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India, A technology Hub? – Think Again!

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While we are proud and boast of tiding the recession well – a well achieved feat per say. While we suggest our mobile/internet penetration at an exponentially growing rate. And most importantly, while we pamper ourselves with the thought of billions of dollars our companies make. A question that has often left unspoken than others.

Are we really as good at implementing the technology at our own house as we do outside ours. Why are we, as a user deprived of the commodity and the level of technology that we export, as a vendor?

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And when are we expected to get the same technology deployed in our own backyard so that atleast then we think of increasing the comfort of living. Some of the stuffs which I would like to be implemented in India, but can’t be/or won’t be depending on the suitability, are given below.

1.Wireless check transfer in US:

There are banks in the US offering on the go check transfers. All you got to do is click a photo of your check the way they have told, add as an attachment to the Smartphone app or email. The amount is credited as per the transaction mentioned by the user. If as of now, I have to deposit a check in any Indian bank, I doubt if any bank has initiated the wireless credit functionality.

2.Google voice:

It offers free calling across USA from your Google US Email account. This is yet to be implemented anywhere else. Like many other products of Google, and other big firms, Google voice fails to make an entry into the Indian Market.

Yes, I am aware of issues with VOIP and Government’s dictat over it, but that is a problem as well!

3.Telecom Backend enhancement:

Telecom firms outside India have a very strong control over each activity the customer performs. In India, if a BSNL telephone line goes down, you would have to either go to BSNL Office or raise a request through a toll free number provided by them (Which would work only if the phone lines are on. And yes, you can’t call that number from your mobile).

Outside of India in most places, Fault creation and management/order tracking/replacement/queries are all automated. The fun part is, these are all done by Indian vendors. Not that we don’t have technology. We surely lack the channel to implement it.

4. Voice support (?):

When Siri for Apple was launched, it created waves in India. But as the implementation of Siri goes, It is dependent on accent of the user. Obviously it doesn’t understand a map direction if asked for Appa Balwant chowk to Magarpatta to or Undri to Pimple Gurav (Areas in Pune).

Why, a technology so relevant in the US, when capable of making it in-house, is not yet implemented by any firms here in India?

There are infinite other technical advances which we can only read on email or access video on YouTube, but would need 3-4 years to come to practice in India.

I find the below reasons as major Obstacles here.

1. Smartphone what?

As of today, the Smartphone Penetration in India is minimal. Even after the increase (supposedly, due to the fast market that Smartphone’s are picking up), 50% of the Users still do not use a data plan on Smartphone. I would say a nokia 1100 is much a better phone than Smartphone without data plan, as it atleast carries a Torch –an advanced feature above Smartphone besides conventional calling and messaging.

It is because of this, that the companies are yet to put money in enhancement of technology when it comes to mobile banking or SIRI for the matter. I mean what’s the use if Apple tests SIRI for Indian accents if they know only a few handfuls are actually going to implement it.

2. Internet. Slow.

The rising issue which pops up time and again. The Average internet speed of India when it comes to even the south Asian countries, let alone developed countries, is way too slow. As we speak, I have kept a wolverine movie trailer to buffer – coz I really want to watch it on 720pHD and my plan supports not more than 240p – and STILL cost a heavy 1000 bucks.

A large area of improvement and scope for technological advancement can be seen here. Nobody except a few seems to have tapped the internet vendor market. Those who have done it, also have a blocker or area specific network or “out of range” buildings. 2 more years? Who knows.

3. Dollar Sir!!

We as a vendor charge the outsourced work in dollars (because of which the IT Industry breathes). And now we say we need the same technology in India. Well, we would have to pay in the multiples of 55Rs. to whatever our vendors charge outside. Why? Because of the currency weakness. Do I want that strength of Rupee to increase? Nope. That would mean the IT would fare low and the profits would drop. Let’s face it; being in IT, I would prefer it this way than that!

4. Delayed Launches in India

New products and flagship phones are launched much later than outside, as the prices are high and the cell phone manufacturer expects profit, not charity. This is the reason that Micromax can offer us cheap phones and NOT because it’s a Chinese brand. It’s an Indian brand(Office in Gurgaon), striving to get to the top, has its own share of minuses, but not a Chinese brand (The association of Micromax with Chinese brand is long seen on ecommerce website reviews.)

Thanks to some initiatives taken by the MNC’s themselves, we have Google books and movies now tapped for Indian market. Even then, I doubt if Google glass would be delivered to India anytime near to its international launch.

India specific products have slowly gathered pace, and that the MNC’s realize the potential our market carries. Largely so, the obstacles still seem more than the technological advancement we have achieved over years.

We would still sell our product outside, not just for monetary gains, but the appreciation, the use and the benefit it does to its customers – a long chase for India?

  1. spk says

    You are way to far my boy, India have much more unsolved problems like Drought, poverty, literature, and a long list.
    a person who can’t able to solve problems of his household , then how come outside?

    I still take hats off for IT, last 10 back people used to talk India is 50 years back from US in development, IT made that value to 5 or 10 i think.
    India holds 8th rank in TOP500 In Supercomputing.

    I think personal development is what people need, india youth is nowhere, i am not talking about you me and rajiv gandhi, i am talking about 41 % of india’s population, which lives in colleges makes friends, girlfriends , visits malls, multiplexes, and searching jobs, remaining unemployed if high earning jobs are already takes. nowhere means just careless.

    1. Siddhesh Joshi says

      @spk,

      I concur to every point and aspect that you mentioned. The fact that we have the resources, funds and the manpower, but still we are not leaping ahead in the technological implementations in our own country. The unsolved problems like Drought, poverty etc, are existent and will exist as long as we reform in view of these. My point was purely on the technical advancement that we are proud of, and the fact that we are still deprived of the same.

      Extracting positives from your last point,
      I completely agree that we have more than adequate manpower, but limited ‘quality’ manpower. Another point that can be a supportive evidence to the fact of slow deployment of technology in India.

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