From Kyoto to Varanasi: How Japanese giant Hitachi is bringing its smart cities expertise to India

From Kyoto to Varanasi: How Japanese giant Hitachi is bringing its smart cities expertise to India

Last August, when PM Narendra Modi visited the ancient Buddhist temples in the former capital city of Japan, Kyoto, he had his vision of Varanasi in mind. He made it clear that Kyoto is a world class city of the kind he wants to replicate in Varanasi. "We want to build similar heritage cities in India too and that's why I came here to learn and understand all about this city," he said in Kyoto. And as expected, within hours Modi's arrival, a partnership accord was signed between Varanasi and Kyoto.

Varanasi is among some 15 holy cities that have been chosen for a major facelift. Others on the list include Amritsar, Ajmer, Gaya, Mathura and Kanchipuram. The $93 billion Japanese giant Hitachi has done some key smart city projects in Kyoto as well as across Japan. Now, Hitachi's fully owned subsidiary, Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) is looking at smart city opportunities in India. HDS is eyeing the smart cities space in India in a big way through its "social innovation" solutions.

"Our social innovation solutions are primarily aimed at digital India and the execution of 100 smart cities project. We are addressing the government with these solutions. India can learn in a big way from the other countries we have worked with," Vivekanand Venugopal, VP and GM, Hitachi Data Systems told ET. Some large government projects like and NPL are already using our infrastructure, he added.

Hitachi Data Systems has gradually introduced its social innovation solutions for India. These solutions span verticals like automotives, power, railway systems, water management, and consumer durables. The newest vertical to be added to social innovation solutions list is healthcare, which HDS introduced recently in APAC region. It comes as no surprise that all these social innovation solutions by HDS are cloud based.

HDS is aiming to target the Smart Cities and Digital India initiatives with these solutions, and Venugopal says their experience in implementing smart city solutions across the world will come in handy for the Indian market.

Source: Economic Times

Smart Grid Bulletin February 2019

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