Cloud around Indian IT Industry–Part 2

I was unfortunate to miss the NASSCOM leadership forum this year due to my work pressure. I came to understand that many of the IT companies have been talking about spending on innovation. TCS certainly showed the promise and I hope other would follow. There are few realities though which needs urgent focus before IT industry ends up getting old in India.

IT industry is not more than 20 years in India. There existed few companies who did some basic work, but anything of substance started and happened after 1990. If you recall the olden days of World War II, there was a huge demand of young and able soldiers and insatiable supplies of arms and ammunitions. Huge well equipped armies of UK and US were largely disbanded after the war and the soldiers and officers had to restart their life afresh. Only the most able and most trained soldiers remained in the forces with stable jobs. For some it was easy to adapt but for most, it was a big struggle. I now see a reflection of what happened 65 years earlier in what is going to happen in about 10 years from now.

The rapid pace of growth which have been consistent since last almost 20 years have given ample opportunity for anyone associated to IT industry grow. This growth is bound to flatten sooner or later. Global recession has already started the process. Almost all the programmers grew up into project managers and domain experts and new ones kept filling their ranks. Last 20 years have been like a war where the foot soldiers and officers  are always in short supply. With flat market and disruptive innovations like cloud, open source, and many such added with the limited power of customers to spend would restrict the expansion. While the supply chain is maintained and young engineers will continue to be produced, either the expensive IT resources will be replaced with young low cost resources or jobless IT manpower would increase.

Industry must start working for a shift from their traditional approach of increasing their billing to value added approach which will increase customer trust and increase business. There has to be investment increase in upgrading the skills of IT professionals and investment in research and development should also begin which can create more jobs.

India as a market is huge but most cannot afford the expensive rates of IT companies which they are used to. Efforts have to be made to tap this market and come out of the greed of easy margins. After all, India has a promise to be a very large consumer of our own IT services.

Alok Kumar

Alok Kumar is Managing Partner of SRKay Consulting group, a private equity company, nurturing innovative ventures. Alok also serves on the board of ICCL (Indian Clearing Corporation Limited - A subsidiary of BSE- Bombay Stock Exchange) as an external advisor for technology and information security. Prior to this, Alok had been Managing Director of Sears IT & Management Services India Private Limited (SHI) since its inception in December 2009 and served in the same position till very recently. Having been in senior IT management positions in Fortune 500 companies, Alok has won several national and international awards. Alok is instrumental in planning and setting up SHI and thereafter growing it to a multi-locational thousand-plus people organization. Over the last five years, with his strategic vision, Alok helped SHI grow roots in India, develop and support technology applications and infrastructure across core mainframe, cutting edge e-Commerce and big data technologies. With his unique people-oriented transformational leadership style, Alok turned SHI into one of the most valued investments of Sears, garnering great ROIs, and creating value much beyond cost arbitrage. Under his tutelage, SHI has filed two patents and is recognized widely for its best practices in various areas, the latter, currently featured in Indian Institute of Management (IIM) case studies. SHI also became a CMMI Level 3, PCMM Level 3, and ISO 20000 certified organization. Alok is a widely acclaimed corporate leader in India today. He regularly participates and leads various forums as a keynote speaker and is an author of several books in different genres. Alok has several awards to his credit. He is particularly known in the industry for his people management skills and innovative ideas in improving the productivity of employees through unique people practices. He has been credited with the following industry awards: ¬ Emerging Leader of the Year award 2013 by IndiasGreatest.com ¬ Game Changer CEO of the Year 2013 (SHRM) ¬ CIO 100 - The Bold CIOs - 2008 (Reliance Infosolutions) ¬ CIO - Ones to Watch Award 2008 (Reliance Industries) ¬ Extended Manager Award - CIOL 2004 (Tata Teleservices) As an able leader of SHI, Alok got SHI recognized widely in the industry with the following several awards: ¬ CII Award for HR Best Practices in 2014 ¬ Global Excellence in Outsourcing Award - AIOP (Phoenix 2013) ¬ IT Innovation Award (Design & Engineering) - Computer Society of India 2012 ¬ Golden Company of the Year - Economic Times 2011-12 ¬ 7th Employer Branding Awards - World HRD Congress (Mumbai, India) 2013: • ‘Asia’s Best Employer’ Award • ‘Best HR Strategy’ in line with business • HR Leadership Award • Talent Management Award by Bloomberg TV India ¬ Employer Branding Awards - World HRD Congress (Singapore, Asia) 2013: • 7th rank in ‘Asia’s Best Employer’ award • Award for ‘Best HR Strategy’ in line with the business • HR Leadership Award Other recognitions: Alok had served on the distinguished panel of NASSCOM's GIC (Global In-house Centers) National Council members. The council members play a key role in major initiatives of the industry and include the torch bearers of IT industry as panel members. Books and Papers: Alok is an established author, with three books to his credit. Alok’s third and latest book, a novel, “The Spy from Unaula” is a 2015 publication. A handwriting analysis enthusiast, Alok collaborated with his wife Nandani on the book, “Handwriting Speaks” in 2006. “Value Sourcing – Future of IT Outsourcing” was co-authored with Keith Sherwell (currently CIO, Altice USA) and was released in 2013. Alok also researched and published two whitepapers: a. “Creating next generation captives” talks about the best practices that are helping generate higher value from the IT company captives.

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