Discovering a new continent (Chapter 6 of “The long revolution”)

Chapter 6 “Discovering a new continent” documents the first stage of IT growth in India – “focus on computer hardware”. The notable contribution of the book is the due credit given to the original pioneers and their extreme frustrations – Vinay Bharat Ram meeting SONY CEO Akio Morito, he agreeing to permit DCM to assemble SONY calculators in India and the Indian government refusing to convert their own LOI (Letter of Intent) into a manufacturing license! The DCM Data products story is captured well. The story of HCL starts with the crafty Shiv Nadar who started HCL as a joint sector to capitalize on “Hindustan” and quietly getting out of the “joint” sector; the early successes of HCL are documented well


·       HCL Micro computer 8C

·       HCL PC,

·       HCL Singapore operation (HCL Far East)

·       HCL selling Apollo workstations in India, and,

·       and HCL America


Interestingly, the unknown hero in HCL’s success – designer Raman – has been given his due credit. The rise of PSI (of Deshpande and Raveendran fame) and their contributions are given due credit. The growth of Wipro and its evolution into many facets of hardware manufacturing are well documented. This decade gave an opportunity for India to see the direct benefits of competition – prices falling by 25-50% in a year and business volume growing year after year at a similar rate.

(My Book Review will be posted over the next 10 days (starting March 28, 2009) – a chapter a day for each of the ten chapters!)

Book Review

Sharma Dinesh, “The Long Revolution”, The birth and growth of India’s IT industry”, Harper Collins (Dec 2008)

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