Sunday, May 18, 2008

When Business Thinking is married to Technical Ideas.

Business Thinking is married to Technical Ideas.
The Indian IT industry is currently witnessing a silent, but very compelling transformation, wherein technology is being viewed as a means to attain business ends, and not an end in itself.

If as developer a product to is he needs being is to developed be clear it in , whom the his mind for why developing , and how it would help the end customer. More than anything else, the focus needs to be on the usability of technology. This calls for a change in terms of the quality of IT manpower. The industry now requires quality brains that can make possible quality deliverance of high-end technical assignments on time and in line with customer requirements. So the pie is gigantic, but grabbing it would remain a dream until the manpower arms itself with adequate skills.


Indian IT is now being associated with the entire business process, right from developing to the final delivery of a product. For instance, SAP Labs considers Bangalore one of its most important development hubs, since around 10 percent of its patents come from India. Believes Shailesh Shah, Director & Senior VP, Corporate Strategy Group, Satyam Computer Services, “There is greater focus on IT consulting, project management, engineering design and product development leading to substantial revenue streams.”


So more than just cost effectiveness or technological knowledge, the traits that will set the Indian talent pool apart from other contenders is the ability to understand how the technology they are working on enables business and to think from an entrepreneurial point of view. This means that one needs to be a business technologist to rise in this industry. As Arvind Mishra, Executive VP & Global Head, Talent & Change, Polaris Software Lab Ltd., says, "As the IT industry matures and tries to provide high margin, complex solutions, there is a shift from being purely technical to becoming techno-functional. The software professional today is required to gather domain knowledge. Unlike in the past, when one was called a Java or ‘C’ specialist, the focus today is on whether a person is into banking or healthcare or manufacturing.”

Innovation would be required both in IT services and product development and R&D. Indian IT is already a known name in the ITES space. And in the product development and the R&D space, India has become a hub where the top 10 product companies in the world have set up development centres.

Srinivas Raghavan, VP-MD, Bally Technologies feels quality is becoming the core of Indian services, specially in the area of solution implementation. He says, “The Indian engineer is very good and getting better at implementing solutions on-site wherever the location might be in the world. In future, the number of Indians working at customer locations around the world and implementing solutions for them will only increase.” He feels, nevertheless, that the country should continue to retain its cost advantages.


According to industry estimates, out of a requirement of 2.3 million people, India will fall short by 50,000 relevant IT professionals by 2010. What is to be noted here, is that the fall is not in terms of numbers but in terms of relevance. Only 25 percent of the total technical graduates and 10-15 percent of general graduates are industry-relevant. Added to this, there is no proper grooming of talents at the school/university level.

So what is the way out? Many feel grooming should start at the primary level since logical thinking starts at the primary school level. The need is to address primary education and not build a poor-quality manpower base at the primary level. The industry feels that Indian engineering students, even after four years of studies, are not readily deployable. What’s needed is a close collaboration between the industry, Government and academia to build up a proficient pool that can sustain the growth.

Article Resource:
The article appeared in The Economic Times, Mumbai in one of their successful columns on Entrepreneurship/Start-ups called "Starship Enterprise".

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