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.