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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

Preparing for the Rise of Indian Product Powerhouses

Juby Thomas
Monday, December 6, 2010
Juby Thomas
The entrepreneurial scenario continues to grow rapidly. In 1996, the global software market was worth $95 billion. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), in 2000 it was estimated to be worth around $180 billion. This growth in itself has had a number of important implications both for the industry and more generally in terms of economic development. This rapid growth, however, has also created problems for the industry. The industry remains chronically short of skilled manpower. In Europe alone, it is estimated that the industry is short of about 500,000 skilled workers. Japan and the U.S. are also severely short of computer service personnel. This shortage continues to provide good opportunities for countries like India to take-up this slack and provide skilled people to fill the gap.

Even the R&D sector is becoming much more globalized and U.S. R&D in particular is being “externalized” – more and more of it taking place outside the wall of big companies within their own R&D labs. All these have provided a platform for countries like India to grow innovatively and increased the demand for leading innovation driven organizations in the country. Companies like Infosys, TCS, Wipro and others who made use of the opportunity have come a long way. There are also several organizations that are mushrooming in every corner of the country. Even though the entrepreneurs in the country have got several ideas majority of the ideas remain just as ideas due to the difficulties in their execution.

Since 1999, innovative leaders and entrepreneurs in India have dreamt of creating a software product powerhouse, moving away from the labor-for-hire services model to create own products that are winners on the global stage. Finally such a dream came true in 2008, when India headquartered Zoho, a provider of on-line business, productivity & collaboration applications, was shortlisted as one of the top 10 enterprise products of 2008. Zoho had only 10 people in America and yet they managed to achieve big enterprise accounts in head to head competition with Microsoft and Google without taking a dime of external money - having bootstrapped it from the start. Thus was the stepping stone and within 2 years of time India managed to bring a drastic change in its entrepreneurial scenario.

Talking about the crux at which innovation in Indian ecosystem stands today, Sanjay Nayak, CEO& Managing Director of Tejas Networks says, “The time has come to unleash the creative potential of our scientists and innovators at grassroot level. Only then we can make India truly self-reliant and a leader in sustainable technologies. India has huge opportunities ahead and electronics itself has got $400 billion by 2020. Even if it goes upto 2022 that doesn’t matter, what matters is the growth from $45 billion to $400 billion.”

During his visit to India, Bill Gates once said that India needs to move away from low-cost labor toward high-end research and development work. He saw that the future for the Indian IT sector lies in expanding its capability to handle high-end R&D work. And now we can see his vision come true.

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