Waves come and go in India’s infotech roller-coaster

Pessimism comes naturally some Indian IT-watchers. In the mid-1990s, there were those who felt India was basically a repair shop for the Y2K bug that was feared to hit computers in the year 2000- but did not.

Then came the Internet and a dizzy boom. However, before long the Internet "dotcom" bubble burst over 2000 and 2001, and along with it the telecom industry betting on the arrival of broadband had a meltdown.  But along came business process outsourcing (BPO) .

BPO gave rise to KPO (knowledge process outsourcing), involving deeper research skills, and KPO gave way to business process management (BPM) that involves blending in management skills with simple back-office work.

Social media, analytics and cloud computing (SMAC) is a new buzz term, and this is a new framework altogether. Last month, industry association Nasscom identified "CMO" (chief marketing officer) as a

$37 billion (Rs 2.2 lakh crore) opportunity by 2020, and that would involve creative brand-building related work as well. CMO is a gauche term for what should be properly called digital marketing services.

But linguistic hair-splitting aside, it is another wave of opportunity for India.

 Waves come and go in the IT  and IT-enabled services industry and each wave provides new opportunities to learn, new skills to be acquired, and new business models to be perfected. As I have seen over the past two decades, Indian IT’s booms are as unpredictable as the bumps.


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