World Economic forum – Tech Pioneers Rule!



Unbelievably people with a great leader – Gordon Brown

This September the World Economic Forum did its usual Summer Davos – the Annual Meeting of New Champions – seems rather grand especially as the Chinese Government and the City of Tianjin do a great job and a grand one at that (more pics to follow). Not written an update to my own blog in ages but somebody told me that these distinct dribbles would be of interest to some of you.

The great Tech Pioneers Community

The unsung hero’s as such (sung in some cases) – this is a very special community within the forum that are always pushing the edge and questioning the status quo. They are innovators and movers & shakers – founders, social, world changing – you name it someone is on it.

This year I was the “Alum” – short for older guy (and given I’m 29 thats a stretch) – the previous community has included Google, Slingbox, Dropbox, Facebook & Corel — and nivio!

This year was a really fun bunch (thanks in part to  Kevin (lookout), David (soundcloud), David and David and Raghu) – but hats of to the organising team including Silvia and Tessema who put together the best program till date including a special fireside chat with PM Gordon Brown.

Interesting Topics

– The discovery of the Higgs Boson Particle (yes I was like an excited 5 year old) when they did the presentation on this – but at last – 50years on they discovered it.

– The future of IT – included quantum computing, Linus from Linux Foundation and Kris from Infosys and finally the minister of IT from columbia

– Our chat with the PM – mindblowing conversation

– Regulating Private Data – can’t talk too much as its secret but it was so refreshing to see how the forum brings together many stakeholders to drive an agenda.

– Partnerships and Culture – I sat in the culture group within companies and had a heart to heart – deep and meaningful with Kal Patel (ex Bestbuy), Doreen from Frog and some of my new startup friends from TruCar, Lookout and Soundcloud.

The night life

– We have to admit that this year – the community was a lot more social and together. We had guys who had moved from Boston to Pune and Mumbai who were now in china (infact one idea on refrigerating milk using batteries not diesel generators in India was fascinating)

– We all met with the Young Global Leaders at the Astor hotel almost everynight – talked work, politics and ideas – mindblowing and refreshing but also super tiring.

World Economic Forum Wrap up

It’s been a hectic 10 days – other than every city being hotter by 10 degrees than the other and the timezones being in a continuous state of flux – what struck me so much this time was the difference and diversity that really exists – in some sense reminding me of the oh-so-ept HSBC adverts where the same thing means something different…

But rather than bore you with my philosophical ranting here is a quick few lines on what the Annual Meeting of New Champions brought up…

1. Cloud Computing is firmly in fashion – I sat in a presentation in the “Beta” zone (catchy as to the world the Cloud is Work In Progress) where I could swear the slides shared by some of the panelists that included Clive Selley from BT were music to our ears (here I refer to nivio).

The forum I think has done a great job in brining this mainstream but feel that there could have been more oomph to it and I think more of the debate-able topics – so everyone with low and high involvement walked out learning something new.

My push to the Head of Sales for Akamai would be whether they would exist in the future if regional datacenters would be the way forward – especially given the internet is more than the USA!

2. A great talk by the Chinese Premier – probably one of the best I heard the snippets of (I missed the closing plenary to get onto a plane back home!). But I believe the optimism of growth, the advice to company’s entering China and the potential concerns for the double dip that “could” occur this year/2011 were probably some of the most vibrant views he talked about – I am not sure if anyone asked about the matter of hacking Google but then I think given we were in tianjin it may not have been a wise move

3. The nightcaps – this for all of you that are new to the forum is where everyone speaks off the record, ties get lose, jackets come off and in Davos it get’s even risque but thats more for another post. Imagine having a jamaican band singing Waka Waka in the middle of an Industrial City in China in a party hosted by one of India’s largest Tech/Process firms (GenPact) – Pramod Bhasin is the CEO and put on a real show!

4. The friends you meet and make – this is the real heart of attending the Forum – the likeminded people you meet again and the new and old friends you find. My buddies this year were a blast – the guys from Scribd – humbling to meet them and infact I think they have a great CTO (I made notes whilst talking to him – now if only we could find ourselves another Jared!

5. The meetings – why at the bottom because I think they are important but not the spirit of the Forum and what / why we are there… we met the heads of BT, Akamai, Wipro, Alcatel Lucent and others… by in all – it was clear that our year was going to be busy as long as ship product on time (which thanks to my dedicated and unbelievably resourceful team this may be our first on time ship!)

That’s about all…

More soon… I am trying to be regular!

Cloud – too many things to too many people

Having spent a good part of this year pitching to VCs I’ve realised that there is a general misunderstanding or worse still an overuse of the word cloud.

I believe the world sees cloud computing by in large from either an enterprise angle or from a pure web apps play – and that seems to be the be all end all of cloud computing – atleast in the eyes of a lot of the eurozone vcs.

Cloud computing is so much more than just some apps sitting and using storage on an EC3 or azure. Surely the real potential of the “grid”, the “cloud” or the “generators” is to
A) maximise the utilisation of under utilised resources – by that I mean your PC!
B) use the benefits of offloaded processing and subscription based applications to provide computing to the 5bn people that today don’t have access to it.
C) remove all the pain areas associated with running your own “generator” and instead have a steady, controlled service where you get what you want on demand!

I sincerely hope we see more “cloud” initiatives pushing computing to a new generation of users.

Incidentally this is why we created nivio!

Peter Day! My 30mins with him!

Peter Day – if you do not know – is a the unbelievably charismatic journalist at the BBC with whom I have done a few interviews –

The experience was exhilirating – they did 3 interviews including one at the World Economic Forum in Davos!

Sachin and Peter Day!


BBC Site –

World Economic Forum 2009 – Davos, Day -1

Before you ask – its “-1” because this is the day before the official summit start!

It’s been an exciting few months, ever since Nivio ( was selected as a technology pioneer for 2009 the build up of excitement to to Annual General Meeting in the beautiful Davos-Klosters has been difficult to contain.

Yesterday was our first day here and you notice from the arrivals lobby of Zurich airport how big this event actually is. When you actually get to Davos, the small town seems to have become one large (and expensive – more on this later) congress centre with just about every hotel serving to the needs of the summit.

What ultimately this event is about is the people that come here; and the way they interact – and our start right the way from Zurich Airport where we had a WEF Limobus take us up the 2 hr journey is a clear example of it. We met some really interesting guys; two that seemed very interesting were guys from the World Economic Forum Young Global Leaders Forum – Rodney Hood (Vice Chairman of the National Credit Union in the USA) and Carlton Hoskins (also from NCUA). Very interesting guys, exceptionally smart and as you can imagine – very well linked. The conversation both in the bus and later over some incredibly delicious fondue was riveting and mind blowing… they probably sum up the kind of guys at the summit this year – young, bright, global and with an “edge”.

Next, we met Vikram Akula (SKS Microfinance) in the most random of places, a ski-lift which was taking us up the mountain for a little bit of R&R before the tough week starts (we were going sledging highly recommended). Vikram, is truley an inspirational person, what he has done single-handedly in India through his micro-finance company has empowered millions of people – thats probably why he was voted Time Magazine “100 most influential people in the world” – what was unique, was his interest in our work and how we spoke to us with humility… post this experience we have really started to realise how powerful the WEF Summit is, and how us being here could ultimately shape our future… forever…

More to come…

nivio – in 60 words

I have often been asked to try and summarise nivio in 60 words; great way to tell you all about the service… so here goes…

“Nivio makes computing as simple & affordable as Cable TV. A secure virtual Windows Desktop running in the Cloud, accessible through internet connected devices & computers.

Nivio can be bundled with a device for the 5bn people without a computer, or used through internet cafés. It promotes freedom; liberating the users from current frustrations of data loss, obsolescence, viruses and accessibility.”

I would love to get your feedback (admittedly we are still bug fixing!) –

Vista vs XP – is XP really obsolete… i mean really really?

I was reading this

and about 30 mins earlier was speaking to someone in our engineering team (for what we are actually engineering check out – I really can’t understand why Vista happened the way it did – was it rushed? over ambitious? or just a wrong approach… now Microsoft is a great friend so I want to be careful and clarify that my obervations are purely “academic” 🙂

now this is a topic of great debate and many wiser and greater folk have written about this but i felt compelled after reading this and doing a quick scan of the guys in the office – it was unbelievable – 75% of the folks had installed XP on a vista machine as they either didnt quite get vista or had some compatibility issue with it with some application.

infact I know we had a lot of trouble developing nivioSync for vista (esp vista 64) because of all the UAC Control… on my IBM  thinkpad the new update includes some nice looking aero upgrades to their utilities but for some reason it now consumes 300% the system resources of the non aero kit…

whether people would goto the extreme of old kit to get windows I am not sure but what is clear is that if MS makes XP completely obsolete it will be opening up a can of worms that is beyond simple support issues – i know we are planning to skip providing vista to our users and jump straight to Win7 which hopefully will be more stable and more compatible.

that being said – vista does have some great features but its one where some of the annoying things just out weigh the great things…

linux, whilst a great OS, is still too far in my opinion from really making it to the consumer space and being critically accepted – we forget that there are only a few hundred million people who really get computers – probably less.. the rest of the world (that has a PC) or use shared access systems will probably get windows with far more ease – but more importantly think of windows as synonymous for a computer!