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Why Chizen loves India

Adobe Systems CEO Bruce Chizen talks to Prerna K Mishra about his reasons for being aggressive on India.

india Updated: Mar 07, 2006 14:12 IST

Adobe Systems CEO Bruce Chizen is pledging another $200 million to the Indian operations, but not without reason. He loves the ride from the airport to the Noida office for the new India that it showcases. "The new exit ways, the Metro, the impressive growth in infrastructure is all so visible now. Here, at the India office, I get the same feel as if I were back at my San Jose office." But that is not the only reason for being aggressive on India, he told Prerna K Mishra in an interview. Excerpts:

Does India excite you more as a development base or as a market?

I would say the way things are now, India holds a lot of promise as a development base, thanks to its excellent skill pool.

We plan to pump in $200 million into expanding Indian facilities and staff over a period of next five years to be at the cutting edge of technology and innovation. We have 650 employees as of now and expect to take that number to 900 by the year-end.

But when it comes to a market, we expect the revenues to be more sizeable in the near future, especially as mobile solutions become more pervasive. We are also doing India-specific things for the consumer, like rolling out the Hindi interface for our software wherein the end-user can interact with the Reader and also add annotations in Hindi.

Do you expect the impact of piracy on business to tone down in the future?

We are banking on India's economic growth and more MNCs setting up shop here. This will push enterprise sales, which are less suspect to piracy.

Also, we are focussing on the fast growing mobile market where we sell directly to the OEM and vendors, again reducing the susceptibility to piracy.

How is the mobile space in India shaping up for Adobe?

We are in talks with service providers like Tatas and Reliance so that they can take advantage of high-end applications that can be enabled through the network. Handset manufacturers like Nokia, Sony Ericsson, BenQ, LG, Samsung, etc, have already announced that they intend to provide Flash and Acrobat in their products. This will allow subscribers to have seamless access to information from various syndication.

Your larger vision is to provide interface for any devise with a screen. But Microsoft has announced parallel initiatives under Presentation Foundation Everywhere. Does that worry you?

I would be fooling myself if I say that I don't wake up some nights thinking about Microsoft with its size and resources getting after what we are best at doing. But the fact of the matter is that we have enough lead.

We have been in this game for 20 years and this is not the first time that Microsoft has tried to imitate us. They tried it with PostScript, or the new document format space in the 90s, and many others. The attempt with Windows Vista is a 1.0 attempt, what they will end up delivering remains to be seen.

First Published: Mar 07, 2006 14:12 IST