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Innovative mindset can deliver great products

Sabeer Bhatia
Saturday, April 30, 2005
Sabeer Bhatia
India is ready to take the next step in the software value chain–developing world-class consumer and enterprise products. A dose of professionalism, a stomach for greater risk, an eye for quality, an understanding of international markets and a culture of innovation is all it needs.

In recent decades, India has amazingly developed the outsourcing industry by acquiring and developing the necessary IT skills needed by global multinationals. The first wave of “outsourcing” some of the IT services of U.S corporations to TCS, Wipro and Infosys was followed by corporations establishing their own IT-services divisions in India. Companies such as Intel, IBM, Texas Instruments and Accenture are included in the latter. The marketing of India Inc. has been so phenomenal that any multinational today looking to outsource any aspect of IT first thinks of India despite its poor infrastructure and a labor market increasingly reminiscent of the dot-com days.

In spite of success in outsourcing, not a single Indian company has been able to translate this resident technical know-how into world-class products either in the consumer space or in the enterprise market. There are multiple reasons for this:

  • Indian companies are averse to risk and any new product development inherently is accompanied by a strong element of risk.

  • A culture of innovation or an entrepreneurial spirit in these organizations does not exist because these companies are geared towards “per hour” labor arbitrage business and do not have a product development strategy for new markets in their genetic makeup or in their business processes.

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