The information technology, electronics and communication department of the Andhra Pradesh government, under its new chief minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, has appointed three IT advisors to the government on Tuesday: Srinath Devireddy and J VidyaSagar Reddy as IT Advisors (technical) apart from K Raja Shekhar Reddy as the advisor, IT (policy and investment).
Speaking to Business Today, Devireddy, while pointing out that it is too early to talk about the exact contours of his new role, says CM Reddy is keen on leveraging IT for good, transparent, efficient and effective governance. That apart, he wishes to make Andhra as the preferred destination for IT investments. Devireddy, in his mid-50s, is an entrepreneur, angel investor and someone who has incubated start-ups both in US and India. Now, he spends almost equal time between India and the US. "The chief minister definitely wants to take governance to people. It is evident from his focus on programmes such as 'grama secretariat' and 'grama volunteers'. The idea is to appoint nearly four lakh people over the next few months and take governance to people with service level targets and get IT to measure and monitor how the service is being delivered."
The fact that IT runs across different government departments makes my role all the more crucial, says Devireddy. He is quick to add that the CM is passionate about latest technologies. "I have often found him wanting to know more about the impact and role that technologies such as artificial intelligence, precision medicine and genetic testing can play."
Devireddy, having worked in the US for close to 18 years, says he will look at ideas on spurring entrepreneurial activity and energising a start-up movement along with providing insights on how to build and expand the ecosystem. He has incubated about eight companies - between US and India - over the past eight years across businesses from digital marketing to digital health, looking at both human and veterinary care. Besides, he also runs an IT services company - Adroitent Ventures, which is primarily into healthcare and product engineering. It has operations in New Jersey and Hyderabad. Adroitent was founded 14 years ago and has 400 people today.
Personally, Devireddy is keen to look at new areas such as senior citizen healthcare.
He clearly sees the big challenge for Andhra as it lacks a tier-one city like Hyderabad with a huge pool of skilled resources. Therefore, he intends to focus on building an IT landscape in Andhra by getting more people to set up ventures here. "We need to build a start-up ecosystem and take an innovative approach to be able to attract those investments."
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