What a waste!

India has been consistently moving north in terms of growth in IT service market globally since last two decades. As an Indian, I feel proud of this achievement. Indian government also have done a lot by giving all sorts of  tax benefits and even coming out with SEZ concept recently. The results have been certainly very positive. The biggest question now is on the consistency of this growth.

If we have to appreciate the alarm I have in mind we have to look back and see the fate of several such industries and the new order emerging to benefit the customer and almost always hitting the provider company. When Personal computers were new in India, few companies assembled them and the service was done by qualified engineers who passed from reputed colleges. I recall, that selling a single PC was an event to be celebrated as it was so expensive and only few had knowledge of the use itself. Twenty years down the line, Personal computer sales and service is done by corner shop guy who is not enough educated, but is smart enough to repair computers and even assemble and sell them. Lowering of cost also has increased the user base and brought in competition for big names from insignificant players. Constant evolution and innovation has increased jobs but reduced margins drastically.

This is the same what happened in telephony, internet broadband, banking, healthcare and almost everywhere. It is evident that in each area, while the essence of service and product was the same old, the innovation of service and delivery and lowering of cost made all the difference.

In Indian IT service industry it is just the opposite what is happening. The innovation and evolution is hardly any and cost of service is on the increase. This is contrary to the principles of mass usage of any product or service. That would mean that users would move more to those services which will provide lower cost service and value for money. Packed software and cloud delivery would fit this bill.

The wealth of knowledge and information base Indian IT companies have by the virtue of servicing the top most companies globally has not been utilized at all for future planning except for using same model for more business. Apple changed the way world computed, Android is taking this forward, Linux took Microsoft head on improving both. Virtualization opened  new avenues for optimization and SOA brought new thinking into software utilization. We have dozens of such innovations over last couple of years done by IT industry globally, but not a single by Indian IT companies.

Really, this wealth of knowledge on which new path can be planned is being wasted. What a waste!

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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5 Responses

  1. Hi Alok….I like your writings and your perspective. I think the existing technology model also creates innovation bottlenecks…….as innovation needs time and freedom. We are seeeing that with the help of open source we are able to provide quick turnarounds, faster and impactful innovation with lower costs.
    By the way do you have a RSS feed to your blog…….?
    Keep writing….

  2. Alok Kumar says:

    Hi Vineet….. Innovation has to be developed in the genes of a company by their leadership. Unless it is a collective effort in data collection, analysis and coming out with better products and services continuously, it is a sheer waste of knowledge wealth which is happening now. Our IT companies have successfully created transactional IT experts who cannot take up the next level in technology but are designed to remain where they are or even probably fade away with time. Open source technologies certainly open another cost effective deliveries, but it takes time for user community to digest that low cost is not always low quality. Open source also do not have big names and sponsored lunches or trips for the CIOs.
    Yes… I have RSS feed and that can be subscribed from my blog by visiting http://www.kumaralok.com/feed. Thanks…….

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