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" BPO or BOP - Indian IT Industry Dilemma ? "

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4th November 2004.

IT Hurts....At The Bottom Of The Pyramid ?

Last Monday evening, Professor Dr. D.B. Phatak - Head of IIT Mumbai, (one of India's Most Reputed Educational Institutions) was one of the judges at a NASSCOM (India's Software Association) event to recognize Innovative Indian Companies.

In his remarks, he lamented about the demanding mindsets of India's IT users.

When buying from Indian packaged software vendors, they demanded features present in International Software Packages.

However, for the same, they were only prepared to pay Indian Rupee Prices, not Dollar Level Figures.

Software Support ? It was also expected. Free, Of Course.

Later, Over dinner, I suggested to him that our Indian IT users' demanding mindsets could perhaps lead to truly innovation efforts.

From vendors.

Who would have to satisfy Sky High Expectations of Global Features and Quality Support.

But Down To Earth Indian prices.

Instead of it being a barrier, perhaps it was an innovation opportunity.

I also mentioned to him about my question to a Visionary CEO of one of India's most renowned software companies.

The Indian Market has some very Unique Magic Keys for Success.

Even, Michael Porter the Original Competition Guru, mentions of A Strong Domestic Market as a Significant * Factor for Creating Globally Competitive Brands.

Japan's success of using their Domestic Markets as learning fields for Creating World-Class Brands perhaps needs to be emulated. Every Japanese Giant slugged it out in their respective domestic markets for years before being able to build successful global brands.

On the other hand, in the case of Indian domestic IT Software and Services market, almost all the big players ignore it entirely. Focussing mainly on more profitable Offshore Outsourcing Revenues.

Therein lies a tale perhaps of missed innovation opportunities. Of catering to Price Stingy, Feature Greedy, Support Sucking, Value Maximizing Indian customers.

Remember Dr CK Prahalad's Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP) ?

Beyond BPO, Perhaps the Indian IT Industry should also look at serving India's BOP consumers. Of stretching higher to reach and pluck the much tougher BOP pickings, in addition to the low hanging BPO fruit.

Ouch ! Truth Hurts.

But not as much as Indian IT's absence at the Bottom Of The Pyramid.

For Millions of India's BOP Masses who need IT desperately.

To Help Heal. Those who are Hurt.

At The Bottom Of The Pyramid.

Mahesh Khatri.

Disclaimer : These are my viewpoints, my organization may or may not endorse them partly or fully. All trademarks and service marks acknowledged globally. External Links * checked for existence at the time of posting.

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Last Updated on 28th March 2009
Posted on 4th November 2004
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