There’s no better way to start this column than to wish all you readers a very happy new year — as we all overcome the after effects of excessive indulgence to end the old year and have probably made some good resolutions — that may well be broken before the day is out, it may be good idea to develop three resolutions for the knowledge sector which may force us to think about the challenges deeply enough to ensure they are not broken in a hurry.
The topmost resolution for all of us proud participants in the industry is to ensure that our numero uno position as the offshore outsourcing destination of choice for global corporations is not threatened by any new or old challenger and we are able to widen the gap during the year.
This will necessitate a concerted focus on product, process and business model innovation on the part of all industry participants, continuation of enabling policies like the Software Technology Parks by the Government to ensure that industry success is truly inclusive and does not leave the SMEs behind and careful watch on the enabling policies and infrastructure of key competitors to stay ahead in the race for global attention.
The second resolution has to be to build an inclusive eco-system to enable the benefits of the IT and BPO revolution to be more widespread — across Tier II and Tier III cities, embracing a larger segment of the two hundred thousand plus engineers and two million plus graduates who are looking for jobs every year.
This will need innovative new breakthroughs in workforce development with the active participation of worthy professors, like Prof Jhunjhunwala of IIT Madras, Prof Phatak of IIT Bombay and Prof Jalote of IIT Delhi in broad basing the capabilities of the non IIT category of graduates in our vast country. The many initiatives that are in nascent stage today will have to be converted into full fledged movements that embrace all participants and deliver results.
The third resolution is a new imperative for the entire industry, which has hitherto focused on dollar revenues, with the result that the possibilities of enabling transformation of Indian corporations into world beaters through evolutionary and revolutionary deployment of IT has taken a back seat.
As the historic outsourcing deal between Bharti and IBM has already established , Indian corporations with global aspirations have demonstrated the will and the ability to take bold steps in their quest for global competitiveness and the industry’s bag of tricks — tools, methodologies and frameworks needs to be opened up and applied in every possible domestic context to enable many Indian sectors beyond the traditional suspects of pharma and auto component manufacturing to attain global leadership.
Its great to be an Indian and in India at this point of time. May 2007 see the next steps taken towards a tryst with a global destiny that beckons us!
The writer is Chairman, NASSCOM Innovation Forum for 2005-07. He is also Deputy Chairman & MD of Zensar Technologies Ltd.