TECH TALK: Random Musings

This week, there is something different. I am putting together microcontent (!) on different topics, which I have been thinking about in recent times. Maybe, some of these will become subjects of future Tech Talk columns. So now, here goes

Software Products

Recently, there have been a few articles in the Indian media talking about how software product development from India can be the next big wave. The focus here is on US-based companies with venture capital funding who are setting up a significant portion of their development teams in India. While this is not the same thing as Indian companies making software products and taking them global it is a start.

There are a few Indian product companies for sure. The most well-known is i-flex, with its banking products. A couple of other companies garnering attention are Subex, in the area of telecom fraud detection software, Pramati, with its Java application server, Infosys with Finacle, and Ramco, with its e-business software. Among companies which are primarily targeting the domestic market, we have, among others, Tally (accounting software) and ESS with its ebizframe ERP suite.

Indian software companies have an opportunity to tap the growing domestic market with appropriate software solutions, and then take these to other similar markets globally. The bigger among the IT majors in India should look at acquiring international software companies. Moving up the value chain does not just mean consulting or BPO. They need to look at how they can get multipliers from software products.

More importantly, Indian companies need to start defining how the world of IT is going to look in the future. I have yet to see an Indian CEO talk about the vision for technology in the world of tomorrow. That is the leadership position we need to start achieving. We need to look no further than Scott McNealys pointers on how Sun wants to commoditise software, and the revolution it wants to bring. While it succeeds or not is another matter. But at least, there is deep thinking on the architecture for the future. For starters, it would be good to see some of our IT CEOs have weblogs.

Our IT industry can learn from the Indian pharma industry. Look at how they are now making the shift to product (molecule and drugs) development with a focus on the international market. It is not easy thinking products, spending money and risk when one is making dollars per employee hour, but the time has come for the Indian IT companies to transition from being service providers to vision definers and intellectual property creators.

Tomorrow: Random Musings (continued)

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.