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Innovation, the way forward for IT sector


Priyanka Joshi  |  Mumbai 

Innovation, which had almost been wiped off corporate whiteboards during the recent recession, is set to make a comeback in the next two years. Many industry experts at the Nasscom Leadership Summit said that India still ranks quite low on innovation parameters, despite sound fundamental capabilities and opportunities.

The industry believes that innovative business processes and business models will have to be implemented in the next three-five years for the IT sector to leapfrog into the next decade. It will also be a key parameter to capture the $175-billion opportunity by 2020 that Nasscom has projected.

“Indian IT companies have to jumpstart themselves into an innovation-driven economy at an accelerated pace or face the ignominy of becoming irrelevant in the knowledge-driven globalised world of the 21st century,” said Gururaj ‘Desh’ Deshpande of Sparta Group.

Deshpande was appointed co-chairman of the ‘National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship’ last year to support US President Barack Obama’s innovation strategy.

He argued: “It is imperative for India to bridge the existing gap and to improve its overall Innovation Ecosystem, with R&D leading to commercialisation. This calls for a joint effort from both government as well as industry, which can be achieved through a framework in the public-private-partnership mode. Such an institutional mechanism can bridge the gaps in the innovation ecosystem directly impeding the development and growth of the Indian industry and anchor the nation’s industrial R&D movement.”

Addressing the 19th edition of Nasscom India Leadership Summit, Minister of Human Resource Development and Communications & IT Kapil Sibal said the Indian IT sector needed to look beyond revenue numbers and use in empowering lives of population.

“When I look at technology, I look at it as an enabler. Success of depends on how many numbers of people it reaches thus empowering their lives. When I think of industry (IT), I don’t think of dollars and revenue numbers but I think of people; how many numbers of people can be connected by the industry,” said Sibal.

He said the industry should not be looked only from a tax perspective. It should act as a mechanism that empowers people.

Industry experts said apart from the existing growth areas, a vibrant start-up ecosystem, cloud, software as a service, analytics, mobile and products for India will be the way forward.

“As we step further, this decade heralds a new beginning, a new transformation for the industry. Transformative service delivery is always business focused, delivers confidence and manages risks, using modern business re-alignment. At the same time, enabling sustained savings and value. The dawn of the new decade has signalled a new partnership with customers in key markets and emerging countries to enhance competitiveness and value creation,” said Som Mittal, president.

Kumar Parkala, head of IT advisory, KPMG in India, said the world had gone through an economic downturn and there was an even stronger need for organisations to improve efficiencies by using collaborative solutions and real time information exchange.

Infosys CEO, Kris Gopalakrishnan agreed. Speaking on the sidelines of the Summit, he said: “Innovation of any kind has to be promoted and hence the R&D investments have to be made now.”

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First Published: Wed, February 09 2011. 01:08 IST