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Business News/ Specials / Lessons In Entrepreneurship/  The rise of made-in-India technology products
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The rise of made-in-India technology products

We have built brand India through hard work, and it’s time we establish supremacy through made-in-India products

Predominantly dominated by software services, product development is poised to be the next big-ticket Indian information technology (IT) success. Photo: Mint (Mint)Premium
Predominantly dominated by software services, product development is poised to be the next big-ticket Indian information technology (IT) success. Photo: Mint

The world has become an open market, thriving on innovation and technology. Individuals and organizations are developing new and innovative products and services in an increasingly competitive global environment. But how many of these products and services are being developed in India? And, how many of these will withstand fierce global competition?

From being an outsourcing hub to delivering efficient software services, India has come a long way. But Indian-made products are yet to claim their share of fame. Slowly, we are seeing a shift in the Indian technology industry. Predominantly dominated by software services, product development is poised to be the next big-ticket Indian information technology (IT) success. Pricing has always been an advantage for India due to low costs of setting up business and availability of a skilled workforce. But overcoming challenges of quality and technological know-how, India will emerge as an attractive destination for product development.

Developing products requires a great deal of understanding of market needs and, hence, proximity to the market helps in various stages of development viz-a-viz product pitch and discussions, product demonstrations, technical changes, incorporating feedback, market testing and so on. The growth of the Internet and web-enabled services has drastically reduced communication and connectivity problems and also cut down on product demo and training costs. It has also helped foster greater collaboration for product companies in gathering community feedback and effectively managing projects using more social tools. Thus, it is now easier to build products out of remote locations.

India is emerging as a major market for high-tech products and services. Most of these products are developed for markets very different from ours and later brought to India. Very few are built for India. This presents a tremendous opportunity for product developers to create products catering specifically to Indian market needs. Markets here come with their own unique set of challenges and a thorough understanding of these is essential for a product’s success. Indian companies would be better equipped to develop products through local knowledge and test them in the right environment.

Technology has made inroads into all aspects of our life and we foresee a manifold increase in technology consumption over the next few years. There will be greater demand for technology products to address needs in various sectors, including data management, software applications, healthcare, education and life sciences. Indian entrepreneurs can tap this opportunity to meet global demand for state-of-the-art technology in the consumer as well as enterprise markets.

Developing great products alone is not sufficient, marketing them to the right clientele, re-inventing according to changing market needs and creating a unique value proposition is equally important. Creating a technology brand is not easy and Indian-made product companies need to work on establishing their value on a global platform.

A major part of building successful products and companies lies in the strength of its people and an ecosystem that supports their growth. It is imperative for companies to implement credible talent acquisition and management policies to attract the right people. Industry–academia partnerships should be encouraged to guide students towards innovation and entrepreneurship. Our education system should encourage students in experimenting with new ideas and innovative thought processes. Government regulations and policies need to be made favourable for doing business within the country as well as dealing with markets and industry in other locations. The need of the hour is to create an ecosystem that supports research and development and helps set up businesses that focus on developing innovative products.

The growing interest of venture capital and angel funds validates the tremendous scope for developing tech products in India. Venture capital interest will continue to fuel growth in this sector in the coming years. Numerous fund houses are keen on investing in the latest tech innovations coming from India. They see value in these companies in developing high-end products that meet global standards. Such early-stage support is vital for companies to focus on their products and help scale projects efficiently.

We are already witnessing the initial success of Indian-made products. Global companies are setting up innovation centres in India for research and development. These centres are focusing on developing newer products for the Indian markets as well as finding ways to replicate them globally. A whole range of tech companies have developed great products and and succeeded in establishing a connect with their customers.

There is still a long way for an Apple Inc. or Google Inc. to emerge from India, but we have taken steps in the right direction. We have built brand India through hard work and excellency in delivering software services, now it is time we establish supremacy through made-in-India products.

Jaspreet Singh is the founder and chief executive of Druva Inc., a data management company.

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Published: 19 Feb 2013, 03:30 PM IST
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