Thursday, November 04, 2004

Software Industry is the top exporter

MUMBAI: The software industry has overtaken the gems and jewellery as well as textiles industries, to become the number one exporter in the country, National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) President Kiran Karnik said.
Speaking at Stanford Asia Technology Initiative’s (ATI) Global Entrepreneurship Conference on ‘The Rise of the Indian Multinational: Global Business Trends’ Karnik said that software accounted for exports worth $13 billion against a total merchandise export of $60 billion.
“The industry grew at 30 per cent last year despite the slowdown in the US economy and the projected growth this year is 32 per cent,” the Nasscom President said.
He attributed the performance to India’s excellent brand value and something known as the PQRS factor - Productivity, Quality, Rate and Skills, where the last factor refers not just to numbers but to scalability of skillsets as well.
Nevertheless, there are certain issues that needed to be addressed for India to emerge as an IT superpower. In order to ensure adequate security and privacy of large data, Nasscom is working on a framework in which legislation and enforcement go hand in hand, he said.
“On the issue of human resource development, Nasscom is working with state government schools to introduce English language and computer education at the primary level itself, besides ensuring regular appraisal of knowledge dissemination practices from the secondary level upwards,” Karnik said.
The organisation is also working on a US-India partnership model under which companies in the US would act as front-ends through financial, marketing and client interface support, while India would provide the human capital for product and systems development.
Karnik was also optimistic about the improvement of infrastructure particularly in the telecom sector that has already seen a 30 per cent reduction in prices last year and which is expected to see a similar reduction this year as well.
Stanford University Electrical Engineering Professor Dr Arogyaswami Paulraj pointed out that India would be a world-class consumer by 2010 with 120-150 million mobile subscribers, 30 million consumers of broadband services and 10 million in LAN.
He estimated capital investment in the wireless sector at $50 to $75 billion by that year. However, a great thrust is needed for India to emerge as a technological base in the wireless segment, since the country's role in research, contribution to standards and core silicon applications are negligible.

As published in The Herald, Pune. (c) The Herald.

Posted by Scribbler at 2:24 AM

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Software, ITES exports surge

PUNE: Outcry against Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) notwithstanding, export of computer software, services and IT-enabled services grew 25 per cent during the last fiscal, clocking a whopping Rs 58,000 crore as against Rs 46,500 crore during 2002-03.
“If this trend is maintained, it is possible to achieve the target of $50 billion IT export by 2008 since software and IT-eS are the driving force of Indian IT exports,” Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council (ESC) said.
Computer software and services recorded a growth of 15.28 per cent in 2003-04 to Rs 41,500 crore as compared to Rs 36,000 crore during the year-ago period, data released by ESC said.
This performance of software and services during 2003-04 has overshot the target by over two per cent in dollar terms due to hardening of the Rupee against dollar, ESC executive director, D K Sareen said.
Export of ITES has gone up by 57.14 per cent during the last financial year to reach Rs 16,500 crore while it was Rs 10,500 crore in the previous fiscal. Its export performance in the overall IT basket stood second, next only to computer hardware, which registered a growth of 162 per cent. However, ITES export during the period fell marginally short of the targetted Rs 17,198 crore.
According to ESC, the share of computer software and services and ITES to the total IT export was 88 per cent. Of this, computer software and services alone contributed 63 per cent to the IT export basket while the figure was 89 per cent in the year-ago period.
“This is mostly due to phenomenal increase in the export of electronic hardware, which has increased by 37.5 per cent in 2003-04 as compared to the previous year,” ESC said. Electronic hardware export has touched Rs 7,700 crore in 2003-04 as against Rs 5,600 crore in 2002-03.

As published in The Herald, Pune.(c) The Herald.

Posted by Scribbler at 3:32 AM

Thursday, September 09, 2004

EDS expands operations in Pune

By Aditya Kuber
Electronic Data Systems Corp (EDS) has opened a solution centre facility in Pune. The company also announced the expansion of its Best Shore global capabilities with the opening of the state-of-the-art centre at Cybercity in Magarpatta. The centre will be spread over almost 90,000 sq feet and has a capacity to seat 770 employees.

This will be the company’s second facility in Pune. The centre is designed to provide EDS’ clients with affordable and flexible application services as well as ensuring consistent delivery systems. The company caters the telecommunications, automotive, manufacturing and financial services industries among others.

Speaking at the inauguration, David Clementz, executive vice-president, Service Delivery, said, “This is a continuation to global service commitment. We are also furthering our presence in
India.” The company also has centres in Mumbai, Chennai and Gurgaon.
Speaking about Pune as the choice for the new location, Tom Mattia, vice-president, Global Communications, said, “Pune offers a great skillset and a good base of people to choose from. With the expansion in Pune, we are now have a 1000-strong presence here.”

The company also plans to expand further and is aiming to employ 2,000 professionals in
India by the end of this year and raise the number to nearly 5,000 by the end of 2005.
Elaborating on the concept of '
Best Shore' locations, Mattia said these locations were chosen after considering various parameters including social, political and economic conditions prevalent in the country. “We have a total of 90 centres across the world and 22 of these are Best Shore locations. India, and therefore Pune, is also one of them. In fact, we have one in almost every time zone.” With this expansion, India will be home to a fourth of the world’s Best Shore professionals for EDS.
Interestingly, EDS does not have a presence in
Bangalore. Scott Ayer, vice-president, Applications Delivery, Asia Pacific said, “The attrition rate in Bangalore is very high and there are too many companies looking for the same people. This was one of the reasons we decided to expand further in Pune.” Ayer also explained that the Pune centre had the capability to expand even more if the need arose.
EDS is using the Pune centre like the others in
India and focusing mainly on clients outside India. The work done in Pune is what happens around the world in EDS facilities.
EDS, though, is not very worried about competition from Indian giants. “We are a $20 billion company and at least 20 times bigger than any Indian ‘giant’,” said Clementz. “While the work they do is good and their growth admirable, we are just too big for them to compete with. I am not trying to belittle them, but our global presence across 60 countries is something they will take time to catch up with.”

The company is also looking at new businesses in
India and are not averse to a partnership with Indian companies for the purpose. “We have worked with Wipro and Satyam in the past and are not against the idea should the opportunity and need present itself,” said Ayer.
The sensitive issue of outsourcing backlash in the
US is “not really an issue” for EDS says Clementz. “We have to realise that it is good to outsource in the long run. We need to put it out there that this would only help create more wealth. Outsourcing has been a part of our company for the last 14 years,” he added. None of the outsourcing, he clarified, would be done at the expense of any jobs. “We certainly do not outsource with that intent.”
Abhay Gupte, managing director, EDS India, said, “It’s about bringing value. We will bring our best practices and values to our operations.”

EDS generated 40 per cent of its revenue from outside the
US, mainly Europe. “We have deals for vertical industry segments worth $ 70 billion in the pipeline. Most of our deals are long-term, 5 to 10 years or so,” said Clementz.

Recently, though, the company was dealt a body blow when rating agency Moody’s downrated the company to the first level of jun, BBB. Commenting on the development, Mattia said, “We were very vocal in saying that we are a firmly invested company and the agency’s questions about how we would sustain ourselves and grow were untimely. We went to 250 existing and prospective clients to clarify the situation and the announcement didn’t really hurt us. Standard and Poor’s and Finch, incidentally, maintained our previous high ratings.” Clementz echoed the sentiment saying the change in rating was “unfortunate and not called for. We will end the year strongly.”

As published in The Herald, Pune. (c) The Herald.

Posted by Scribbler at 10:54 PM

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Tata Honeywell recognised for best practices

By Aditya Kuber
Tata Honeywell Limited, a leader in integrated automation and software solutions has received the ISO:14001 certification for excellence in quality control and the prestigious OHSAS:18001 certification for best practices in occupational health and safety system. It is the first automation company in the country to be recognised for best practices in quality control, occupational health and safety systems. The assessment for the certification was done by Det Norske Veritas (DNV) of Norway.

Speaking on the occasion, A Venkataram, director, Certification, Region Middle East, South & South East Asia, Det Norske Veritas (DNV), Norway said, “The certifications recognise best practices that Tata Honeywell has been following for past few years. I am sure Tata Honeywell will continue to add value to its existing systems and processes to achieve business excellence.”
Accepting the award on behalf of the company, Kishore Chaukar, managing director, Tata Industries and Member on Board of Tata Honeywell Limited said, “It is an important milestone for Tata Honeywell. The certifications highlight the inherent processes and systems the company has built over the years to provide the best quality to customers and good health and safety to its employees. Tata Honeywell is a shining example of best practices followed in Tata Group and I commend them on this feat.”
Chaukar added that the next step was to maintain this and in fact, raise the bar and make others follow. “There has to be consistency and quality in performance. Tata Honeywell must raise the bar,” he added. He also said appreciated the fact that this was the first time that both certifications had been awarded to a process industry. “These certifications are normally given to manufacturing units,” he noted.
Said Vinayak Deshpande, managing director, Tata Honeywell Limited, “It is a proud moment for us and a recognition of the fact that we are a quality conscious company with a high concern for health and safety of our employees.”

As published in The Herald, Pune. (c) The Herald.

Posted by Scribbler at 3:48 AM