Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Can TCS/Wipro/Infosys Make It?

The other day we had a heated brain-storming with a few of my Indian friends here and Indian friends working in India. As my Dad always would say, four years down the line when I graduate with a PhD, and start my hunt to gulp a US Green Card, the situation in India too would be worth considering as an aspiring and inspiring research test-bed. So would my friends in India always say that India has changed a lot. No doubt India has changed a lot, but what kind of a change is it? Changes are always welcome, but are these changes going to be temporally consistent? How will they contribute to a persistent progress in the technology sector?
The Indian software companies are doing good! But check this link of the fortune 100 companies: none of the Indian companies (not to talk of the software sector) appear there! Well yeah still these companies are doing good and at least improving the job sector; but a careful insight will only reveal that all of them are working in the service sector. Basically they are the hunting ground for the companies of US for outsourcing projects! Cheap labor and quick work!
Agreed services are earning revenue inside the country. But this is bound to be short-lived. Being in the research sector and having worked at the much famous and coveted company AT&T Bell Labs-spun-off (Avaya Labs), I know how much attempts are being made here to automate services besides outsouring. And once these are realized, there will not be any need for even outsourcing!
Services, BPO and outsourcing cannot be the areas which a huge nation can thrive upon when we talk about technology. It is a bare truth that none of the good cars, microchips, popular software products are hardly indegenously made in India. So the question arises, what needs to be done?
The answer is a sound research base in India: an indegenous endeavor to risk ahead and start never-done-before projects. Yeah, now the issue is this needs money and involves a lot of risks. But consider the case of companies here like Google. Every other month they are releasing all novel stuff in beta versions (Gmail/Orkut/Google Desktop/Google Earth/Google Imagelabeler). They are risking around, investing money, looking ahead and thereby earning. Earning for themselves, earning for US!
We need to have a vigor like that in the Indian software companies. Mere servicing Microsoft or importing car engines from Toyota will not work long. We need to develop the culture, the culture to take newer strides by ourselves, the attempt to create a scenario where 'WE' can outsource our stuff! Somewhat a look out like hers, my internship supervisor at Avaya Labs.


dead man walkin said...

I dnt agree with far as outsourcing story goes..the process has matured over the years so much that every other day we here have MNCs..fighting it out for lands....if the story is not real then likes of IBM is fool to inevst 6b$ b honest u wnt believe the amount of inestemst being made here...abt value ended RnD..I agree that we are still laging in it...but now...all the comapnies have started making endevours to move up the value chain..u have RnD centers, Strategic tie ups,Consulting come up every other day...n today when i commentin ur country clocked a GDP growth of 8.9% in this b honest m a big proponent of India shining....n the coming days becons for fortune..we are stillnot in the list but with 30-40% q n q growth...before 2010...we wll have lots of comapnies reaching 10b$..n entering the elite list...n as for any stats regarding the amount of inevestments being made in India..i can give it to u i guess...our time has really come...

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