i was interviewing for one of the IT corporates some time back for their COO
position and once i managed to dig a bit into their financials, i backed out.
the majority of their revenue streams are from processing in advanced stuff,
processing code, processing transactions, processing quality control. They do
this very well. Very very well. standardise the process, six sigma the shit out
of it, hire the great unwashed herd of graduates pouring out of the
universities - retrain them to be great processors and great business model.
But this kind of model is very susceptible to dis-intermediation from further
advances in technology. When I asked if can have some serious seed funding to
develop products rather than just provide services, there was a bit of a hoo
ha. I think a product plus service model is the best option, create great
products and then have a long tail in services and maintenance contracts. we
have some of these products but not enough. not easy to develop products - the
eco-system isn’t there yet.
so whilst i don’t think its the end of the road, but for example, every 2
months I am in a conference where vendors pitch up talking about robotic
process improvement or AI and how they are showing 20–50% reduction in warm
bodies in agency/outsourced/offshored units. Where will these 20-50% of highly
trained processors go when the infosys or TCS lets them go? Thankfully the
economy is ginormous and we are well accustomed to poverty and pain and still
have the joint / extended family to fall back upon. But for the IT industry?
i agree with Srini, changing careers is not easy for us desi’s….(says the man
who has made a career of changing careers, heh).