Few people have what it takes to completely change the landscape of a country’s growth. Sanjeev Shriya, Founder and MD, Smart Chip, has done tremendous work in the digital identity sector. From SIM cards, to driving licences to the Aadhar, Sanjeev has pioneered the smart card movement in the country.
He talks to us about identity, privacy, business and the mistakes startup entrepreneurs are making these days.
Sanjeev Shriya, Founder, Smart Chip
Sanjeev Shriya has spent the better part of 3 decades in defining the landscape and creating new pathways for Identity and Digital security in India, with biometric and smart card technologies at its core. He founded Smart Chip and Syscom, the two companies that spearheaded the adoption and proliferation of Smart Cards, Sim Cards and Biometric Identity solutions in India. Starting with the launch of India’s 1st SIM card for cellular telephony in 1995, Sanjeev has collaboratively participated with the Telco industry in the revolution that is cellular telephony in India. His very early and deep engagement with majors like Hutchison Max (later Vodafone), Airtel & in recent times with the latest entrant Jio, has helped India transform the global communications eco-system.
Under his leadership, his production facility in Noida for SIM cards & Smart Cards produces a little over 600 million cards every year; which is a shining example of “Make in India” for electronics hardware. Sanjeev has always believed in use of technology for big changes in status quo. His evangelisation of the eco-system and regulatory regime to permit the use of the Aadhaar database for easy Kyc for SIM subscribers, led to his developing the biometric identity / technological infrastructure that had Jio acquire 100 million telecom subscribers in just 120 days. More recently Sanjeev is deeply involved in helping in the definition of regulatory and technology standards and the eco-system for managing the explosive growth of IoT in India, to allow for a secure, safe & reliable network of connected objects. Sanjeev believes that the benefit of technology MUST reach the bottom of the pyramid. As he says “big changes must reach the grassroots; unless the roots are strong, the grass cannot remain green”. His thought leadership, vision and engagement has helped ideate, evangelise, create and foster a number of high impact national programs in India. His concept of “Biometric Equator” and the use of Biometric Identity
for e-governance and businesses is seen as the foundation for programmes such as Aadhaar (identity for 1 billion), Rashtriya Swastha Bima Yojana (Health insurance program for 150 million poor people) and Jan Dhan Yojana (300 million Bank accounts for the unbanked). With these programs – India can proudly acclaim to lead the global stage for Digital Identity, Financial Inclusion and Digital empowerment.