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Evangelise the entrepreneurship

Zafar Anjum | April 29, 2013
In a wide-ranging interview, Som Mittal, president of Nasscom, India, speaks of the three pillars of startups, the Singapore scene, the new direction of the Indian IT industry, and corporate governance.

Four new drivers that have come up are social media, mobility, analytics and Cloud. These four, even if companies are not expanding, they have no choice but to integrate these four technologies into their business. So, our work has moved clearly from not only working with the CIO (chief information officer) but now we are working with the CMO (chief marketing officer) because the CMO is the one who is spending money on the decision-making: where is the data, what are my consumers saying, what is happening on social media?

So, today you don't need to do market research. There are thousands and thousands of people who are writing about their experience with your product and competitors products and I think that's data that is available through analytics, so integrating this data into enterprises is driving it. So, that was one model that was very successful and growing.

In spite of the downturn and economic uncertainty that prevails, we still on a very large base had a double-digit growth this year and we expect in the coming year, 12 percent to 14 percent growth in dollar terms for our industry. So, while that is happening, I think two big movements are happening in India which is in our space. One is our domestic market.

I had meant to ask you about that. What's happening in the domestic market? What's the story there?

A huge amount of connectivity is happening. The government is putting up an optical fibre network through which 250,000 villages will get connected with broadband. So many of them will probably get connected even before they get connected on real roads so the fibre will reach there and we can't even imagine what all of that will entail because all experiments have shown that people in the rural areas, they don't have to be net savvy but they are very intuitive and they know that if something is available, they will know how to use this technology. So, we will see that happen.

Second thing is, given that we were so much behind, every time a new technology comes, we leap frog, we don't have to go through a legacy. For example, our landline growth is very small. Majority of the growth is happening in mobile lines. I would say we would probably have it in this point of time 600 million unique subscribers and maybe 950 million subscriptions.

So, you know these numbers are mind-boggling. Our own estimate is that in the number of Internet users, India is the single largest growing country in internet-we have 120 million Internet users today and then in the next 10 years it will become 650 million. It is a five time growth and when that happens, who knows what is going to happen to commerce and what business models will come in?


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