Dubbed as a ‘futurepreneur’, Global Business Leader Dr. Modi whose company Spice Global (now Modi Holding) pioneered the smart phone revolution in India and other parts of Asia was interviewed by celebrated Singaporean journalist Karen Lam from Channel News Asia. In 2013, Global Business Leader Dr. Modi became an overseas citizen of India after adopting Singapore as his new home. This was in sharp contrast to the legacy of his father, Shri Rai Bahadur Gujarmal Modi who was a staunch nationalist. With the move to Singapore, Dr. Modi became a global citizen and established the Spice Global (now Modi Holding) group in Asia. He followed this with a series of strategic acquisitions all over the ASEAN region including in countries such as Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.
In his interview with Channel News Asia, Global Business Leader Dr. Modi talks about the importance of technology as an equalizer in human society. He expressed his disappointment with the global technological divide wherein most technological developments happen in countries such as the USA, South Korea, Japan and China. Impassioned by a vision to breach this divide, Dr. Modi sought to bring affordable technology in the hands of the youth. Talking about his mission, Dr. Modi says, “When I travel, I see different things happening around the world. I see the demand in different parts of the world and I connect what I see in one part of the world which I find will be useful in other parts of the world.”
According to Dr. Modi, today’s youth is key to changing the world. Heaping praise on new age companies like Android, Facebook (now Meta) and Twitter among others, Global Business Leader Dr. Modi emphasises their critical role in connecting the world by offering their services to users for free without discriminating on the basis of country, religion or race.
He differentiated the relative ease with which business can be done today as opposed to in the past. In particular, Dr. Modi talked about an instance wherein to procure a fixed fixed line telephone system in India in the 1990’s, the waiting period used to be over 2 months or more. This inefficiency inspired Dr. Modi to enter into personal mobility, in 1993, Global Business Leader Dr. Modi launched Modi Telstra which became the first company to launch cellular services in India. Talking about the venture, Dr. Modi reminisced, “We thought of bringing in technology at the right time. And today 75% of India is connected with mobile phone”.
During the interview, Global Business Leader Dr. Modi also shares an anecdote on how he was able to convince Xerox to enter a highly regulated and protected Indian market. The collaboration between Dr. Modi and Xerox led to the formation of the joint venture ‘Modi Xerox’ that not only revolutionised India’s office automation industry but also became the professional alma mater for some of the brightest business minds in India.
In 2015, Global Business leader Dr. Modi was conferred the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award by Teo Ming Kian, Chairman of Mediacorp for his iconic achievements and his contribution to the growth of the Asian economy. Dr. Modi is the first Indian to receive this recognition from this leading Asian TV News channel.