Google’s Rajan Anandan explains how the ‘future is now’

On Monday (June 22) evening, MillenniumIT hosted an extremely interesting speaker, Sri Lankan-born Rajan Anandan, vice president and managing director of Google, South East Asia & India.


Anandan, addressing an enthralled audience at the MillenniumIT campus at Malabe, themed his hour-long speech, ‘future is now’ detailing it with interesting examples of some of the most successful startups in the past couple of years.


“Reaching from zero to one billion users takes half as long,” he said. “Because new technology is creating a future that is allowing big trends reach unimaginable heights within half the time.”


For example, he says landlines took 110 years to go from zero users to one billion users, televisions took 44 years to go from zero to one billion users, phones took 22 years, the Internet took 14 years and smartphones took just eight years to reach from zero to one billion users! “If you notice, the time taken to reach from zero to one billion is taking half the time.” Anandan predicts that by 2016, fitbits, a wireless enabled wearable device, will reach from zero to one billion users by the end of 2016.


He adds that consumers, live in a ‘N’ screen world where multiple devices are seamlessly connected anywhere, and anytime. “Look at today’s children who are connected from their desktops, to their mobiles, tablets, wearables and televisions to the car they travel in.”


But of the seven billion people living on this planet, only three billion are ‘connected’ all the time. “The issue is how are we planning on connecting the other four billion? This is what tech companies must focus on,” he says.


To make a point, Anandan shows us a video on, ‘loon for all’, the balloon-powered Internet for everyone.

But what happens when all seven billion people are connected? “There will be a disrupt of traditional industries,” he says. As it is half of the three billion with online access are connected all the time. Imagine… this is the audience that new technology should be tapping into.


Anandan, then goes onto cite some examples of industries that have been disrupted because of new technology.



Pronounced SHAO-mee, this is the fastest growing company in the history of the world to grow from zero to $20 billion in five years. It took less than three years after its founding to make the company valued at $4 billion. In 2014, Xiaomi’s revenue increased to $12 billion with approximately 5,000 employees.



This service that lets passengers in need of a ride hail a driver with a smartphone app was founded in 2009, and has gone from operating just in San Francisco to being in hundreds of cities in 57 countries. It has become the second-highest valued venture-backed company in the world with a valuation of $41.2 billion.



This is the world’s largest automated investment service with over $2.4 billion in client assets and competes with traditional financial advisory biggies. This achievement for a company, which one year ago was managing approximately $500 million in client assets, is impressive, and it makes Wealthfront the first in its space to rake in that much cash.



Founded in 2013, the valuation for this online messaging app for teams has soared to $2.8 billion in less than two years, and has doubled in the past six months alone — all without any big marketing campaigns. The startup’s adoption curve and rave reviews are something many founders and investors dream about, but few actually achieve.


Google’s self driving cars

These vehicles are designed to navigate safely through city streets with sensors that are designed to detect objects as far as two football fields away in all directions, including pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles—or even fluttering plastic shopping bags and rogue birds. The software processes all the information to help the car safely navigate the road without getting tired or distracted.

In conclusion, Anandan says that he sees no end to this planet because of the power of the human spirit combined with the power of software!


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