India is fast becoming a test bed for technology innovations by most of the Indian IT services companies, who also wants to replicate those in global market after seeing their success. They say that if the innovations are relevant in India, it can be successful elsewhere in the world.
Take for example the case of Happiest Minds Technologies, a new entrant to the crowded IT services space in India. The six months old company is working with an electronic media company in building an IT infrastructure which is expected to revolutionise the way the television advertising is being telecast in the country. This will help the client (TV channel) to beam advertisements targeted at a particular city or region in that particular city or region, instead of beaming it for the whole country. India will be one of the first few markets in the world to adopt this technology, said Vikram Gulati, CEO & MD of Happiest Minds Technologies.
"If you are not relevant in your home country, you can never be successful in the global markets. Lots of companies have tried to use India only as a cheap labour base. But, today the Indian customers are far more demanding and far more sophisticated than some of the global customers," Gulati added.
V Balakrishnan, CFO and board member of Infosys also agrees with that. Among the large Indian IT services company, Infosys perhaps was the last one to explore India as a market.
However, the company sees India as an ideal place for testing all the innovations. The company’s engagement with the Income Tax Department for the centralized processing centre (CPC) is seen as one of the most ambitious transformational projects in the country. The company is working with Bangalore Electric Supply Company on a project which will substantially reduce the energy wastage with the help of smart grid and smart meters. Infosys is now looking at offering banking solutions to un-banked rural masses using its Finacle banking platform.
"India is a place where you can test all such innovations," said Balakrishnan.
Indian domestic IT market is growing at a faster pace than the growth of IT exports. Just from about $500 million market a few years back, as per the most recent Nasscom projection, the domestic IT services market in India is estimated to be worth over $15 billion.
"The domestic market has reflected a phenomenal capacity to lead IT service players into realising high revenues and delivering innovative services in this region. This market space has travelled a long way and is now a quite mature one. It has also undergone a dramatic shift in terms of client behavior and demand," said Pradeep Bindal, President, India Business, HCL Technologies.
HCL Tech is working with a large power utility company in India to help monitor and eventually reduce electricity distribution losses. A large financial services company in India is working with HCL Technologies in a BOOR (Build, Own, Operate, Refresh) model wherein payments are being collected directly from the client’s clients.
"In a way, India gives us the same power except that the value you get here is lower. But it’s also important to work in a market where you get to learn a lot," said Gulati of Happiest Minds.