Sebastien Hug, CEO of swissnex India and Consul General of Switzerland talks about the road ahead and how we would further strengthen the Indo-Swiss ties.
swissnex India has adopted a new strategy. What is its underlying vision?
Our vision for swissnex India builds on our passion for partnerships, people and new perspectives. As a partnership-driven organisation, we’d like to expand and innovate our collaborations, and aim to develop longer-term, more impactful partnerships. Impact is driven by people passionate about what they do. So, at swissnex India, we will continue to foster an organisational culture that nurtures creativity, entrepreneurial and outcome-focused thinking, paired with a little fun. Going beyond “connecting the dots”, we will want to position swissnex India as an organisation that brings new, in-depth perspectives through more analytical content.
According to this strategy, what are the key priority areas swissnex would like to focus on?
We’ve identified four broad areas on which we would like to focus on the next three years: HealthTech, Renewable Energy, Deeptech, and Science4Society. For instance, in HealthTech we’re preparing a DigitalHealth Week in April, leveraging Bangalore’s and Switzerland’s strengths in the healthcare and ICT sector. By DeepTech we’ll be mainly looking at blockchain, AI/ML and drones. With regards to Renewable Energy, we’re mandated by the Swiss Federal Office for Energy and have already brought over a dozen startups, academics and policymakers to India. Lastly, with Science4Society we reflect the current trend that universities will increasingly be measured not only by their ability to foster talent, produce cutting-edge research and technologies, but do so with a positive impact for society, by bringing innovative solutions to social or environment issues, for instance.
What role will swissnex India play in the context of Indo-Swiss relations?
Our core mission remains to make connections, facilitate exchanges and catalyse collaborations in education, research and innovation. However, in order to make this happen, part of our role is also to enhance mutual understanding, break myths, and coach and accompany our partners during their respective journeys of discovering a new culture and alternative ways of doing things, for instance, by helping a startup to rethink its business model for India. I also noticed that in Europe, there is a tendency to have a one-sided image of India that focuses on the challenges only, while we also would like to work on that perception by giving better insights into the fast-pacing changes and opportunities in particular with regards to science and technology. Thereby we contribute to strengthening the Indo-Swiss Friendships, as part of a strong and dynamic Swiss network in India, comprised of the Embassy in Delhi, the Consulate General Geneal in Mumbai, the Swiss Business Hub and Switzerland Tourism.