The need for IT industry to devise products and solutions keeping in mind the large chunk of population that is not conversant with English was stressed by speakers at the silver jubilee celebrations of the Hyderabad Software Enterprises Association (HYSEA) on Wednesday. “Please think of the 800 million people who do not read or write English,” former CEO of TCS F.C. Kohli, who is known as the Father of Indian Software Industry, told the large gathering of IT industry after being felicitated by HYSEA for his contributions to the industry. “To take the country forward, we need to take everybody along,” the 93-year-old industry veteran said, pointing out how governments of the day in India during the 1970s did not see any need for computers. He said this while pointing to the prowess of China in the sphere of hardware development. The governments of Indira Gandhi, Morarji Desai, Charan Singh and even that of Rajiv Gandhi found no use of computers, he said, adding the situation changed with the government of P.V. Narasimha Rao. Concurring with Mr. Kohli on the need for more products and solutions in vernacular languages, Telangana’s IT Minister K.T. Rama Rao said this could not be more important than the present times when there is growing emphasis on moving towards a digital economy. Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things are poised to shape the next wave of growth, he said, adding data security, data analytics and data centre would spring new jobs. Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, the IT Minister said, is committed to the growth of the IT sector in Telangana. IT Secretary Jayesh Ranjan said information technology had really changed the face of Hyderabad. In 2016, with still a month to go in the year, Hyderabad saw consumption of 6 million sq ft of IT space, the highest so far in the city. Past and present leaders of HYSEA, including B.V.R. Mohan Reddy and Ranga Pothula spoke.