Archive for the ‘My views on India’ Category

Future of IT in India

September 28, 2015

Future of IT


The question “What is the future of IT?” has assumed significance today; this is particularly pertinent in India; as IT industry has arguably created the largest number of jobs in the organized sector in the past fifteen years. With the slowing down of job creation in this sector, there is even more curiosity. Let me first assure the readers that the future of IT continues to remain bright and job creation will continue in this sector for at least another decade. This is due to the following four key factors

  1. IT will continue to transform industry after industry
  2. Apps will be the main delivery vehicle for IT application delivery
  3. IT will organize the unorganized sectors, particularly in India
  4. Indians are starting to solve India’s problems

Let me elaborate the four factors

  1. IT will continue to transform industry after industry

We have already witnessed the way multi-function printers transformed the office automation industry; digital cameras changed the face of photography; e-mail, Web and mobile phones changed airline ticketing; and, the World Wide Web transforming the way banking and publishing industry function today. At the core of all these transformation is “digitization”. While the foregoing examples illustrate the transformation of an industry, the next stage is the transformation of entire business processes across several industries and the resultant benefits to consumers. Naturally, IT application development will continue to be in demand leading to top-line growth of IT companies and the resultant job creation opportunities.

Example: With more than 100,000 employees undertaking 2.5+ Lakhs travels in a year leading to 75 Lakhs bills, the in-house travel department in Wipro was an “efficient” organization of 700 professionals. With an in-house App that captures all the bills across transportation (airline, train, taxi), hospitality (hotels, restaurants) and services (Visa, toll) industries, the resultant “digitization” could lead to a super-efficient travel department with just twenty employees!

  1. Apps will be the main delivery vehicle for IT application delivery

Application delivery, maintenance and upgrades have remained the mainstay of the outsourced IT services industry that benefits countries like India. Such services are built around Web-based client (typically running on Desktop / Laptop PC). With the widespread availability of smartphones and mobile networks and the location-based services that utilize GPS and GIS, Apps can identify the user and the location leading to a far-better application delivery than what a simple Web-based application can provide. Coupled with superior interfaces including touch, local scripts and voice that are possible with today’s powerful smartphones that are always connected and mostly “personal” devices, services can be targeted to specific consumers leading to a superior user interaction. Also, Apps-based delivery can be regularly improved with “over the air” update that makes such improvements hassle-free to the end customer. Since Apps development is accessible to people with varied skills (not needing an CS Undergraduate degree or MCA), there is a potential for much-larger job creation; much of the new jobs creation might happen in the next generation nimble start-ups and not limited to the biggie IT services companies.

Example: FlipKart is generating 75% of its traffic from Mobile App; MakeMyTrip and GoIndigo find 50% of their travel booking happens over their App. ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank find that much of their online banking transactions happen over Mobile Apps. Myntra shifts completely to Mobile App in May 2015; FlipKart is planning a similar move.

  1. IT will organize the unorganized sectors, particularly in India

The first generation of e-commerce companies like Amazon focussed on the “first mile” – consumers finding goods and services providers and ordering them on 24×7 basis with the convenience of their homes. Over the years, the backend supply chains improved dramatically. Users could get convenience of ordering, enormous of choice of goods and services, better prices and even near immediate supply, thanks to improvements across the supply chain. Along the way, companies like Amazon in USA and FlipKart in India could get the benefit of such dramatic improvements to even SME sector; in the process, organizing the unorganized sectors. It is impacting retail, travel, hospitality, healthcare and many other sectors.

Example: Uber started in San Francisco, USA and over the years disrupting the taxi-haling experience across the world. Ola and TaxiForSure in India are extending it to Auto-rickshaws too. In the process, personal transport industry is getting organized from individual divers to small-sized taxi operators (with 1 to 100 taxis) to mammoth-size operation involving tens of thousands of taxis spread across 100+ cities. With mobile payment maturing, AADHAR getting more acceptance and biometric authentication built into entry-level smartphones, companies like Ola with fundamentally change the way next generation will view car ownership.


  1. Indians are starting to solve India’s problems


The generation of Indians who went to United States and other countries in the West for higher studies in the 60’s and 70’s contributed to the development of Science & Technology that largely solved problems of the West. The generation of IT entrepreneurs of the 80’s and the last two decades created Indian IT Services companies, which largely benefited the corporations and consumers in the West. In the past five years, a whole new generation of companies are using IT to solve India’s problems – urban transport (RedBus for organizing bus transit, Ola and TaxiForSure for organizing taxi / auto-rickshaws), retail (Myntra, FlipKart), Healthcare (Portea, DoctorC, Practo), hospitality (Oyo Rooms, HolidayIQ), payment systems (PayTM), food delivery in train (TravelKhana, ) etc., and even India-specific opportunities (OnlinePanditji, OnlinePrasad, Bharat Matrimony).

To me this is perhaps the best part of IT; the future of IT is to transform India; and in that sense, IT is fulfilling the promise Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajapayee talked of in 1999 – IT being “India’s Tomorrow”!

Professor Sowmyanarayanan Sadagopan is the Director of IIIT-Bangalore. These are his personal views. He can be reached at

Appeared in September 28, 2015 Special Issue of New Indian Express

Mangalyaan (India’s maiden Mars Mission) all set

December 1, 2013

Today (December 1, 2013) around 1 AM the final manoeuvre was successfully accomplished by ISRO scientists so that the space station can move off the route of circling Earth and sent on its very long (680 million km) journey to be concluded in the next 300 days

It is a moment of joy all engineers in India. ISRO with shoe-string budget (compared to NASA budget) is able to achieve a lot

It once again shows the power of focus; one hopes the powers that be (Governments) allow Scientific departments with sufficient freedom to pursue excellence. Space and Nuclear power have shown; the rest should follow (Electronics, Steel, Power, Water, Airports / Airlines, Oil & Gas, Rail, Road, Mines, Construction, Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals, Food processing engineers, if given freedom will create wonders right here!)

China continues with No 1 position in Top 500 Supercomputers list

November 19, 2013

Announced twice a year – June in USA and November in Germany – from 1993 onwards, Super 500 List has a list of the 500 fastest computers in the world.

In the list announced on November 18, 2013, China’s Tianhe-2 with a peak performance of 33.9 Peta-flops is on the top

India had a couple of entries (with C-DAC setting the trend in 1991 and Tata Eka reaching up to 4th position in 2007), but lost out recently.

US has 252, while China has 66 entries of the total 500, while India has just 11 in the current list!

Infosys Science Prizes 2013 were announced on November 12, 2013

November 12, 2013

The fifth edition of Infosys Science Prizes announced on November 12, 2013; the winners areProf Ramagopal Rao, IIT Bombay (Engineering & Computer Science)

    • Professors Nayanjot Lahiri, History Dept., Delhi University and Ayesha Kidwai, Linguistics Dept., Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi (Humanities)
    • Prof Rajesh Gokhale, Institute of Genomics, New Delhi (Life Science)
    • Prof Rahul Pandharipande, Mathematics Dept., ETH, Zurich (Mathematics)
    • Prof Shiraz Minwalla, TIFR, Bombay (Physics)
    • Prof A R Vasavi, Nehru Museum, New Delhi (Social Science)

That was IT in the Year 2011

January 1, 2012

IT in 2011



  • Union Budget 2011 ends the 17-year old tax holiday (Sec 10 A & 10 B) for software industry
  • Wikipedia celebrated 10th Anniversary on January 15, 2011
  • “App” is the top word of 2010 (announced on January 6, 2011 by American Dialect Society)
  • Bangalore Metro starts rolling on October 20, 2011
  • India wins World Cup on April 2, 2011
  • Smaller coins (less than 50 paise) become history on June 30, 2011
  • Anti corruption crusade led by Anna Hazare takes centre stage; former Telecom Minister Raja and sitting Member of the Parliament Kanimozhi are arrested: Telecom Minister Maran is forced to resign: Parliament passes Lokpal bill on December 27, 2011 but Anna Hazare unimpressed
  • Telengana issue paralyses life in Andhra Pradesh on and off in 2011
  • China replaces Japan as the world’s No 2 economy in 2011
  • S&P downgrades US sovereign rating from AAA to AA+ on August 5, 2011
  • Egypt, Yemen, Sudan erupt; South Sudan is born
  • Osama Bill Laden was killed on May 2, 2011; Libyan leader Gadaffi killed on October 9, 2011
  • Japan suffers earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear disaster on March 18, 2011




  • IBM researchers talk of “Graphene-based” computers that can be 30 times faster than silicon-based machines
  • UC Berkeley team led by Jeffrey Baker talks of “magnetic” computers in July 2011
  • Intel unveils 3D chips in May 2011 and solar powered chips in August 2011
  • IBM India showcases solar-powered data Center
  • Internet almost ran out of IPv4 addresses in 2011
  • India to shift to Digital TV by 2015




  • WWW turns 20 on August 4, 2011
  • IBM PC turned 30 on August 12, 2011
  • Apple launched
    • IPad 2 on March 2, 2011
    • new iMac on May 3, 2011
    • ICloud, iOS 5 and Mac OS 10 on June 6, 2011
    • iPhone 4S on October 4, 2011
    • Apple iPad arrives in India on Jan 27, 2011 (after 9 months); iPhone 4 on May 27, 2011 (after 7 months); iPhone 4S on November 25, 2011 (within 2 months of US Launch)
    • Nokia and Microsoft announce Windows Mobile powered mobile phones in February (after Nokia decides to phase out Symbian); Nokia made Windows Mobile-powered Lumia 800 and 710 phones reach the market in December
    • There was a flurry of Tablet launches
      • BlackBerry Tablet Playbook on April 19, 2011
      • Samsung 10″ Tablet on July 20, 2011;
      • Amazon Fire priced at $ 199 on September 28, 2011
      • India-made Tablets from HCL, Airtel, Reliance and the low cost (Rs 2,000) “Akash” on October 28, 2011
      • Google launches Music Beta in April, Google+ on July 6, 2011
      • HP announces Veer phone, TouchPad Tablet and scraps them later all within months!
      • TCS announces ON cloud-based offering for SME sector
      • Nokia launches dual SIM Phone 100 in India
      • Sabeer Bhatia launches “Jaxtr free SMS” on November 22, 2011




  • TCS is the most valued company on December 31, 2011; Coal India is the most valued company on August 17, 2011 going past Reliance & ONGC
  • British Petroleum and Reliance $ 7.2 billion deal got completed on August 30, 2011
  • Stock markets everywhere saw severe beating in 2011; Sensex tumbled to record low in 2 years.
  • Rupee touched 53 against USD in November 2011
  • IBM market capitalization goes past Microsoft on May 24, 2011
  • Apple with $ 337 billion goes past $ 331 billion market capitalization of Exxon on August 10,2011; Apple beats Google to become most valued brand on May 9, 2011 (BrandZ)
  • In M & A (Mergers & Acquisitions) in the Indian market include


  • Essar selling 33% stake to Vodafone for $ 5 billion on March 31, 2011
  • Synopsys buying “Magma Automation” for $ 507 million on December 1, 2011
  • Indian BPO major Genpact buying “Headstrong” for $500 million on April 6, 2011
  • Infosys acquiring Australian BPO on December 20, 2011
  • CSC acquires AppLabs on Sept 14,2011
  • iGate acquires Patni computers in January 2011
  • Pearson acquires TutorVista in January 2011




  • AT&T decides to buy “T-Mobile” for $ 39 billion in March 2011 but drops the plan in December 2011
  • Google acquires “Motorola Mobility” for $ 12.5 billion on August 14, 2011
  • HP acquires UK-based unstructured data company “Autonomy” for $11.5 billion August 18, 2011
  • Microsoft acquires “Skype” for $ 8.5 billion in 2011
  • Texas Instruments buys “National Semiconductors” for $ 6.5 billion on April 1, 2011
  • SAP buys ‘Success Factors” for $ 3.4 billion on Dec 4, 2011
  • Ericsson acquires Telcordia for $ 1.15 billion on June 14, 2011
  • Ericsson sells its part of Sony Ericsson to Sony for $ 1.15 billion




Indian IT companies


  • Tech-Mahindra joins the billion-dollar club in April 2011
  • TCS wins $ 2.2 billion (over 15 years) contract from UK-based Friends Life Insurance company in October 2011
  • Essar BPO Aegis gets $ 2 billion contract (over 8 years) from Saudi Telecom
  • Cades gets $ 300 million order from Airbus in April 2011
  • SoftBank to invest $ 200million in mobile Ad company “inMobi” (started by youngsters from IIT Kanpur)
  • Airtel has 50 million customers in Africa by December 2011


MNC companies in India


  • IBM celebrates its centenary on June 16, 2011; decides to offer 1,000 ESOPs to all it’s Indian employees; starts operations in Doon, Gandhinagar & Raipur taking its presence in India to 18 cities
  • The largest computer firm HP goes thru a turmoil; CEO Apotheker visits India in January 2011; announces scrapping TouchPad tablet and quitting PC business in August; gets fired; the new CEO Whitman reverses the decision to quit PC business in October
  • Accenture has 70,000 of its 2,15,000 global employees in India
  • Microsoft opens second development facility in Bangalore in December 2011
  • Honeywell starts Hyderabad operations in January 2011
  • Samsung expects $ 5 billion from India operations in 2011; Dell expects $ 2 billion
  • Nokia plant in Chennai crossed 500 million handset production; Samsung triples handset production out of India
  • GE talks of Rs 1,000 crores investment in India
  • Daimler to double investment in India
  • Nokia Siemens expands delivery Center in Chennai with increased head count from 120 to 1,000
  • Carl Zeiss opens R & D Center in Bangalore
  • Toshiba invests Rs 450 crores in India
  • SanDisk ramps up India operations in 2011
  • Huawei plans $150 million expansion of its India operations
  • 3 M invests Rs 100 crores in Bangalore R & D Center
  • Zynga increased R & D head count in India
  • Hitachi opened its R & D centre in Bangalore on October 13, 2011
  • LinkedIn opened its R & D facility in Bangalore on November 16, 2011





  • Indian companies permitted to use video conferencing for AGM
  • EPFO (Employees Provident Fund Office) goes online in July 2011
  • Karnataka voter ID process goes online on October 1, 2011; Chief Minister office is open for video viewing on November 30, 2011
  • Mobile banking and mobile trading started in India in 2011; Reserve Bank eases cap on mobile transactions beyond Rs 50,000 in December 2011
  • State Bank starts “Unhappy” SMS message to address customer complaints
  • Amazon allows Kindle readers to borrow eBooks from 11,000 public libraries


Education & Research


  • IIIT Bangalore and IIT Bombay bring WWW Conference to India for the first time in 20 years; held in Hyderabad during March 28 – April 1, 2011
  • Infosys Science Prizeswere announced November 16, 2011; the winners are
    • Prof. Kalyanmoy Deb of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur – Engineering Sciences
    • Dr. Imran Siddiqi of CCMB, Hyderabad – Life Sciences
    • Prof. Kannan Soundararajan of Stanford University, USA – Mathematical Sciences
    • Prof. Sriram Ramaswamy of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore – Physical Sciences
    • Prof. Raghuram Rajan of the University of Chicago, USA – Social Sciences (Economics)
    • Dr. Pratap Bhanu Mehta of the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi – Social Sciences (Political Science & International Relations)
    • Nobel prizesfor the year 2011 announced in October 2011; the winners are
      • Saul Perlmutter of Univ. Of California, Berkeley, USA, Brian Schmidt of Australian National University and Adam Reiss of Johns Hopkins University, USA  – Physics
      • Dan Shectman of Technion, Israel  – Chemistry
      • Bruce Beautler of Univ. of Texas, USA, Jules Hoffman of French National Academy of Sciences and Ralph Steinman of Rockefeller University (who unfortunately died before the announcement could reach him) – Medicine
      • Ellen Johnson Sirleaf & Leymah Gbowee both residents of Liberia and Tawakkal Karman of Yemen in Africa – Peace
      • Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer – Literature
      • Thomas Sargent of New York University, USA and Christopher Sims of Princeton University, USA – Economics
      • CSIR announced Bhatnagar prize winners on September 26, 2011; the winners are
        • Amit Sharma of ICGEB, New Delhi and Rajan Sankaranarayanan of CCMB, Hyderabad  – Biological Sciences
        • Balasubramanian Sundaram ofJNCAR, Bangalore and G N Sastry of IICT, Hyderabad  – Chemical Sciences
        • Shanker Doraiswamy of NIO, Goa  – Earth, Atmosphere, Ocean & Planetary Sciences
        • Sirshendu De of IIT Kharagpur and Upadrasta Ramamurthy of IISc, Bangalore  – Engineering Sciences
        • Mahan Maharaj of RMV University, Kolkata and Palash Sarkar of ISI, Kolkata – Mathematical Sciences
        • K N Balaji of IISc Bangalore  – Medical Sciences
        • Shiraz Minwalla of TIFR, Mumbai  – Physical Sciences




  • Infosys Founder Chairman N R Narayana Murthy makes way for K V Kamath as the new Chairman on turning 65 on August 20, 2011
  • Srinivasa Ramanujan’s 125th Birthday celebrated on December 22, 2011 with the Prime Minister declaring December 22 as “Mathematics Day” and the year 2012 as the “Year of Mathematics”
  • Steve Jobs is the Man of the Year 2011
  • IBM names Virginia Rometty as CEO effective January 1, 2012
  • Former US President Bush, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, German Chancellor, New Zealand PM, Slovenian PM, Vietnamese President, Afghan President visit India in 2011
  • India-born Nobel Laureate Venky Ramakrishnan, Apple Founder Steve Wozniak, Investor Warren Buffet, HP CEO Leo Apotheker, GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Cisco CEO John Chambers and CEO’s
  • Apple founder Steve Jobs, Bharat Ratna award winner Bhimsen Joshi, CD pioneer of Sony Ohga , c language inventor Dennis Ritchie, Artificial Intelligence pioneer John McCarthy, India-born Nobel Laureate Har Gobind Khorana died in 2011


Interesting numbers


  • Indian IT industry expected to hire 225,000 people in 2011
  • SBI launched 25,000th ATM on March 31, 2011
  • India’s total telephone subscribers stood at 914.6 million (881.4 million mobile subscribers) as of October 31, 2011
  • Indian mobile handsets sales stood at 213 million in 2011 (231 million in 2012 projected)
  • Indian Internet population touches 101 million in December 2011
  • Rupee stood at 51.79 on Nov 30, 2011
  • Forex at $ 307 billion on Dec 2, 2011
  • Mobile game “Angry Birds” saw 500 million downloads in 2011
  • Apple iPhone 4S sold 4 million over the weekend of launch
  • Facebook had 750 million subscribers on July 6, 2011
  • Every week 100 movies, 250 books and 15,000 Mobile Apps get released! (543 each day for Android and 745 for iOS)
  • Percentage of Poor in India dropped from 37% to 32% over 2005 to 2011
  • World population touched 7 billion on October 31, 2011 (6 billion in 1999, 5 billion in 1987, 4 billion in 1974, 3 billion in 1959, 2 billion in 1927 and 1 billion in 1805)


Professor Sowmyanarayanan Sadagopan is the Director of IIIT-Bangalore. These are his personal views. He can be reached at

IT in October 2011

November 20, 2011



  • Bangalore Metro starts operation on October 20, 2011; 6.7 KM long Phase I is operational
  • Nobel prizes for the year 2011 announced in October 2011; Physics prize went to Saul Perlmutter of Univ. Of California, Berkeley, USA, Brian Schmidt of Australian National University and Adam Reiss of Johns Hopkins University, USA; Chemistry prize went to Dan Shectman of Technion, Israel; Medicine prize went to Bruce Beautler of Univ. of Texas, USA, Jules Hoffman of French National Academy of Sciences and Ralph Steinman of Rockefeller University (who unfortunately died before the announcement could reach him); Peace prize went to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf & Leymah Gbowee both residents of Liberia and Tawakkal Karman of Yemen in Africa; Literature prize went to Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer; and, Economics prize went to Thomas Sargent of New York University, USA and Christopher Sims of Princeton University, USA
  • India successfully launched “Megha-Tropiques”, the satellite designed to focus on the study of monsoon with French collaboration, on October 12, 2011
  • Union Cabinet approves complete TV Digitization by 2014
  • The world’s seven billionth baby Nargis was born in UP, India on October 31, 2011
  • India hosts Formula 1 race in India; it was a flawless event on October 30, 2011 in NOIDA near New Delhi
  • Moser Baer commissions 30 MW Solar power plant in Gujarat on a 300 acre plot on October 20, 2011
  • Savings Bank interest decontrolled on October 24, 2011
  • Telengana strike off after 42 days on October 24, 2011
  • Boeing Dream-liner 777 makes maiden commercial flight from Tokyo to Hong Kong on October 25, 2011
  • HP decides to keep its PC business on October 28, 2011
  • BlackBerry has global outage for 3 days during October 10-13, 2011
  • Apple CEO Steve Jobs passed away on October 5, 2011
  • Turkey earthquake on October & Bangkok floods on October 24, 2011 continue to cause misery to the humanity
  • Libya’s ruler Colonel Gaddafi was killed on October 20, 2011




  • IBM India showcases solar powered data Center



  • Apple announces iPhone 4S on October 4, 2011, a day before the tragic death of Steve Jobs; the phone available was from October 14, 2011 on AT& T, Verizon and Sprint network in USA; iPhone 4S was launched in 7 countries on that date; it will be sold in another 15 countries by November 2011 and 77 countries by December 2011
  • Nokia launches Windows phone 701 & 801 on October 25, 2011 in Nokia World UK; it also launched emerging market-focused feature phones under “Asha” brand
  • Google formally shuts down Buzz on October 15, 2011
  • Aakash, the world’s cheapest Tablet priced at Rs 2,766 was launched on October 28, 2011 in India



  • Sensex gained modest 40 points to close at 17288.97 on Muhurt trading (Samvat 2058) on October 26, 2011
  • Rupee touched 50 against USD on October 21, 2011
  • Indian IT companies Infosys, TCS & Wipro post good results for the July – September quarter
  • Samsung overtakes Apple in smart phone sales in July – September quarter of 2011
  • Lenovo is No 2 (Dell No 3) in PC shipment in July September 2011 quarter
  • SAP Ventures invests $ 10 million in Delhi-based One97 Communications on October 10, 2011
  • Red Hat buys Bangalore-based Gluster (open source based storage company) for Rs 667 crores on October 4, 2011
  • NIIT sells Element K to Skill Soft for $ 110 million on October 15, 2011
  • Microsoft completes Skype acquisition on October 15, 2011
  • Ericsson sells its part of Sony Ericsson stake to Sony for $ 1.5 billion
  • Oracle acquires cloud-based CRM company RightNow for $ 1.5 billion


Indian IT companies

  • Infosys, TCS, Wipro announce good results for the quarter July – September 2011; TCS had quarterly revenue of $ 2.5 billion, while Infosys had $ 1.7 billion revenue and Wipro had $ 1.4 billion revenue in the quarter

MNC IT companies in India

  • Gaming major Zynga to increase its R & D headcount past 100 in India
  • US-based IT outsourcing company Ciber Inc opened its global operations Center in Bangalore on October 13, 2011
  • Hitachi opened its first India R & D Center in Bangalore on October 13, 2011


Education & Research

  • Wipro Chairman Azim Premji to start 2 schools in each of the 500 districts in India
  • States want AICTE to stop sanctioning more engineering colleges




  • Karnataka Voter ID process goes online on October 1, 2011



  • IBM names Virginia Rometty as CEO effective January 1, 2012; with HP CEO Meg Whitman also a woman, it is womanpower on the rise!
  • Apple CEO Steve Jobs passed away on October 5, 2011; Turing Award winner and c programming / Unix pioneer Dennis Ritchie passed away on October 12, 2011; AI pioneer & creator of LISP, John McCarthy passed away on October 20, 2011
  • India-born former McKinsey CEO Rajat Gupta arrested on October 26, 2011
  • Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang visits India during October 12-14, 2011; Afghan President Hamid Karzai visited India during October 4-6, 2011



  • Apple iPhone 4S pre-order crosses 1 million in 24 hours (600,000 for iPhone 4)! It sold more than 4 million within a weekend!
  • Global PC shipments in July September quarter touched 91.8 million (Gartner) a 3% growth
  • Bangalore has 8.5 million people; Delhi has 22 million and Mumbai has 29 million (Census data)
  • World population increased from 1 billion in 1805 to 2 billion in 1927 to 3 billion in 1959 to 4 billion in 1974 to 5 billion in 1987 to 6 billion in 1999 and finally 7 billion on October 31, 2011


China overtakes Japan to become the No 2 economy in the world next only to USA

July 31, 2010

As per China’s currency regulator Ji Gang as of July 2010 China’s GDP at $ 5365 billion exceeded Japan’s GDP of $ 5,273; the only other economy with higher GDP is USA with a GDP of $14,800. Ji Gang attributed the spectacular success to 30 years of consistent policies that started in 1978 and the resultant high growth; he also hopes that China will continue such growth and move to the world’s No 1 position by 2025!

China and India had comparable GDP ($ 300+ billion) in 90’s; today India’s GDP has just moved to $ 1,367 whereas Chinese GDP has notched to $ 5,365. Even by per capita China is way ahead of India

I do hope that younger generation of Indians will take a cue from China and work towards a much higher growth and also work towards inclusive growth. Thanks to high growth China has pushed hundreds of millions of its people above poverty level; India should not lag behind; we have the largest number of poor and extremely poor people on the planet!

Beyond Business and Innovation – views from Kiran Bedi, Sudha Murty, Shashi Deshpande and Raj Khatri IAS

June 18, 2010

As part of CII Innovation Summit in Taj Residency, Bangalore, there was a session moderated by Kris Gopalakrishnan of Infosys that was simply amazing.

Well-known police official turned social worker Kiran Bedi talked of “raising resources” guiding her from Day 1; she used innovation to use corporate sector to supplement the minimal budget; for example using 16 cranes to “tow away” and “fine” those violating parking rules with “fines” paying for crane charges (interestingly one of the towed away cars was that of the then Prime Minister Mrs Gandhi!) She talked of starting a “Gali School” to educate the children of Police Staff; that Nav Jyoti School became a Community College on this very day (June 17, 2010) was very satisfying; she alluded to taking help from Ravi Venkatesan, Chairman, Microsoft India to create “online complaint” of incidents anywhere in India and providing computer education to the children of Police staff. Of course, she did mention the pioneering effort to educate prisoners using used text-books and empowering educated prisoners to teach! She made an interesting point that the work Police force is one of social engineering!

Accomplished computer engineer turned social worker (and wife of iconic Infosys Founder Narayana Murthy) Sudha Murty talke of “being impractical” (starting from marrying NR Narayana Murthy and giving all her savings of Rs 10,000 to start Infosys, though both paid her huge dividends!). She talked of pursuing things with passion; she talked of she studying epigraphy these days! She made an interesting observation that if you run after Lakshmi (wealth), Lakshmi runs away; but if you pursue your goals with passion Lakshmi will follow you! Later during Q & A she talked of the need to combine discipline with creativity; talking of Infosys Foundation work she said all (rich or poor) only get 24 hours in a day and discipline ensures best use of her time. Her secret of success “do not mix up – when she does Foundation work she does not discuss other things; when she is out giving talks or visiting friends there is no Foundation related talk”

Noted writer Shashi Deshpande talked of the writer ‘being “all by oneself” with little support from most parts of the Society though the writer is studying and writing about the Society all the time! She made an interesting point as to how dull the world will be if there is no record of the society (no writers, no literature)! She talked of “long term” view (she has been writing for 35 years but in the first 15 years nobody took her seriously! Her secret of success “I have something to say till this day”and I keep a clear distinction between personal and professional life”

Beueuracrat Raj Khatri talked of the need to persist and be convinced that though you can get away doing nothing (in fact get punished for doing anything) in Government,  there is a joy of doing the right things! He talked of the Global Investor meet (GIM) that concluded just 2 weeks back, and how effective planning made a huge difference. Quoting very impressive figures, he was humble enough to talk of the challenges of converting the commitment into reality

It was late in the evening 7 – 830PM and the hall was overflowing! That shows the quality of the Session. Hats off to Kris for pulling through such amazing speakers!!

What does GenNext expect from Innovation for India

June 18, 2010

CII has been engaging with NextGen over the years.

  1. In 2000 there was “Breakfast with British Prime Minister Tony Blair” for “25 of those with age less than 25” in Bangalore.
  2. In 2005 it was Young Indian Summit.
  3. In 2010 Kris Gopalakrishnan the Chair of 6th Innovation Summit decided to have a Session on ‘In what way GenNext expects Innovation to change India”

I had to moderate the Session (6-7 PM on June 17, 2010) at Taj Residency.

I empowered them completely and they did a great job.

IIMB Director Prof Pankaj Chandra & I were to coordinate the Session.We had written to 30 colleges in May; 11 colleges had participated; we had about 15 student teams participating. We met with them, briefed them; they made a self-selection; 7 members of the Rainbow team and their coordinator Glin Anto.

Vinit Ranjan talked of “organizing the agriculture” and stressed on the need to shift to “organic farming” in about 6 years, with government playing an enabling role; interesting indeed

Prithvi Acharya wanted corporate sector to send the message across that they value not B Techs and those with 70% marks alone, so that students can pursue what they are good at, a very interesting view

Shubha MG talked of private public partnership in making Indian cities clean; she emphasized an interesting twist; making cities clean might significantly increase employment opportunities and increase revenue from tourism

Saranga Sharma wants “Elections to go the Smart Phone way” to save on costs, ensure fairness and make it more inclusive; truly GenNext idea!

Reshma Sundar talked of renewable energy powered trailer wagon to clean up the rather dirty railway track all over India! very interesting thought

Akhila Mathur talked of virtual reality and second life giving a virtual identity that can lead to “virtual rehabilitation” of sections of the society like those who went to prison for petty crimes, those affected by serious illness . Again an out of box idea!

Finally, Karan Sobti talked of the need for creating an Innovation hub with Government creating a space, corporate sector dipping into the pool and venture capital funding it. Again it talked of innovation going all over India, an interesting thought indeed

All in all, it was an enjoyable session with GenNext truly taking charge!

Kanu Sanyal is no more

March 24, 2010

A key member of the Naxalite movement  (the movement derived its name from the village Naxalbari) and Founder of the political party CPI-ML committed suicide today

Naxalite movement is spreading all over india and can play spoilsport in our economic development; will the movement too die out the way the founder has? That will be a real boon to the country. It is not easy to contain such divisive elements

One prays that Naxalites wither away along with the founder