Baby Steps to India’s CDOT or Tally

I read this article “Baby Steps to Indian Microsoft“. the article was good. Being in start-up, I  thought aloud why should start-up take baby steps to become  Indian Microsoft. Microsoft actual position is getting questioned in today’s market and they are forced to transform.

I wish that examples of IT firms and Aadhaar are used  in addition to   TCS and AIIMS.

Some people might point that we do not have bio-metric devices. My question to them is why we cannot create locally. We had guts to come with our own style of telecom revolution in India, started in India. Both technology in telephone and STD phones was manufactured in India and helped to fuel telecom revolution and was spearheaded by CDOT. Few CDOT members were part of founding team of Hughes, my ex employer. Phone brought convenience to people to communicate and infrastructure used in scale was made in India. A non-technology common man  becomes entrepreneurs by setting up STD booths and offering related services.

Nicely pointed  ” Our IT services firms became protectors of status quo in the government sector.  In general, why has our public sector been so slow to buy enterprise products? Government officials are not to blame for this. Unfortunately, our IT services firms became protectors of status quo in the government sector.”. Adding few more sentences .

  • Large IT services firms got tax exemption under STPI scheme. The benefits of exemption were not utilized to develop products and became profits that was invested them to develop buildings or purchase of government subsidized land.
  • Large IT Services firms got tax exemption under SEZ scheme. Large IT firms tried to move projects from STPI to SEZ scheme. Here too, large IT firms did not utilize the benefits of exemption to develop products and in addition SEZ development led to destroying agricultural lands.
  • Some IT Service firms got huge land bank from government. Seems no  one educated state governments that it would be better to spend money on skill development rather than providing land banks to government.( Today states cry absence of jobs for local people).

Effectively the IT service firms helped the construction sector  and banks to develop more apartments and villas. They also enabled insurance firms to have more people covered under health insurance scheme. They outsourced lot of responsibilities taken by successful companies in India.  Today you rarely heat that government is building new hospital and you hear that state governments providing  insurance for state people.

While start-ups are creating products that can be termed as “Made in India” “Made in Abroad”, “Made for Abroad” product, Where are “Made For India” products? There is sure infrastructure deficit in India and startups are with assumption or long term vision of there will be infrastructure in India

More Indians use Facebook and Google today. Both organization are USA companies and after long years have started to support vernacular language. We are good consumers and are ready to use English , curse coming from pre-freedom days.  These companies release products in German and French for sure. Some start-ups are trying innovative by translating from English to vernacular language. Where are the creative things in languages online?  Please see article Use Language to Shape a Creative Culture

More Indians use mobile phones imported in to this country and are manufactured in China or USA. Even Indian companies get mobile phones made in china to sell in India. The import of foreign hardware has increased to astronomical levels. What happens to Indian economy when the imports value due to hardware and software services is more than exports value due to software product and services.  You already see that credit card usage in India is driven by Master and VISA, and dependency of all Indian banks and  payment start-ups on these two providers. Now payment start-ups support RuPay also.

Are product start-ups developing  products for upper and middle class convenience or for US customers focused around their  problems  and convenience? They assume that infrastructure and service is available in plenty and at affordable costs. While redbus.in targeted rich and upper middle class to gain their comfort and convenience, Can the construction worker afford a deal to travel on red bus?.  Even today, employee in my start-up take one day before and one day during festival  times as the bus tickets are quite costly.  Who focuses on helping normal man with bus in routes where there are no reservations  possible? More than 80% of Indian customer cannot afford price points of buses offered by redbus.in.

It is right that start-ups need to focus on cash generation and target qualified customers. May be they are targeting red ocean of opportunity. Should they not explore ways to offer product affordable first, leading to traction and large volumes?

On positive notes, new age start-ups have taken self-initiative to create change in mindset leading to a matured product ecosystem. Concepts like iSpirit PlayBooks enable and empower product ecosystem to move to a maturity level where customers trust on Indian start-up.  May be it is time to think whether in 2020, we would have progress to become “successful entrepreneurs and failed product ecosystem” or  “successful entrepreneurs and product ecosystem ready to support new innovation and start-up failures” .