big change" happening in the tech industry, Nadella in his keynote address gave a demonstration of how AI is headed to become a key part of businesses and even day-to-day work and how it is likely to have a great impact on everyone's daily life.

"So, as you see, the experience as well as data and AI getting distributed, there needs to be a fundamental change in the inner and the outer loop of what we as developers do. Continuous integration, continuous deployment is going to change. And that's where things like micro services, containers are playing a massive role in the outer loop," he said.

But one of the things that is going to completely change about logic is serverless.

"In a world where things get more distributed, event driven, you want to be able to write logic that reacts to these events, is not static. That means you don't have a piece of logic just being bound and running on one virtual machine in one location, but it's something that can actually be mobile," he said.

Image: Satya Nadella. Photograph: Wikimedia Commons.

Lalit K Jha
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