The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Nasscom platform for infotech interaction

New Delhi, Sept 5: The National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom) today launched a product forum that will provide relevant industry information, allow exchange of ideas and identify issues related to marketing, branding, investments and IP (Intellectual Property) creation and protection.

The forum, which will provide a broad platform for multinational companies (MNC) and Indian product companies to interact and share best practices, will be spearheaded by Nasscom’s regional office in Bangalore.

Announcing this, Nasscom chairman Arun Kumar said, “We have seen a substantial growth in the number of Indian companies in the software products development space from 317 in 1999-2000 to 453 in 2001-02. However, this growth has been limited due to the unique challenges that this sector faces. To address these challenges in a focused manner and to encourage Intellectual Property creation in the country, we have set up the special forum for software products.”

“The forum aims to identify opportunities across verticals and provide a platform for Indian IT companies to strike alliances with their counterparts abroad,” he added.

Growing pressure on global ISVs (independent software vendors) to supplement development and lower costs has meant that a window of opportunity has opened up for Indian companies.

Emergence of new technologies such as Web services are likely to open vistas for Indian software product companies. Indian companies can also play an important role in large market for niche software products that helps improve efficiency of existing processes and develop components or products that contributes to speedy product development.

According to Som Mittal, vice-chairman, Nasscom, “Over the years, Indian companies have entered the software product development market, but have been able to capture only 0.2 per cent of the $ 180-billion global software product market. Now is the time to look at product development space more aggressively. Some of the more promising verticals for the sector include banking, insurance, telecom, retail, hotel and aviation.”

Indian companies need to build on the strong domain knowledge and global exposure they have been able to gain in the software services and ITES sector to enter this space.

Adopting the stepping stone approach, such as offshore development or product acquisition, can do this.

To increase their geographical reach, Indian companies will have to adopt a well-defined marketing strategy, build a strong management team and adopt a customer centric development approach.

“Some of the activities that Indian companies can undertake include development of specific modules and functionalities for integration with the larger product. They can also provide testing services which would span multiple levels of testing like test design, plan development and execution across the various stages of the product development life cycle to help develop the initial know how,” Mittal added.

Nasscom has over 850 members that collectively contribute more than 95 per cent of the Indian software industry’s revenues.

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