The world has become an open market, thriving through 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 developed in India? And how many of them will stand up to fierce global competition?
From being an outsourcing hub to providing efficient software services, India has come a long way. But products made in India have yet to claim their share of glory. Slowly we are witnessing a change in the Indian tech industry. Mainly dominated by software services, product development is poised to be the next big thing for Indian information technology (IT). Pricing has always been an advantage for India due to low business start-up costs and availability of skilled labor. But by overcoming the challenges of quality and technological know-how, India will emerge as an attractive destination for product development.
Product development requires a great understanding of market needs and therefore proximity to the market helps in different stages of development i.e. product presentation and discussions, product demonstrations, technical modifications, integration of comments, market tests, etc. The growth of the Internet and web services has dramatically reduced communication and connectivity issues, as well as product demonstration and training costs. It has also helped foster greater collaboration between product companies by gathering community feedback and effectively managing projects using social tools. Thus, it is now easier to create products from 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 that specifically meet the needs of the Indian market. Here, markets present their own unique set of challenges and a thorough understanding of these is essential to the success of a product. Indian companies would be better equipped to develop products using local knowledge and test them in the right environment.
Technology has made inroads into all aspects of our lives and we expect a multiple increase in technology consumption over the next few years. There will be an increased demand for technology products to meet the needs of various industries, including data management, software applications, healthcare, education, and life sciences. Indian entrepreneurs can harness this opportunity to meet the global demand for advanced technologies in consumer and business markets.
Developing good products alone is not enough, marketing them to the right customers, reinventing them according to changing market needs and creating a unique value proposition is equally important. Building a tech brand is not easy and Indian-made product companies must strive to establish their value on a global platform.
A big part of creating successful products and businesses is the strength of its people and an ecosystem that supports their growth. It is imperative for companies to have credible talent acquisition and management policies in place to attract the right people. Industry-university partnerships should be encouraged to guide students towards innovation and entrepreneurship. Our education system should encourage students to experiment with new ideas and innovative thought processes. Government regulations and policies must be made conducive to doing business in the country as well as dealing with markets and industry in other places. The need of the hour is to create an ecosystem that supports research and development and helps create companies that focus on developing innovative products.
The growing interest from venture capital and angel funds confirms the huge potential for tech product development in India. Venture capital interest will continue to fuel the growth of this sector in the years to come. Many fund companies want to invest in the latest technological innovations from India. They see the value of these companies in developing premium products that meet global standards. Such early-stage support is essential for companies to focus on their products and help scale projects efficiently.
We are already seeing the initial success of products made in India. Global companies are setting up innovation centers in India for research and development. These centers focus on developing new products for Indian markets as well as finding ways to replicate them globally. A whole host of tech companies have developed great products and managed to connect with their customers.
There is still a long way to go for a Apple Inc. or Google Inc. out of India, but we have taken steps in the right direction. We have built the India brand through hard work and excellence in delivering software services, now is the time to establish supremacy through products made in India.
Jaspreet Singh is the founder and CEO of Druva Inc., a data management company.