The Preparedness of an IT Nation

DQI Bureau
New Update

Visiting China is always an incredible experience and my six hour visit to

Shenzhen, in January, was no different. The invitation from the Mayor's office

had been quite innocuous—to participate in the ceremony for launching the

second phase of the Shenzhen Software Park—but the experience could qualify

for the tag line. In China, expect the unexpected!


The drama started with the first sight of the new facility that the

government put up—over a dozen immaculate buildings with a wonderful

quadrangle in the center, and an underground cafeteria that would ensure, as

Mayor Liu joked, "that the software community would never go hungry".

At the inauguration, where over two dozen software company CEOs received the

keys to their development centers, and the Mayor announced plans for setting up

a government sponsored Center of Excellence, in project management, for all the

company employees, the announcement that the second phase of the project would

see a doubling of capacity and the development of multi storey software

mansions, took us all by surprise. All this and a fully equipped biotech park—all

ready by mid 2006.



Chinese provinces like Beijing and Shanghai are leaving no stone unturned to provide world class development facilities

By itself, this little ceremony could have been matched a few times over, in

India, by the flamboyant acts of Naidu and Krishna and, of course, Amma in the

Southern states, but what is worthy of note here is that most Chinese provinces-Beijing

and Shanghai, have already taken the lead, with Shenzhen hot on their heels.

They have decided to leave no stone unturned to provide world class development

facilities, and the determination and execution capability, that has already put

this country in pole position in electronics manufacturing, in their attempt to

put China on the map of software outsourcing, cannot be underestimated. Where

companies like Zensar and half a dozen others will benefit is the availability

of a talent pool in at least the four cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and

Dalian, that can enable auxiliary centres to be set up to service the Asian

markets, initially, and eventually the world.


It was amusing to find that when PTI carried the story of Zensar's

willingness to provide project experience to the programmers of Shenzhen by

partnering with the government in its COE programme, a few nay sayers in India

immediately starting sounding the alarm bells, saying Indian software companies

should not "help the competition". In this era of global partnerships,

where the outsourcing market is booming and specialized skills across

geographies and talent pools are essential, such myopic objections to global

partnerships can be the real enemy, not a bunch of Chinese, Russian or Filipino

firms attempting to learn the tricks of the trade from our experience.

The January round of quarterly results have shown us that the outsourcing

boom is back with a bang and, while the larger companies continue to set a

scorching pace of growth, many of us in the next tier of the software industry

have shown that we have what it takes to retain the Fortune 500 clients through

better customer focus, and attract new clients through various shades of

innovation. The development of the Indian market, thanks to speedy globalization

of other industry sectors, also bodes well for the fortunes of the smaller

companies in the country; and the more astute of them will surely use their

domestic clients as stepping stones, to leaving their own footprints in the

sands of global software development.

The author is deputy chairman and managing director of Zensar Technologies

and chairman of Nasscom's SME Forum for Western India Ganesh