I’m here in Mumbai at the NASSCOM India Leadership Forum. The NASSCOM event is very exciting because you see so many people from the industry all together in one place. There is a slightly different atmosphere to last year though. I can feel the same energy as before, but the content of the talks are different. There is far less of the ‘we are growing so fast’ type discussion and more about management, how to manage IT, how to create a genuine value proposition.
It’s clearly a reaction to the global economic slowdown, but in some ways it is a good thing for this conference because it’s not really about muscle, it’s about value and content. Some of the IT companies in India have grown so fast, that this transformation in the market is an opportunity for them to really consider where they can offer value.
I had a great conversation with the analyst firm Gartner earlier today and I’ve met some really interesting people and several journalists too. I’m keen to grow the Steria brand and to ensure Steria is seen and respected here in India and always well positioned in the media. We certainly have the best position for our stand at the conference!
The Cisco CEO, John Chambers, was a great speaker, although I managed to miss the early part of his speech. The first day here at NASSCOM had some speakers who were really full of optimism, yet in Europe we seem to constantly talk about how we will suffer more tomorrow! Maybe we are creating our own crisis by partially talking ourselves into it? It’s a pleasant change to hear how the Indian government is not talking the market down, but exploring new opportunities – like developing their own market further.
The Indian domestic market for IT services is growing fast and it could possibly be a future market for Steria, though probably not for just general IT services – they already have a lot of local companies! If we could take one of our well-shaped solutions and apply it to the Indian market then why not? For example, IBM is now doing a lot of business in the Indian market so anything is possible.
If I had to explore the one thing missing at this conference though I would suggest that maybe this year we are missing some clients at NASSCOM. It’s a supplier convention, but it would be more interesting if they could include more perspectives from clients, probably from CIOs as they are usually the closest person to the suppliers they hire. It would be great for all of us in the IT services market to learn directly from these people. Imagine if the CIO of a major telco could tell the conference about his top ten issues for 2009, or a banking CIO explaining his changing strategy.
That’s what I would love to see at NASSCOM next year.