'India more than capable of achieving 100 Smart City goal'
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Singapore: India is more than capable of achieving its 100 Smart City goal but needs a "collaborative" and focussed approach to complete the ambitious plan, a top executive of a leading global Financial services company has said.
"With its ambitious plan, it is more crucial than ever for India to stay realistic and focused. (For) Smart city planning and development, India needs a collaborative approach of shared technology, expertise, learning and governance. That is what India needs to keep focused on to meet their 100 Smart City goal," said Hany Fam, executive vice president, Enterprise Partnerships, Mastercard.
He noted that India was working towards leveraging the smart city experience and technology available across the globe to drive the transformation it needs.
Fam, however, cautioned that it was also important not to overlook the current problems plaguing society while they ambitiously work on developing India's future.
"In order to unlock cities' full potential, they (India) need to remain focused on simultaneously developing basic services and infrastructure," Fam said.
India needs to keep its smart city vision in mind while it addresses issues such as sanitation and transport, in order to achieve its 100 Smart City goal.
"It needs time, patience and work, but with a solid plan, governance and focus, India is more than capable of achieving it," he stressed.
The major concern for India is tackling the implications of urbanisation, with people moving from countryside to cities in unprecedented numbers, Fam said.
"This is a trend that has global impact and is not specific to developing economies. So now, more than ever, there is a need to come up with technology that can be applied to the challenges cities face in order to make cities smarter, enabling business growth and quality of life," he advised.
A collaborative approach is needed with regards to shared technology, expertise and learning in order to recognise the potential in future cities and deliver truly impactful transformation, Fam said.
"The Indian government has ambitious plans and recently announced 20 priority cities that will be the focus for the first phase of its smart city investment," he said.
"By taking into account the experiences citizens have with the city they live in, and applying technology to transform these interactions, we (Mastercard) can help to develop cities that are dynamic, liveable and sustainable," he said.
Mastercard is already working with 50 cities from all over the globe. In September last year, the company launched the Urbanomics Mobility Project, a new data analysis platform to fuel smarter, more inclusive cities.