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Intuitive choice

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DQI Bureau
New Update

One realizes that India's time in the software product space has come when

companies like Intuit-which owns three of the largest software brands in the

US: QuickBooks, Quicken, and TurboTax-makes a base in Bangalore.

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It has done up 22,000 sq ft in Sarjapur to set up a development center, the

company's 14th, but a center that in its full capacity would match all the

previous 13 in the US and Canada.

"We felt that the best way to develop products was to go to cities that

have pockets of talent," says Ranga B Shetty, director, Product

Development. He is looking to hire 300 people in three years, to enable the

center own all product initiatives that are taken on here.

The emphasis is on customer-facing products. "A lot of work that has

happened in India was on infrastructure products-products that are not

actually touched by millions of end users but just by a system administrator.

So, we will be looking at a whole new and different set of technologies for

developing these products," says Shetty.

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He and his team have already delivered an important piece of the QuickBooks

family of products, which is now starting to ship.

Intuitive needed to expand product development capabilities and Bangalore

came up as the obvious choice. Shetty refuses to believe it was because of cost

arbitrage. "If cost was an issue, we would have set this up as an

outsourcing model where initiatives would be taken on by other centers as

outsourced pieces of work, and you just do project management. But we have

decided to conceptualize and own the product here. So, it's just because of

the talent pool availability," he says.

So, what kind of people is he looking to hire? Men with the three elements

that make a good product engineer: customer empathy, core software development

skills, and a mindset about good product development practices. Intuit is

looking at quality assurance methodologies as a subset of the overall product

development process, so it is looking at building quality into the product.

Goutam Das in

Bangalore

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