In the larger Indian context IT is more symbolic than substantive


Panel discussion
Mind Tree “Resonance” (Dec 14, 2006)

“In the larger Indian context IT is more symbolic than substantial”

Yes

1. India with one billion people needs 200-300 million jobs; IT has created 2.5 million jobs; likely to create not more than 3.5 million by 2015; what big deal! Textile industry has created 75 million jobs.

2. IT accounts for 3.5% of GDP only

3. With all the hoopla around, only 5 million PC’s sell every year; we would sell 1.25 million cars in 2006!

4. IT Pros – code and code; speak in crazy languages (even names are c++!), brew no interesting drink (even in Bangalore city with Mallya around!), not even tea / coffee, but boring Java. No great singers, dancers, cricketers or football players from IT; contrast with Tata Steel who also made steel!

5. Healthcare, Construction, Retail, and Tourism will create 6.1 million, 9.9 million, 9 million and 19.6 million jobs by 2010! How about IT? Just 2 million!

No

1. IT created positive International Press about India for the first time; the first New York Times front-page news item in 2001 was “Customer Asset” story – great “Sri Ganesh” with “K Ganesh” the Founder!

2. Several “firsts” were triggered by IT

• Bangalore adds the largest “office space” side-stepping London & Tokyo
• Mysore is the second city other than Davos that “remotely opens” NASDAQ
• 6.2 million mobile subscribers in Aug 2006 is a world record (higher than Chinese)
• Cheapest phone tariff (10 seconds pulse) possible due to “low cost” billing
• 2,026 people join Infosys Mysore on June 26, 2006!

3. IT is for “Aam Admi”; Bhoomi for farmers, Railway Reservation for construction workers and mobile phones for plumbers. Ratio of minimum to maximum salary is 1:18 in IT; it is 1:30 in others. There are just 100 people with Rs 1+ Crore salary in IT; but there are 2,000 such people in other industries!

4. IT “triggers” other industries and innovations; for example,

• Captain Gopinath and Deccan Aviation overtake Indian Airlines, thanks to IT
• Banks became “8 to 8”, if not 24X7, thanks to IT
• Tata’s “Rs 1 Lakh car” & National Housing Bank’s “Rs 1 Lakh home” and the upcoming “Rs 99 shirt from Reliance” are all inspired by and sustained by IT

To sum it up,

“Putting man on the Moon is symbolic than substantial to US”; if you agree with that statement you can also agree with the statement “IT success is symbolic than substantial to India”; and only then!

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