Reaching Out to Masses, Visually: Amit Chowdry

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AMIT CHOWDRY, PeopleLink Chief Executive Officer

As the twin concepts of distance learning and telemedicine take shape in India, PeopleLink gears up to bridge the gap between services and citizens through video conferencing. PeopleLink Chief Executive Officer Amit Chowdry, in an interview with Sudheer Goutham & Akanki Sharma of Elets News Network (ENN), dwells at length on how they are customising their solutions to fulfil specific needs of various sectors

What is the extent of PeopleLinks’s footprints, both in India and beyond?

PeopleLink has been in the industry for the last eight years, both in India as well as globally. Currently, we are looking forward to partnering with the Government of India on a larger scale and making sure that we are partnering with them for a perfect ‘Digital India’ launch.

What is the company’s vision with regard to the ‘Digital India programme?

The Digital India programme is a very huge programme, which is going to take five to 10 years for full implementation. Two major areas that the Government is focussing on are — making sure that education reaches the remotest villages and getting the best teachers for the students there; and to get the best doctors to the remotest villages. Moreover, we have aligned our company’s goals with the government’s vision. For instance, we were purely a video conferencing services company until a couple of years back, but in the last 18 months, we have transformed ourselves: we now offer the right platform for convergence of both, healthcare and education services. Video conferencing is the technology that can take both initiatives to the target audience.

There are two paradigms in the Digital India initiative: finding connectivity to the remotest village and reaching there fast. So, the only way of making it fast is using a technology, which can actually work in the current scenario. We will ensure that even at low bandwidth, we provide the best audio-video quality, so that both doctors and teachers sitting at distances can offer their services to the people in villages. We have been offering this service for quite a few years now.

With connectivity and speed in focus, we are launching our latest healthcare initiative — People care. It is going to be our complete endto- end customised healthcare platform, which will focus on having a complete doctor-patient interaction. Anyone can come onto this platform and look at the doctor available, schedule an appointment, pay online and start availing the service right away.

District offices interact with Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Kerala Chief Minister Oomen Chandy through PeopleLink’s video conferencing facility at an event to mark Idukki becoming the first district to get hi-speed broadband under NOFN early last year.

District offices interact with Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Kerala Chief Minister Oomen Chandy through PeopleLink’s video conferencing facility at an event to mark Idukki becoming the first district to get hi-speed broadband under NOFN early last year.

Which all places or states in India have your initiatives been already launched?

We have a lot of healthcare implementations. Within Andhra Pradesh itself, we have Call- Health, one of the leading companies in the healthcare domain. There are lots of health workers spread across diferent villages of Andhra Pradesh and they have developed these health kits, which they use and they are getting enabled using our platform only, because our platform was tested against all the video conferencing platforms. It was found that it uses very low bandwidth of 40 to 60 kbps, while they would do a remote consultation using android and windows tabs and do live consultations with some doctors sitting here. Apart from that, in many of the hospitals like Apollo, we have implemented our video conferencing services for different purposes.

And what about smart classes?

We have lots of implementation in education. For instance, one of the implementations that we are doing right now is for IIT-Gandhinagar, where we are deploying the complete customised e-learning platform that comprises all the advanced tools for e-learning. We have lots of implementations in places like National Police Academy in Hyderabad itself. It is using our e-learning platform for conducting live classes at various police academies across the country. Also, there are so many private institutes and government agencies, which are using our solutions for live interaction. Earlier, video conferencing was the only way of communicating for education. But now, we have added a few more features to make it more collaborative.

Are your services also linked with any other programme of the government, especially like the one addressing maternity mortality rate?

We are closely following the government policies and adding more features to our solutions, in line with the government focus of reaching out to the masses and getting them the benefits. So, we are quite open and have been talking to the government for different verticals. For instance, we are building a customised business system for the Government of Jharkhand. And, once we start getting feedback from various government departments, we would know what extra features are needed for specific needs. Thus, customisation is one of the biggest aspects that we are going to work on. We are also trying to understand what the government wants.

smart-classBoth Central and state government are focussing on smart cities, and every state will have a certain number of smart cities. What role can PeopleLink play in this regard?

There are two concepts that we are trying to bridge through technical solutions, which will basically help in making smart cities run smoothly. One is the security aspect, so that smart cities have high-end security cameras; as and when they need a seamless video conferencing platform for an inter-city communication, it is there to connect them. Secondly, in every smart city, there is going to be a command centre. The command centre concept is basically about having everything controlled from one ‘smart room’. We are building a unique touch panel system, which will control complete lighting and other activities in smart cities, including certain applications in individual homes, at the push of a button on mobile phones. The same mobile app controller can be used for logging into the video conferencing as well. So, we are trying to give a complete, converged solution to help the proposed smart cities gain maturity.

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