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Make in India: Is Indian Autodesk around the corner?

January 9, 2015

The new government of India tells it’s ministries and government departments to buy IT products which are made in India (government-asks-its-wings-to-procure-made-in-india-goods). There will be a central website to track this procurement to help the departments and show to top bosses the total consumption.

Is a software a product?

Does this include services? If yes, this idea may be loosely interpreted, because not all that much innovation happens here as far as IT services are concerned. Many are me-too attempts. Some of the companies are too young or unorganised to go for government departments with their tedium of processes and other unmentionables. So versions of reverse engineered products and service packages will crowd the scene with genuine, well-baked, home grown ones.

Imagine this: The government departments that were themselves using pirated (and often outdated) software will magically find, pay for, train in, and utilise Indian products. More and more tenders will invite vendors “Providing Genuine Indian Software for the Computers at so and so (department)” Indian equivalents of Chinese keyboard will replace the foreign imports everywhere. AutoCAD will be replaced by ???

If it is understood in spirit and letter both, it will step up the struggle of ‘foreign’ companies and their legitimate Indian subsidiaries to convince the often rigid mindsets. There will be more and more contracts to write softwares or create packages specific to client needs. And local companies will learn to step up and provide solutions as best as they can.

It’s also scary: In some ways, it will become like Defence services. The earliest movers would have the best opportunities, irrespective of the merit of their offerings. At many places, there will be deterioration in performance. For a host of products and services, there appear no indigenous alternatives in sight. E.g. Drawing, designing or human resource management softwares. What about Operating Systems? Even Google is struggling to get Chrome up. Does everyone know how to successfully use open source or Freewares? I don’t know how it will work in a place with too many options and too many levels of decision making.

Get better or get eliminated

To make in India, huge sacrifices are required. And, to make it well, it will suck the life out of the maker. Some will work in a room without a fan, toil their entire lives to create a water cooler that works without power, when most top scorers of her/ his school will run to join, and buy from, companies making A/Cs. Having more of the former type is the only way to move this big wheel. You need good education, and you need good skills. We also want parity with the rest of the world. So, the Government has to back it up with a system of thorough knowledge, and merit based reward. Support all the ‘good’ people. Hope that will follow.

This is not nationalism. This is common sense, of improving the economy where you operate, making your immediate surroundings a little better. One could call it social movement, not only economic. But only if you could make it genuine, and, Indian. Then it will be beneficial to India by using Indian brains, generating and keeping money in and for India.

From → Systems, Trivia

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