Indians are good at services and solutions but can not make good IT products – this is the old problem that we keep hearing about in the industry.
I have been meeting software companies in APAC in last one year. I meet lot of small and medium size companies. One common thing that I hear about them is that all of them have clients in APAC or Europe or in USA. These are small companies 10 to 50 people – not very big. Yet they manage to find buyers in other parts of the world.
Actually it is other way round, customers in other countries trust these products and companies.
There are many companies in India bigger than these companies. Why is it that Indian companies do not instill confidence about Indian Product capabilities, when Indian skills are very well acknowledged, Indians are respected in IT industry.
After spending one year in APAC, I have my perspective. Though this is not a comprehensive view but one of the issues.
We are good at creating ‘solutions’ – solutions that can be tweaked whenever there is a problem. We love to solve the problems and we are very comfortable in the world of ambiguity. But this mental state is not good for making products. Products need state of fixed input and predictable output. Somehow, I realised that we, Indians are not good at being “exact”, “precise” “to the point”. We like giving “big picture” solutions, giving broad views.
Just think about the conversations that we have most of the time – about politics, economics, life. We love to talk a lot but without being precise. Ok this is a very generalised view and there are many good and precise thinking people in India. But the fact is that our brand, image as Indians is not like that. We as, people, are not known to be precise and exact. Hence the buyers dont find trust in capabilities to build great products.
This view was strengthened when I learned about the schooling system in Singapore. The way questions are asked and way students are supposed to answer develops thinking in the direction of being precise, being exact. Where as in India we encourage students to be creative and think out of the box. While it is good in many fields but it has not created a image of being precise.
Now it is a different question whether we should capitalise on our “solutions” and “Creative” brand or should we strive to build the products. I am not getting into that at this point.
And finally if you find above writing to be very generalised and lacking preciseness, well you have got my point.