CIO Insider

CIOInsider India Magazine


Ravinder Pal Singh (Ravi): Leader Who Visualizes Future Of Digital Continents, Builds Robots, Designs Satellites And Flies Aircrafts

Ravinder Pal Singh,Chief Information & Innovation Officer

Ravinder Pal Singh

Chief Information & Innovation Officer

Ravinder Pal Singh (Ravi) is a Harvard alumnus, Award Winning Technologist, Rescue Pilot, Angel Investor and Global speaker with over 100+ global recognition and 17 Patents. His body of work, mostly 1st in the world is making a difference within acute constraints of culture and cash via commodity technology. He has been acknowledged as world's top 25 CIO, top 10 Robotics Designer in 2019 and No.1 AI Leader in Asia. Being a global speaker, Ravi has been visiting countries across the globe sharing his wisdom. He has delivered over 100+ lectures and papers in Asia, Europe, USA and Africa. Ravi is advisor to a board of 9 enterprises where incubation and differentiation is a core necessity and challenge. Also, he sits on the advisory council of 3 global research firms where he contributes in predicting practical future automation use cases and respective technologies. Ravi is the one to possess significant insights on how a business can achieve corporate success through a Culture powered by Purpose and Driven by Science and Technology Innovation. Ravi is a difficult person to catch, but once you meet him he opens up and openly talks about technology and business. We got talking to Ravi, where he shared his experience, expertise and sheer genius of how he has flown Vistara to soaring heights of success.

In conversation with Ravinder Pal Singh, Chief Information & Innovation Officer, Vistara (Tata Singapore Airlines Limited)

Tell us a little bit about yourself or background?
I am a skilled human who envisions, designs and creates machines and platforms to simplify life of other humans so that they can love and pray. Only enthralling thing about me is that I can fly too. In nut a shell, I am an inventor, investor and rescue pilot who happens to be a Harvard alumnus.

What would you say is the key attribute that makes somebody successful?
Success or Failure is overrated. Its bliss to be who you are - an integral element of nature. While we nourish ourselves by suckling the bosom of earth, one should also nourish it with all the gifts bestowed within.

You speak in front of large crowds all over the world. Is this your natural talent? If not - what makes you such a phenomenal speaker? Any public speaking advice?
Talk to yourself. Be the speaker and audience both at the same time. I started giving talks all over the world when my stories started making sense, so it was my calling, my way of giving back, my courage to stand naked in front of a large crowd and talk to them. Large or small crowds don't matter, if there is even one living persona willing to listen to my story, I will happily do it with the same passion and sincerity.

What advice would you give to somebody who doesn't have the support or the resources to achieve their dreams?
Everyone has resources, some have more and some very less. If one has less resources, then the hunger within him will be more than the one with abundant resources, that's a huge advantage. Key is to live, breathe and be the change on your own terms.

How do you see technology and its impact on future?
Machines will play a significant or even a dominant role in all industries, especially in the area of operations. Advances in pure sciences and mathematics will influence and equip future engineering, resulting in disruptions in all domains and reshaping of all industries.

Enterprise technologies will converge into commodity landscape and modern architectures will be dictated by human and machine factors. Values of emerging society and its redefined morality will be the core driver and motivator.

A universal language will appear for the global harmonious society comprising of humans, avatars, surrogates, robotics etc. Nano, neuro and quantum technologies will define zero intelligence and will be the dominant factor in defining next stage of nature and redefining shape of life, hence society.

This is my third eye vision on the evolving technology landscape for the next 25 years.

Tech entrepreneurs look up to you for your enthusiasm in instilling solid innovations in the field of AI and ML. What drives you?
I have shared and presented my opinions on world stages in front of thousands from world over- political leaders, entrepreneurs, tech gurus, professors, CEOs, influencers, newsmakers, and policymakers. I am humbled and it keeps me motivated. I’m just a simple engineer who has earned his fortune by writing codes and I love to fly and build robots. But most importantly, I like to share this knowledge and help build a better and tech enabled world. As of now, I’m still curious and surrounded by enough problems to solve with the help of technology. I am driven to invent compassioned driven digital concepts which will make the world a better place.

Has your management philosophy and leadership style changed over the span of your career?
I have always been associated with an organization or institution where incubation or change is core necessity

and challenge (its quality). This has enhanced my natural ability to apply art and science to solve today’s problems and build sustainable foundation for tomorrow. Hence, my professional persona is biased towards creation, influencing mysocial style, management philosophy and leadership virtues. The same is reflected in my playgrounds of the past - Microsoft was my return to define the future of technology, while Accenture was about defining and solving problems, and Wipro was about creating very large global systems. Lately, Airworks was about (intra) entrepreneurship education and a crash course on mindful capitalism. Vistara today teaches me discipline, humility and passion for service. It gives me a sense of purpose to be part of something remarkable, something extraordinary for the aviation industry and the nation as a whole. Tata and Singapore Airlines are institutions and cradles of true leadership. Change has been constant in my professional life. My management philosophy has evolved over the years and leadership style as per the situational practicality and environmental context of time and space. But if it has to be classified into conventional buckets, I would say that my management philosophy has been in the range of autocratic to democratic, but always leading and never controlling. There are nine commonly defined leadership styles. Mine oscillates and varies from transformational to servant - laissez-faire to democratic.

Machines will play a significant or even a dominant role in all industries, especially in the area of operations

You are an avid mountaineer and yoga buff. How have these activities impacted your leadership and management style?
Mountaineering gives me strength of character. It teaches me to be resilient, meek, obedient and understanding. Corporate leadership seems lucrative and aspirational to most professionals, but very few understand what it takes to get there - loneliness and selflessness at C-level; ability to resolve conflicts and to take bold decisions; sense of justice and nimbleness, both at the same time. Yoga provides that balance to me; it helps me breathe in tough situations, gives me spinal strength to act, and act fairly. It gives me that state of shoonya after a day’s hardwork – reignition of my mind every day.

Ravi addressing 'Aligning AI Strategy' Meet

How will modern economic policies operate in remarkably different political and social realities of future?
1. Tech will change the definition of morality
2 Human and civil rights will push countries towards digital direct democracy
3. Digital localization will influence globalization and thus create mammoth international platforms for trade and law
4. Foreign policy driven algorithms will dictate large platforms of trade

Every customer communication on the internet triggers opportunity

Potency of modern policies will be based on ingredients like digital data, international taxation, labor policies, education and competition to emerging realities of consumption through everything digital and industrialized production.

Unit cost of compute will continue to decrease hence combination of AI with everything else will seriously question human productivity versus machine. With a new language appearing between machine and humans, digital information especially related to consumption will become a potent factor which will become critical and a major Economic Asset.

What role do you see of leadership especially female leaders now and in future?
If women ran the world, there would be no wars." It's an old stereotype, but its factual that more gender diversity, particularly in corporate settings, can translate to increased productivity, greater innovation, better products, better decision-making, and higher employee retention and satisfaction.

Share of Women in Senior Roles globally is Increasing incrementally. In 2019, 29 percent of senior management roles are held by women, the highest number ever on record. 87 percent of global businesses have at least one woman in a senior management role in 2019. Still, there is a huge gap in C-level roles with only 16 percent held by women. It is projected it won’t be until 2039 for women to reach parity in true leadership roles if the current rate of progression remains constant. Share of women of color in management positions is worse. For example if I consider USA then approximate proportion is Latinas: 6.2 percent; Black women: 3.8 percent; and Asian women: 2.4 percent. In S&P 500 Companies, the Higher Up the Corporate Ladder, decline of Women presence is exponential.

When people call for more women in the workplace, it may sound as though they're just trying to meet a quota. Gender diversity, though, could be the key to any company's success. Diversifying a variety of top positions, specifically executive roles, is more than a movement to level the corporate

playing field - it's about using the best resources to maximize every organization's potential.

In Conversation with the Developer Team

How do you see role of data power in the dynamics of any Airline?
Airports and Airlines carelessly discard information about customers, gifting this powerful advantage in the hands of intermediaries and the GDSs. IT Divisions within aviation sector are considered as cost centers and not revenue generators. If airlines have to wrest back market power and to reshape their focus, this is the right time as cost of compute is getting cheaper while computing power to assimilate vast amounts of data into something meaningful, is commoditized and thus affordable. This should transform the way airports and airlines think and work, from operational analytics to leveraging data to generate better commercial returns. Aviation's collective data power can challenge Facebook, Amazon, Google – and the numbers of potential platform players.

A universal language will appear for the global harmonious society

You have been critical of CMOs and traditional form of marketing in the era of Internet? Explain your vision on the future of marketing.
Future of marketing and Customer acquisition - Every customer communication on the internet triggers opportunity. All such communication must be captured and analyzed. Simple Machine Learning (ML) code can establish correlation between behavior and cognitive possibilities. Mathematical vectorization and Artificial Intelligence can then discover intent to buy and target such profitable opportunities. This will differentiate a successful marketing with potency & objectiveness versus ambiguity, opaqueness & ordinariness surrounding this (marketing) domain today. Creative storytelling is only small part of the acquisition. AI and Mathematical vectorization of all 5 stages are

”Share of Women in Senior Roles globally is Increasing incrementally”

1) Listen/Store
2) Behavioral features detection
3) Customer segmentation
4) Analyzation of each and every customer intent
5) Discovering opportunities mostly through cognitive correlation will result in multi-fold increase in customer growth with tremendous decrease in unit cost per acquisition.

You coined the word – Digital Compassion? Why and How?
Digital Compassion - I don't know whether I coined this term or someone else - Doesn't matter and its not important. What is term Digital Compassion? The term Digital Compassion was born out of my disgust and little human left within me. I don’t know during which journey leg I got this awakening that nerd and geek can’t be excuse of cowardice. It was while reading one those similar newspaper, somehow a lump of disgust hit my throat, it was like having a stale hard bread when you are thirsty and hungry. Similar story of a young working female raped in moving vehicle while back from work … another young child molested in school. Around that time Aanya, Jai’s daughter - my niece was born and another emotion, that of fear gripped me. Maybe it was necessary to push me on the other side. Most have their own methods to vent out the venom inside, mine was thinking and designing a system to attain salvation.

”If airlines have to wrest back market power and to reshape their focus, this is the right time as cost of compute is getting cheaper while computing power to assimilate vast amounts of data into something meaningful, is commoditized”

Core principle of my thinking is that there are way more humans on this earth who have goodness in them and want to co-exist peacefully. Core design element is based on hope that even today there is empathy in human behavior that when a life of another being is in jeopardy, we as human race either individually, as community or institutionally, will help.

Hence, cheap but beautifully designed and efficient platforms should be created by using commodity technologies. No need to reinvent which is already invented but organically we can converge multiple platforms and architecture components to create unique solutions at affordable cost aligned to Gandhian principles - applicability to ground realities without forcibly changing the behaviors, but in a subtle way - cardinal virtues of Ahimsa

How do you adapt to the world and its daily changes socially and culturally speaking?
I am like water. I have no religion and no morality. So I am free and flexible, thus universally open. I get my euphoria, when I engineer my thought into actual creation or when I see Lord of death applauding my yog mudra or when I see my parents adoring me as if I have just taken birth. Change doesn't impacts me, I am the Change.

Do you see yourself as an influencer and why/why not?
Greed leads to influence and Ignorance is instrumental in getting influenced. Each and everyone is unique with a purpose. Trick is to look inwards and attain that realization so that fulfillment is achieved followed by moksha - beyond life and death.

Current Issue
Ravinder Pal Singh (Ravi): Leader Who Visualizes Future Of Digital Continents, Builds Robots, Designs Satellites And Flies Aircrafts