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.

September - 2007 - issue > Cover Feature

The evolution of software industry in India, an executive perspective

Shantanu Narayen
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Shantanu Narayen
In the ten years that Adobe has operated in India, we have witnessed a profound evolution in the software industry there - an evolution that is mirrored in the growth of our own India operations. From the earliest beginnings of piece-meal research and development projects to product management to business ownership, the scope of our India operations has grown and matured over time.

Phase one - testing and maintenance
Back in the late 90s, many U.S.-based businesses were being lured to India by the promise of access to low-cost, well-educated talent. At that time, Adobe, like many other software companies, viewed the move into India, in simple terms, as a great opportunity to grow the engineering ranks while taking advantage of the country’s immense talent pool and the relatively low cost of doing business.

The decision by one of Adobe’s highly valued engineers, Naresh Gupta, to return to India came at an opportune time for Adobe. When the company decided to leverage his return to open our India operations, Naresh and I were fully aware of the challenges. Our business plan deliberately spurned aggressive hiring and the often unrealistic expectations that go with it. We focused on conservative but calculated goals to methodically hire some of India’s top talent and then quickly achieve success.

With the required talent in place, we quickly set the team to work on supporting our broad product strategies by performing component product development and code-testing and maintenance support. Product teams throughout the company quickly grew to rely on their Indian counterparts to help drive and deliver at ambitious product development cycles in an increasingly competitive environment. Significant progress came in early 1998, when the team successfully solved a particularly challenging engineering problem that was required for the premier version of Adobe InDesign. This represented a significant win internally - building the local team’s confidence and positively impacting their reputation throughout the company.

Phase two - product development

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