The mythical Dollar

In my past few weeks here in Pune (India), I have been fortunate to interact with several technologists, entrepreneurs and businessmen. From their world I have heard the following untruths (or not?) over and over again:

#1: The developed world’s market is where the real profit lies for IT and Software products. Producing innovative software, IT or technology for India is not going to get you anywhere as quickly as software exports will.

#2: India’s strength lies in being a service-oriented nation.

#3: Indians are not mentally built for entrepreneurship (or for starting small). They have the galla (or shop cash-counter) attitude. In other words, they expect quick returns in business.

#4: Employment in the IT services sector is the best opportunity for new graduates.

#5: An entrepreneur simply needs to copy an existing business model from a developed world and get it to work in India.

#6: The Indian government should continue to encourage companies in software exports and IT services for developed nations through incentives like tax-holidays.

#7: India’s core competency is in the area of IT. This is the IT centered spin on #2. Is our core competency really in IT or in the area of IT-related services or somewhere else altogether?

I think our current belief system no longer reflects reality. What do you think?

Update: Here is one perspective on 1, 2, 4, 6 and 7. “Exports, University-Industry linkages, and innovation challenges in Bangalore, India” – World Bank report, Anthony P. D’Costa (1st April, 06). To summarise the report, encouraging IT services is directly contributing to an artificial shortage of highly skilled technologists, an increasing inability to move up the value chain (in terms of the global IT market), extensive competition amongst low-end technology service providers and finally, weakening of relationships between Universities and Industry.

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5 Comments on “The mythical Dollar”

  1. Hren says:

    From what I know, India should stick to IT- that is its core competence

  2. JV says:

    Its not clear, that if you heard these from Indian technologists, entrepreneurs and businessmen?

    #4 – Infact Indians are oldest entrepreneurs. They know how to earn wealth and distribute.

    Those businessmen seems to talking from IT view of point only.

  3. Khushi says:

    I guess someone needs to remind them that the earliest known world civilizations were from primitive INDIA. If we could have done back then….without any technology at hand……..why can’t we now….when we have mastered it.
    I think, they need to start thinking out of the box……..They need to shunt out the paradigm of pulling down the one out of hundred persons who tries to sour high emphatically based on self-built foundations.
    India was never a service provider. She has always been the golden bird that attracted the world for its 3 Ws — Will, Wealth and Wisdom.
    We (indians) can ……if we think we can…….just turn a deaf ear to the people who doubt your potential……..be they be your closest of kin.

  4. #1: Partially true. You may not have a lot of takers for an expensive software product, but the common people are tech savvy and a good internet or a mobile service has a lot of opportunities in India. As far as how quickly you can get there, I think it will be incorrect to compare two different business models – product v/s service. It has nothing go to with India, that applies all over.

    #3: Disagree.

    #4: Partially true.

    #5: If adopting that approach is working then why not. Atleast that is taking the industry as a whole a step forward.

    #7: Atleast the facts say that India is doing very good in services, something similar to what China is for manufacturing.

  5. Ishdeep says:

    Entrepreneaurship is what one person believes in, it’s fundamentally believeing in an idea when others may not necessarily. I don’t believe India could be stereo-typed into IT services even though that may be the most common thing at present.