Archive for February, 2006

Productivity and Knowledge Management

February 19, 2006

There is a feeling that productivity studies are more for the “blue collar” work while “knowledge work” does not need productivity; “blue collar” work is not “knowledge work”. Interestingly, both the ideas are more of myths.

Just as engine power amplified “brawn” power in the 18th century, computers are amplifying “brain” power in the 21st century. As such most of the work would benefit from knowledge and all activities would become knowledge activities. We should get over the artificial division of work.

With tools proliferating, software production will dramatically change into component and framework-based leading to dramatic productivity increase. As such productivity will continue to be important well beyond the industrial age into information age.

(Valedictory address at Indian Telephone Industries (ITI) Corporate Headquarters in Bangalore on the conclusion of “Productivity Week” on February 18, 2006)

Does IT matter for India?

February 17, 2006

Based on the controversial HBR (Harvard Business Review) article “IT does not matter” in May 2003 by Nicholas Carr (and the later book by the same autor “Does IT Matter” Harvard Business School Press 2004), it is interesting to look at the relevance of IT for India.

There is a mistaken notion that IT happened in India because of Y2K. While Y2K helped India enormously, India has a tradition of IT (Invention of zero, mathematicians like Srinivasa Ramanujan, Computer Scientists like Raj Reddy and the recent contributions from IIT Kanpur such as “Primes is in P” by Manindra Agarwal as well as the development of TDC 12 Computer, CMC Railway Reservation System or e-Chaupal)

With direct jobs of 2.5 Million in IT & ITES (and indirect employment of 10 Million) today and the expected growth to 5-8 Million, IT does make a difference to India. IT will account for almost 1/3rd of India’s export of $ 300 Billion by 2010.

With IT growing beyond services into products (iFlex, Finacle, Tally), technology & IP licensing (ImpulseSoft, Sasken, Ittiam), IT has taken deep roots in India.

(Invited Talk at Tesco India Development Center, Bangalore on February 17, 2006)

Sensex crosses 10,000 mark

February 9, 2006

Sensex, the Indian Stock Exchange Index based on Bombay Stock Exchange (that has a history going back to 1875) creates history on February 7, 2006

Sensex (the term is in use since 1990) has a base of 100 points in 1979 and its base is –readjusted periodically by index correction. It is based on 30 stocks of leading edge firms with good liquidity (frequent trading) and representative of large firms, promising firms, firms from old economy and new economy. Interestingly the current “basket” of 30 firms include all the top four IT services firms namely, TCS, Infosys, Wipro and Satyam

To provide a historical perspective, Sensex crossed the 1,000 mark on July 25, 1990; the 2,000 mark on January 15, 1992; the 3,000 mark on March 2, 1992; the 4,000 mark on March 30, 1992; the 5,000 mark on December 30, 1999; the 6,000 mark on January 2, 2004; the 7,000 mark on June 20, 2005; the 8,000 mark on September 8, 2005; the 9,000 mark on November 28, 2005; and finally the historic 10,000 mark on February 7, 2006.

It is interesting to note that the Sensex joins the elite league of stock indices that have gone past the 10,000 mark; these include Dow Jones, the stock market index of the stock exchanges in USA (in the year 1999), Hang Seng, the stock market index in Hong Kong (in the year 1999) and Nikkei, the stock market index of Tokyo Stock Exchange in Japan (in the year 2003).

Sensex is re-computed every 30-seconds using online information collection, impossible without the IT!