Lenovo aims to empower the ‘pocket-to-cloud architecture’ to fulfil IT transformational needs, says Shailendra Katyal

Lenovo aims to empower the ‘pocket-to-cloud architecture’ to fulfil IT transformational needs, says Shailendra Katyal
  • Shailendra Katyal, MD, Lenovo India, talks about post-COVID trends in digital adoption and how front-end edge devices are driving a big shift in technology consumption patterns in India Inc.
  • Despite challenges, we're at the beginning of a great era of really using the transformative power of technology driving digitization in the country that will benefit across the length and breadth of our population.
Lenovo, one of the largest personal technology companies in the world, is all set to capitalise on the growing opportunities that digitization brings in the post-covid world. With its growing retail presence of more than 10,000+ stores in India, the brand works closely with consumers in leading sectors such as education, healthcare, retail and BFSI (banking, financial services and insurance).

Business Insider India caught up with Lenovo India’s Managing Director Shailendra Katyal to talk about the growing digital adoption trends and the opportunities in the ‘PC+era’.

How has the Covid-induced remote working and distant learning contributed to India’s digital adoption? How are Lenovo and its technologies contributing to this growth?

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One of the most vivid examples of how technology has really helped us to be resilient in the last couple of years is in education. We have seen how it acted as a lifeline for students and educators–just basic connectivity and a reliable device were the fundamental elements that allowed learning to continue even during all the lockdowns and the requirements of the pandemic.

Remote working also contributed to the nation’s digital adoption as companies and employees were compelled to adjust to the virtual way. This flexibility has encouraged companies to continue with a hybrid model. Many companies are offering ‘work from anywhere’ options to their employees or a hybrid arrangement. This has indeed been a great driver to accelerate technology adoption during the pandemic.


Lenovo’s collaboration with grassroot organisations like Meghshala Trust and Agastya International Foundation focuses on promoting e-learning and mobile education for a large number of students. These partnerships engage Lenovo’s technology expertise in supporting quality education for students, capacity building and training of teachers. Another example is our partnership with Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, to provide a tailored solution that constitutes ready-to-use devices, convertible notebooks, and periodic health checks for devices.

What are the opportunities that Lenovo sees in the whole ‘edge’ devices revolution?

There are front-end edge devices that collect the data–it could be a phone, a PC or an edge. Data from these edge devices are collected, brought to the cloud and analysed further by running machine learning models that translate that data into information that is then used to drive the transformation. At Lenovo, our endeavour is to provide the services and solutions that make this ‘pocket-to-cloud architecture’ possible.

We realise that modern times are not restricted to gadgets, but it depends on how companies are tying together the entire range of services and solutions with these devices. Our goal is to offer ‘everything-as-a-service’– from devices in your pocket to the cloud, via one contract. The ‘pocket-to-cloud architecture’ implies that Lenovo is not just a hardware vendor of smartphones, computers, workstations, servers or storage, but has also expanded to provide end-to-end solutions and services which fulfil the IT transformational needs of customers–starting from asset management, planning and deployment to managing the customers’ IT infrastructure migration to hybrid cloud, enterprise security management and managed services.

We believe that edge computing and high-performance computing have significant value in enriching the lives of the citizens and the society. A recent example is our collaboration with CSIR Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CSIR-IGIB), to expedite cancer research by digging deeper into the genetic roots of disease using the country’s largest Genomics Optimisation and Scalability Tool (GOAST) architecture installation.

How are factors like environmental sustainability impacting customers’ buying decisions and choices?

We see technology being used as a force for (the) good. Customers are now becoming more environmentally conscious and are inching towards a sustainable way of life by opting for more eco-friendly products with lower carbon footprint. The role of the IT provider will continue to transform as we build in services and solutions that help customers offset the environmental impact of their technology and support them in reaching their own sustainability goals. Companies are now moving closer to close the loop on product lifecycle, by using more sustainable materials. The rise in sustainable materials is also minimising the need for chemicals in the manufacturing process and helping bring manufacturers closer to carbon neutral.

Lenovo, for example, has set a series of ambitious sustainability targets and outlined its vision to become net-zero by 2050. Since 2005, Lenovo’s R&D (research and development) teams have been working with suppliers to include post-consumer content (PCC) in the manufacturing of new Lenovo products. Today, Lenovo uses closed-loop post-consumer recycled content in 200+ products.

Talk to us about the challenges that the technology community must address to digitally transform India in its true sense.

In our country, one of the biggest challenges is the diversity in our population and the ability to reach remote locations. We believe that technology plays an important role in its ability to deliver benefits to this diverse population. Technology solutions such as speech to text and auto-captioning can actually help overcome some of the challenges related to diverse languages and dialects in the country. This can create new opportunities for employment for this workforce. In early 2020, Lenovo launched the Product Diversity Office (PDO) at a worldwide level to ensure more inclusivity and diversity. Lenovo Voice was the first product to complete the PDO process and entered the global market as a “diversity approved” solution in 2020, and it started coming as a pre-loaded feature in Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold devices. Lenovo Voice offers real-time translation assistance, subtitle assistance, voice input and voice assistant capabilities, making the PC more intelligent, convenient and efficient.

Despite several other challenges, we're at the beginning of a great era of really using the transformative power of technology driving digitization in the country that will benefit across the length and breadth of our population. For this we will need a lot of innovation and it needs to come from us, from India. Who better than us to innovate and deliver solutions that will address the needs of the country?


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