Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning , Geo Focus: Asia , Geo-Specific

CIO Awards and Summit: AI and Innovation Go Hand in Hand

Inaugural Event Recognizes CIOs as Agents of Change for Digital Innovation
CIO Awards and Summit: AI and Innovation Go Hand in Hand
The winners and runners-up for the CIO Business Transformation Awards

Technology practitioners, business leaders and industry experts gathered for the inaugural CIO Business Transformation Awards and Summit this month in New Delhi, India. The Information Security Media Group event, hosted by, recognized the remarkable strides CIOs have made in business transformation.

See Also: 5 Myths of AI & Machine Learning Debunked

Under the theme "Business Transformation 2.0: CIO as a Catalyst of Change," the summit explored the evolving role of CIOs as drivers of innovation within their organizations. Thought leaders guided discussions on topics including the impact of AI on business growth and the need for reskilling to adopt frontier technologies.

"The modern CIO role has transcended traditional boundaries, evolving from technology facilitators to strategic drivers of business growth and innovation," said Geetha Nandikotkur, vice president and conference chair for Asia, Middle East and Africa at ISMG.

AI's Impact on Business Growth

Industry experts at the summit included Neena Pahuja, executive member, National Council for Vocational Education and Training; Sumit Bhatia, director of information technology, InsuranceDekho; Rajesh Kumar, technology head, enterprise and government, India and SAARC, Juniper Networks; Atul Govil, chief transformation officer and head of SAP and IT, corporate, India Glycols Ltd.; and Sunil Pandey, senior vice president and CIO, HFCL Ltd.

The speakers represent a diverse range of industries - banking, financial services, travel, manufacturing, healthcare and more - and shared real-world experiences about the impact of artificial intelligence on the business. Panelists stressed the importance of aligning AI innovation with the overall technology vision, and they highlighted the need for adaptable and resilient data strategies to navigate the evolving landscape of digital transformation.

"The recently concluded inaugural edition of's Business Transformation Awards and Summit was successful on multiple fronts. The event featured a highly focused summit on AI, followed by a facilitation program that highlighted some of India's most practical innovations, setting a new standard in the industry," said Rahul Neel Mani, vice president, community engagement and editorial, ISMG.

Technology as a Catalyst for Market Differentiation

The summit kicked off with a keynote address by Sougat Chatterjee, executive director and CEO of Abhay Health, on "Technology as a Catalyst to Establish Competitive Advantage and Market Differentiation: A CEO's Perspective." Chatterjee discussed the profound impact technology has on businesses - from a CEO's standpoint. Setting the stage for further discussions on the evolving role of CIOs, he emphasized the importance of effective CEO-CIO coordination and the CEO's strategic role in defining the future of technology adoption.

Chatterjee outlined the CEO's expectations of the CIO in navigating digital change, enhancing efficiency, ensuring stakeholder satisfaction, and ultimately improving the bottom line. Collaboration between the senior leadership roles, he said, requires more than "merely approving budgets." It demands collective forward-thinking vision and strategic guidance in deploying technology to meet business goals.

Demystifying AI for Business Growth

AI dominated most of the panel discussions and was the central theme in the fireside chat "Is AI Living Up to Its Hype? Decoding Myths and Realities for AI-Driven Growth."

Moderated by Arun Gupta, board member, Hemas Pharmaceuticals, the session delved into practical applications and use of AI within enterprises, stressing the importance of building an AI-ready culture. "Not every business requires chatbots. It's essential to identify genuine needs for generative AI, rather than adopting it merely because it's popular," said Nitendra Rajput, senior vice president and head, AI Garage Center, Mastercard.

The session dispelled common misconceptions about AI and provided valuable insights into how to spot areas in a business where AI can add significant value.

Another fireside chat, "Aligning AI Innovation With Technology Vision: Are the CIO and the Board on the Same Track?" moderated by Vijay Sethi, chairman, MentorKart and Crafsol Technologies, addressed the critical balancing act expected of CIOs to foster innovation without compromising the core business.

In the hyper-competitive landscape of today, boards are depicted as demanding agility and foresight from their CIOs. Amrita Gangotra, managing director, ITyukt Digital Solutions, and independent board director, Max Health, said that boards understand the imperative for digital transformation, but "they rightfully seek tangible returns on investments for digital initiatives."

Nikhil Doegar, senior vice president, Tata 1mg, said considering the unprecedented pace of technological advancements, "organizations must align AI initiatives with the overarching goals of the organization."

The key to striking the right balance, the panel agreed, is enabling cutting-edge technologies such as AI, automation and cloud-first strategies while considering risk, cost and operational stability.

Recognizing Excellence: CIO Awards

The summit's CIO Awards ceremony honored visionaries and trailblazers in the field of technology and business transformation.

Chief guest Vinay Thakur, managing director of the National Informatics Center Services Inc., Ministry of Electronics and IT, Government of India, kicked off the awards ceremony with a keynote address that focused on navigating transformative digital projects and advancement of e-governance across various domains.

ISMG presented awards in various industrywide categories, including Visionary CISO, Woman Leader in Security, Patented Projects, and Lifetime Achievement. The winners and runners-up were selected by a jury panel comprising Indian and international tech and business information security executives.

"The transparency in the winner selection process, supervised by a distinguished panel of jurors, provided us with a competitive advantage," Neel Mani said.'s Business Transformation Summit and Awards was about more than just recognition. "This one-day awards program and summit served as a vital platform for sharing invaluable real-world insights on propelling digitally enabled innovation across critical domains such as supply chain, manufacturing, customer experience and employee productivity," Nandikotkur said.

Join ISMG at the Cybersecurity Implications of AI Summit: North America West Summit on April 16. Discover cutting-edge strategies and insights from industry experts on leveraging artificial technology to safeguard your organization against evolving cyberthreats.

About the Author

Yamini Kalra

Yamini Kalra

Project Manager - Global Copy Desk, ISMG

Kalra has more than seven years of experience in content production, including news journalism, time-boxed editing of research articles and copy editing different kinds of content forms. Prior to ISMG, she worked as associate editor at Gartner, and sub-editor, news, at The Indian Express and Outlook India.

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