India’s IT and ITeS services with exponential growth are a unique export-led success story which has put India on the global map. While India has achieved a brand identity in this sector, other developing countries are trying to emulate India’s
example. Besides its impact on growth (both direct and indirect), it is also a provider of skilled employment both in India and abroad, generating direct employment for nearly 2.8 million persons and indirect employment of around 8.9 million in 2011-
12. The IT-ITeS industry has four major subcomponents: IT services, business process outsourcing (BPO), engineering services and R&D, and software products.
The IT and ITeS sector has started facing competition from any developing countries. While the EU has the highest share in computer and information services exports, followed by India and the USA, many new competitors like China, Israel and the Philippines have emerged in recent years. Between 2005 and 2011, the annual average growth of computer services was
69 per cent in the Philippines, 28 per cent in Sri Lanka, 59 per cent in Ukraine, 27 per cent in the Russian Federation, 37 per
cent in Argentina and 35 per cent in Costa Rica. Even if in some cases the export values are relatively low, the average annual
growth of computer services in these economies is well above the average of the top exporters.
According to Brookings Global Monitor:
Economic growth data (real GDP per capita and employment change) for the largest 300 metropolitan economies worldwide for three periods: 2011 to 2012
Delhi did not experience a recession. It is outperforming India on employment change, but is lagging on GDP per capita change. Rank #13
Mumbai did not experience a recession. It is a pocket of growth in India, outperforming the country on recent changes in both employment and GDP per capita while experiencing positive growth on both measures. Rank #31
Kolkata has fully recovered from a minor recession. It is a pocket of growth in India, outperforming the country on recent changes in both employment and GDP per capita while experiencing positive growth on both measures. Rank #24
Chennai has fully recovered from a minor recession. It is outperforming India on GDP per capita change, but is lagging on employment change. Rank #49
Hyderabad did not experience a recession. It is lagging India on both employment and GDP per capita change. Rank #115
Bangalore has fully recovered from a minor recession. It is outperforming India on GDP per capita change, but is lagging on employment change. Rank #139
Think of the R&D labs in India for Microsoft, Adobe, GE, or any other Western company. They are considered among the best within their parent companies – but only for solving pre-determined problems. The problems themselves are conceptualised and defined in the West.
When I spoke to Anand Chhatpar, CEO, BrainReactions, this is what he had to say. “The people in Bangalore used the same Dell Inspiron computers, the same broadband Internet connections, the same Microsoft Windows platform PCs, the same programming languages and databases used in Silicon Valley, but the people in the US were making multi-billion dollar Google, while the people in India were still testing office applications and doing grunt-work for American companies. Why? One of the investors, one of the scientists and a large number of employees in Google are Indians, the technology is the same, so why was Google not developed in India? In fact, almost 40 per cent of Silicon Valley start-ups have been formed by Indian entrepreneurs. Why then were the entrepreneurs in India still doing work on contract in the service sector and not innovating products for the world?” And he added that while globally, India was being heralded as a software powerhouse, he did not have a single programme on his computer that was made by an Indian company.
Fair enough. I used to ask myself the same questions. After spending most of the past two years in India, I see a lot of hope. Here is why:
- I visit several engineering and management institutes to give talks on Technology Trends, Entrepreneurship and I find a lot of students eager to start and looking for guidance.
- Indian government is doing a lot with Innovation Fund. They give grants and are hard at work in setting up Incubation Centers. One of my recent talks involved Incubation 2.0.
- Informal startup communities are gaining traction. These include Chennai Open Coffee Club with over 1500 participants and similar coffee clubs in Bangalore, Pune and other places.
- The silos of professional societies like TiE local chapters, Nasscome Emerge Community and the informal startup communities are slowly inter-connecting.
- We are still a long way from producing a Google or Microsoft. But the product culture seems to be improving – an encouraging sign.
- A band of us evangelize product innovation, point to social media as a lowering the entry barrier into global entrepreneurship and working to provide as much support as we can.
- Zoho is a beacon. I hope to see more companies following their lead.
First, a bit of a background. I had my first two startups in India (both in Chennai) and the next two in the USA. I spend roughly about half my time in Silicon Valley and the other half in Chennai. I attended several TiECON’s in Santa Clara but this was my first in India. I did not know what to expect. The one day, information packed event, was one of the most inspiring conferences I have been to. I can write long accounts of what happened, but I will leave it to better narrators than me.
Every one I talked to, echoed what I felt – it was one of the best learning experiences and one of the most inspiring events. It certainly was like drinking from a fire hose.
“The world is driven by knowledge”
said the Chief Minister, Dr.M.Karunanidhi. He urged all of us to:
Let common man be the focus of innovation.
Great work is inspired by a great cause. I can’t think of a better cause than this.
Reach out to the down trodden since they do not know how to seek help. Take that extra effort to bring them into the fold and teach them how to improve their lives.
The highly energetic and ever smiling Smt. M K Kanimozhi, Member of Parliment, Tamilnadu. talked about the efforts we need to make to help people who are surprised and may even be suspicious, when some one reaches out to them. She epitomizes the young leadership, we so much need – smart, articulate, completely at ease and very interactive.
The idea of awarding entrepreneurs was a brilliant one. It was a privilege to be in the same room with these people, who do not take no for an answer, who had a vision and a dream and worked hard to make it happen.
Images of the struggles and achievements, painted vividly by various keynote speakers were some of the most awe inspiring moments during the day.
A great blend of keynotes and panels, a very interactive audience, and an event that ran like a well oiled machine, should make the organizers and volunteers proud.
Under the leadership of Gopal Srinivasan and Mr.Ramaraj, two of the most dynamic figures in the industry, TiE organization and all the volunteers did an outstanding job. This event easily compares and even beats some of the TiECON annual events in California. It is, definitely, one of the best, and most memorable one for me.
With TiECON Chennai 2008, the TiE organization set a high bar for future events. I am glad I was there.
I was surprised to see this article in today’s New York Times.
Newspapers carry reports of Indian children memorizing multiplication tables far beyond nine times nine, the standard for young elementary students in Japan.
I do recall even about 40 years ago, we were encouraged to memorize multiplication tables up to 20 times 20 (though I never got beyond 12 by 12 and learned to mentally multiply to cope up with the rest).
Most annoying for many Japanese is that the aspects of Indian education they now praise are similar to those that once made Japan famous for its work ethic and discipline: learning more at an earlier age, an emphasis on memorization and cramming, and a focus on the basics, particularly in math and science.
It is strange that many Indians still think that the emphasis on memorization and cramming is not all that great.
India’s more demanding education standards are apparent at the Little Angels Kindergarten, and are its main selling point. Its 2-year-old pupils are taught to count to 20, 3-year-olds are introduced to computers, and 5-year-olds learn to multiply, solve math word problems and write one-page essays in English, tasks most Japanese schools do not teach until at least second grade.
In Tokyo, the two largest Indian schools, which teach kindergarten through junior high, mainly to Indian expatriates, received a sudden increase in inquiries from Japanese parents starting last year.
I do think that Indian children do a lot more earlier than American counterparts. I recall about 18 years ago when we moved to NY from Chennai, our kids having an easy time with English, Math and Science for the first couple of years.
It is a bit funny. I was enamored by the more practical approach of American schools vs the approach in Indian schools (my entire formal education took place in India). Now it looks as if Americans are trying to emulate Japanese style education and Japan is looking at the Indian style education model.