Ever since the start of the market reforms in India in 1993, the country has presented significant opportunities for international companies to help drive growth in its indigenous technology market. While the opportunity was clear to see, various market factors often made it difficult for overseas SMEs to become part of the action. In parallel, India made a name for itself on the global stage as a low cost outsourcing destination for software engineers, which resulted in the emergence of global powerhouses like Infosys, Tata and Wipro providing software services to global multinational companies.
Fast forward to today, and India has been transformed. It’s one of the major growth centres of the mobile communications industry, with a number of players in the world’s top 20 largest mobile operators (source: Wireless Intelligence). The country is also in the midst of a huge transformation in the makeup of it software sector, with software product companies now starting up in India by the 100s – addressing both Indian markets and global markets. And the emergence of a national electronics policy aiming to stimulate electronics systems design and manufacturing for the Indian market locally in India will also generate new opportunities.
The country has come a long way since the initial vision of the then Secretary for the Department of Electronics in 1993, Mr. N. Vittal, who wanted to move the country away from the ‘screwdriver technology’ attitude of Indian businesses who just wanted to provide cheap assembly lines and cheap software services for overseas companies.
India now competes in its own right in the global technology sector, and while it may be advanced in software services and skills, there’s a whole new opportunity for partnership and collaboration with strong Indian partners, as well as to provide key sector skills and knowledge transfer in areas like electronics. In communications, there is significant opportunity to serve the appetite of government, corporate and consumers for all kinds of services and applications, particularly in reaching out to the rural community.