Tech Mahindra University Awards

Tech Mahindra is a leading provider of solutions and services in the Information, Communications & Technology (ICT) industry. It is a $2.9 billion Indian multinational company with 87,300+ professionals and serves over 605 global customers, including Fortune 500 companies. It helps clients realize their business needs through proven global delivery models, distinctive IT skills and decades of domain expertise. Tech Mahindra has been in existence for 25 years and has a strong presence in 49 countries.

Yesterday, Alok GargVice President and Business Head of Consulting and Transformation at Tech Mahindra, drove two hours to make it to UC Berkeley to speak at Professor Solomon Darwin‘s UGBA193i – Business Models and Open Innovation in Emerging Economies lecture.

Tech Mahindra Ideation Challenge
Tech Mahindra Ideation Challenge

In addition to working for Tech Mahindra, Garg has also served as the General Manager and Senior Drector of Services in the Asia Pacific, Japan, & China for the Virtual Computing Environment Company, a services and solutions business leader in converged infrastructure and cloud computing; he founded and was the CEO of IndiePay, a mobile commerce startup offering multi-channel enabled payment solutions and services across consumer and business customers focused on mobile micro payments for monetizing content services and driving financial inclusion and e-commece growth across developing economies; and was the General Manager for Solutions and Services in the United Kingdom and India at British Telecom Global Services, responsible for repeatable ICT solutions business and global rollout across different regions.

He passed on his rich experience in technology services and innovation to students during his time with them by providing customized reactions and criticisms to the six student teams’ project findings so far. He tweeted his sentiments about the students immediately after meeting them: “Amazing to hear from young entrepreneurs @ Haas School of Business UC Berkeley talking about their vision to solve world’s grand challenges.”

UGBA193i students with Alok Garg, Prof. Solomon Darwin, and Maria Solomon, PhD.
UGBA193i students with Alok Garg, Prof. Solomon Darwin, and Maria Solomon, PhD.

Although Garg met with students to help brainstorm ideas for their challenge prompts, he also visited to share greater opportunities for engaging with experts and industry leaders in the business and technology space, and winning monetary innovation awards on the Tech Mahindra sponsored FUTURESCAPES™ Customer Connect Forum to be held in San Francisco on May 4-6, 2014, where Football Legend, Joe Montana will be serving as the Monday Night Gala Special Guest Speaker.

The theme for the conference is Human Computation: The Next Frontier. It will focus on exploring the power of Human Computation in an attempted to solve computational problems beyond the scope of existing Artificial Intelligence.

Human Computation outsources certain steps of the computational process to humans,this is a combination of Computer Science; Sociology and Anthropology – interactions between technology and human systems; Ergonomics – safety, comfort of computer systems; Psychology – the cognitive processes of humans and behavior of users; and Linguistics – development of human and machine languages. Furthermore, Human Computation also often encompasses collaborative intelligence; crowd sourcing; social computing; artificial intelligence; robotics; and other opportunistic and example-centric programs.


A huge part of the forum is the Tech Mahindra University Awards Ideature Challenge,  where student teams can participate by submitting any idea related to the theme, based on current or past research on human computation across industry verticals. Teams will be give 30 days to submit their idea, and 3-6 teams will be shortlisted for the competition. Each team will be given 30 minutes to present their idea to a panel of judges consisting of Joe Montana; Sebastian Thrun, CEO of Udacity and a professor at Stanford University; John Magee, CMO of GE Software; Aaron Levie, CEO of Box; Bask Iyer, CIO of Juniper Networks; and Vivek Wadwha, VP of Innovation & Research at Singularity University, who students were able to network with and collect insightful feedback from earlier in the semester. Three student teams with the best presentations will win $25,000, $15,000, and $10,000, respectively.

Garg felt that the UGBA193i’s current progress and efforts in consulting for multinational corporations to provide innovative solutions to the biggest problems faced by emerging markets and the world already give them an edge when they decide to pursue and transform their proposals even more at the Tech Mahindra Ideature Challenge during the FUTURESCAPES™ Customer Connect Forum.

Denice Sy
Class of 2014

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