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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.

Nasscom Conclave: Advice, Knowledge, and Guy who Thinks Different

Ojas Sharma
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Ojas Sharma
“Pay zero rupees for tools, pay zero rupees for marketing, and pay zero rupees for people,” says Guy Kawasaki, Managing Director of Garage Technology Ventures. What would you think of this suggestion? You might have various doubts and think it is impossible to do so. But the times are changing and so are business strategies and marketing platforms. The age of Twitter and Facebook is here and Kawasaki suggests that companies make full use of these tools.

Kawasaki was speaking at the Nasscom Product Conclave and Expo 2009 held in Bangalore. In his 40 minutes presentation, the Silicon Valley venture capitalist inspired around 1,000 attendees to think differently as well as to spend differently. He said that companies shouldn’t pay for tools, as a lot of tools are available on open source. Marketing can be done for free if Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace are used effectively. Why pay for people? Kawasaki says that companies should make full use of interns who are ready to work for free just to gain some experience. People working for free might not be available in India, but interns can be very useful and can be hired at a minimal salary.

Product companies should only build products, which they want to use. The product should be something unique and should be able to jump the curve. He also suggests companies to ship the product without spending too much time on testing. Use customer’s feedback to fix the problem through patches. “The days of writing perfect software without bugs are long gone. It does not take a perfect software to sell,” he added. Indeed many will raise their eyebrows at this suggestion.

Som Mittal, President of Nasscom, said even though there is an economic slowdown, the IT sector in India has progressed dynamically. “Ten years back the whole industry was two million dollars. We are now 50 billion dollars just in exports. We can write our own success. People are ready to fund now, and new opportunity and dynamics are appearing,” he said. He advises companies not to wait for recession to get over. Economies don’t necessarily have to recover to see growth. Companies have to play a crucial role to make the Indian IT industry better. “The role we should look for ourselves is not to just meeting the demand but to be a catalyst of change,” said Mittal. He also strongly suggested that the next three four years are going to be very crucial and the growth will come from uncharted territory.

The telecom industry in India has been in the limelight for all the right reasons. Recently, 27 new mobile handset vendors have entered the already competitive Indian mobile market. Due to the recent additions, India now has a total of 12 mobile operators. 3G auction is already attracting overseas companies, which are eyeing the subscriber base of 400 million mobile customers in India. On top of that, much of the rural market in India still remains untapped. The session on product strategies in telecom sector in the Nassom summit discussed the strategies and innovative products, which new and upcoming companies in this space can develop.

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