Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What role does India play in IBM's plans of growth?

Dr. Guruduth Banavar, Director - IBM India Research Lab (IRL) shares his views:



IBM entered the Indian and the South Asian region market almost two decades ago, fully aware of the growth potential of the business area. Today, the south Asian markets are one of the most important growth markets for IBM globally.

Technology innovation plays an increasingly important role in steering companies to their business objectives and goals, and the success of an organization depends largely on the seamless integration of technology into its larger business plan. Dr. Guruduth Banavar, Director - IBM India Research Lab (IRL) plays a critical role in creating a cohesive, uniform technology roadmap for the organization with a view of near-term and long-term business objectives. Dr. Banavar speaks to Kanika Goswami, sharing his roadmap on how he drives an integrated approach to technology innovation.

Q 4.What role does India play in IBM's plans of growth?

India is what we call the growth market unit in IBM; it plays, a very significant role within IBM. The kind of growth we expect to see for the future IBM business model is to be supported significantly by India.

It is already a huge cog in the wheel of IBM. A couple of yeas ago, when our CEO came to India, he announced a 6 billion dollars investment in India for the next few years. This resulted in India becoming the second largest region in IBM, after the US. In terms of just the number of capabilities we have in this region, India is already a very critical part. In terms of innovation also India played a very critical role in a number of ways.

Firstly, India has the markets that you don't see in most parts of the world. For instance, right now India is the largest growing telecom market, and IBM sees this as a huge opportunity. IBM uses the knowledge gained in this market as the model for other places, especially for innovative business models and innovative technologies.

On the other hand, we also provide a lot of services to customers around the world through global delivery. In there too, the new kinds of services and the new ways of delivering them in India are in many ways unprecedented, because of the scale at which we do it. Sitting in Bangalore we may be managing the datacenters of the customer, we maintain it with a quality of services, in some cases we even increase the quality of services because we have the kind of visibility required for this process.

So, those are the innovations and capabilities that we have in India that have played a huge role in IBM becoming the international force.
To read more, please, visit - The India Mark in IBM | Business - InfoWorld

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Anand Mahindra on Tech Mahindra and Satyam

Verbatim transcript of the exclusive interview with Anand Mahindra on CNBC-TV18:

Q: Nobody suspected that it would lead to Satyam and all those things?

A: No, because it was working more as a sweatshop for British Telecom.

Q: Weren’t British Telecom partners?

A: They still are. I give them credit. It was an act of foresight on their part to recognise that they could come and see India as an offshore destination. Mind you that is before the whole IT miracle took place here.

Q: Way before Bangalore became a household name?

A: Yes.

Q: We ended by talking about Tech Mahindra and British Telecom, what actually happened out of that?

A: It was like there was intent to come and look at telephony and at that time the government was far from allowing anyone into telephony and then the chairman of that time Sir Valance, had this brilliant idea that India could be a source of very low cost and value for money software skills.

Q: When was this?

A: This was back in 1985-86, so this was one of the first ventures in this but you have to understand that it didn't start from a garage or from an entrepreneurial notion but it started from one large company looking at adding value to its services, still an act of foresight which is why the British Telecom actually remains today the largest off-shore company in India since they stared early.

So it was like a joint venture, it went along, was based in Pune and then kept supplying BT with what it needed but missed the boat completely and clearly by the time I became the Chairman in 1997.

Although it was cruising along very profitably, we were filled with a thinking that we had missed this boat and that’s when we really revamped it, brought in a completely new board and said can we catch up.

Q: And you have done okay haven’t you?

A: I think we have done okay and there has been tremendous amount of support from British Telecom in the first phase and then we have this dynamic board that we have which is very international.

We said, now we are a billion dollars, and now what’s the next orbit and are you going to be able to grow at this rate in the same vertical where we have established our dominance or is it time to become a more diversified player.

At that point if you choose to turn the latter trying to do it organically, it takes a lot more time. To get to critical mess and its reached a level of maturity in this industry. So you don’t have opportunities to grow as organically as fast as you did, hence the attractiveness of Satyam for us.

Q: Was it something you thought about for a long time when you read in the paper one day that Raju had confessed, did you say, hey I want that company?

A: Let me make a confession, we had actually thought about it a year earlier.

To be very honest that it happened where there were some reports about it of him being pursued by IBM and being played upon by IBM. That point I had a word with him.

In fact, essentially as Vineet Nayar said, this is a marriage made in heaven. At that time he was twice our size but I still saw a real fit because of the complement he added to the verticals.

I was always puzzled as to why he never came back to me. It looked so interesting for him. But now I know why.

Q: What happened then?

A: I reached out again when the Maytas issue surfaced. And again got no answer. I reached out through various intermediaries. And then the infamous confession took place. That was a process. The government in a very unique manner was transparent. As you know, transparency suits us fine. It always creates an advantage for us.
To read more, please, visit - Anand Mahindra: The auto maker who dreams of making films

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Union Budget 2009 - 10: The extension of the sunset clause on STPI by a year is welcome

R Chandrasekaran, President and Managing Director, Global Delivery, Cognizant:

"The extension of the sunset clause on STPI by a year is welcome. While this will benefit the entire industry, it will specifically benefit the small and medium sized companies in the industry that needed this critical impetus for growth. This is also important in this turbulent global economic environment, in the context of emerging locations such as China, Philippines or Vietnam continuing to offer attractive tax incentives”."

Vikas Khanvelkar, MD DesignTech Systems Ltd.:

"The long-term extension of tax exemptions under The Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) scheme has not happened. This is not a good news; especially for Small and Medium IT services exporters who cannot afford to avail SEZ Benefits."

To read more, please, visit - Budget is a ‘mixed bag’, says industry

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Essar Steel close to acquiring major stake in Shree Precoated Steels at Ranjangaon near Pune


Essar Steel, part of the Ruia-controlled diversified conglomerate, is close to acquiring a majority stake in Shree Precoated Steels of the Ajmera Group, in a move that will consolidate its presence in the value-added steel market and make it one of the largest players in the cold-rolled segment.

The acquisition would give Essar Steel control over Shree Precoated Steels’ manufacturing unit and over 200 acres of land at Ranjangaon near Pune.

Ranjangaon is considered to be an auto manufacturing hub and is home to a large number of auto majors.

The deal size is estimated at around Rs 700-800 crore.

Colour coated steel and galvanised steel, which are made at Shree Precoated Steels, are used by auto companies.

Shree Precoated Steels is an unlisted company of the Ajmera group and has the capacity to make about 600,000 tonne of cold rolled steel — a major input for cars and consumer goods — and about 450,000 tonne of galvanised steel and about 350,000 tonne of colour-coated steel.
To read more, please, visit - The Economic Times

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