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Data is not just the new oil, but also the new soil: Mukesh Ambani

Excerpts from Mukesh Ambani’s speech at the leadership summit. He brings very interesting perspective on how digital is going to shape the future. Read on, if you are curious about the next wave of tech.


The Fourth Industrial Revolution is now upon us.

The foundation of this revolution is connectivity, computing, data and artificial intelligence.

Mukesh Ambani

It is marked by a fusion of technologies straddling the physical, digital and biological worlds.

Human civilization will collectively achieve more in the next 30 years than what it has achieved in the last 300 years.

The FIRST defining characteristic… is that the world will go from linear to exponential.

In a linear world, if you take 30 steps… one, two, three, four, and so on… you will travel 30 meters…

But in an exponential world… you can go one, two, four, eight… and with 30 steps you can travel a BILLION meters… more than 2.5 times the distance to the moon.

Exponential technologies and processes start slowly…. but very quickly, they bring about dramatic changes.

Just think about it…

Mobile telephony, the Internet, eCommerce, Social networks, Virtual Assistants, Self Driven cars…

These were Science Fiction just a few years ago. Today they are Facts of Science.
Early adopters of each of these shifts will have the opportunity to leap-frog the competition, and create unprecedented societal value.

Those who do not, will be out-competed. They will become irrelevant.

The SECOND defining characteristic… is that we will go from scarcity to abundance.

For most of our history, humanity has progressed by extending our mastery over nature, and by marshalling natural resources.

But, in the digital age…when you put the power of data connectivity, computing, software, information and intelligence together, the price/ performance of everything changes drastically.

Combined with the rapid strides we are making in renewable energy, life- sciences, robotics, 3D printing and machine-intelligence…what we are looking at is the future possibility of abundance in the true sense of the word…

Abundant energy… Abundant health…

Abundant knowledge… Abundant agricultural output… Abundant manufacturing capacity… Abundant renewable materials…
And unlike the past, this abundance will not be for just a privileged few – but for all.

I believe that we are at the doorsteps of creating ubiquitous availability and affordability in each of these areas, for every human being on earth.

The THIRD defining characteristic… is that we will see a migration from a goods and services economy to one powered by intelligent services.

Today, with state-of-the-art digital techniques, it is already possible to monitor billions of data points from smartphones and other connected devices in real- time, all the time.

This information is continuously analyzed by machines, and a service can be provided automatically… not just in response… but even IN ANTICIPATION of a customer’s needs.

There is no doubt that in the coming years, machine intelligence will augment and multiply biological intelligence manifold.

This means that truly predictive and targeted services… intelligent services… will be delivered 24 x 7 creating unparalleled user value, delight and loyalty.

I believe that intelligent services are the next frontier of competitive differentiation and market leadership across industries.

We are in the age of super-intelligence.

What manufacturing was for China, super-intelligence will be for India.

We have the opportunity to not only rapidly grow our own economy, but also to be the provider of intelligent services to the rest of the world.

In this hyper connected world, this will mean that a talented craftsman even in the remotest Indian village can participate in the global marketplace.


Data is not only the New Oil. Data can also be the New Soil.

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