Saturday, March 7, 2009

Is IBM also in the race to buy Satyam?

Global IT giant IBM is learned to be leading the list of prospective buyers of beleaguered Satyam Computer Services. If the plan fructifies, IBM would become the largest IT services player in India with a combined employee strength of over 125,000 people.

According to sources close to the development, IBM officials has begun discussions with Satyam board and expressed its desire to acquire a majority stake in the company. Moreover, a team of investment bankers and lawyers from the U.S. and Europe has been brought in to assess the size of the deal and the risks associated with it. It is also believed that IBM has conducted an initial due diligence on some of Satyam's major customers.

Making easy entry for foreign players, Minister of Corporate Affairs P C Gupta had said a week ago that open bids would not be restricted to Indian players. IBM was named one of the hostile bidders for Satyam at the company's meeting in the last December. Apart from IBM, other prominent companies in the race are Larsen & Toubro (L&T), which owns 12 per cent in Satyam, and B K Modi-owned Spice group.

The government-nominated board is expected to invite bids for a 31 per cent stake in the company, but is likely to assure the successful bidder 51 per cent even if it fails to get the additional mandatory 20 per cent from the open offer.

Analysts foresee that if IBM can buy Satyam, that can give IBM the leverage to compete with Indian IT service providers as Satyam has a low-cost structure.


Progress Software target insurance, airlines sectors in India

Progress Software Corporation is targeting the insurance, logistics, BFSI and airlines sectors that are mushrooming with many foreign players coming into India.

The provider of application infrastructure software for the development, deployment, integration and management of business applications is looking to partner with domestic consultants with large working knowledge in these sectors.

Talking to CXOtoday, Jezmynn Koh, marketing manager, Asia, of Progress Software, said, "We see a very large potential for us in these sectors and, along with the business knowledge of our partners, we expect to grow big in India. This year we see big-time growth for the BFSI, telecom and insurance sectors."

In fact, the company has already selected a partner - Hasel Fre Solutions - who have business knowledge in the insurance sector. "Likewise, we are now looking for partners in the logistics, BFSI and airlines sectors," she said.

Progress Software's OpenEdge platform enables companies like QAE and Epicor to build an ERP solution on top of it. So, several companies in the BFSI, telecom and also public-sector undertaking sectors have customized the platform as per their requirements.

OpenEdge has been the "cash cows" for Progress Software for many years and contributes almost 70% to the company's revenues.

In the telecom space, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd has been managing data backend integration using Progress COBRA software so that switch-makers can integrate a totally different billing system. "With the fast growth in the telecom sector, most telecom companies face system integration challenges," said Koh.

Similarly, Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) has built a customized ERP solution on top of OpenEdge software for buying, selling and distribution for the last many years..

Besides, Progress also sells through their strategic partners - Wipro, TCS, Infosys and Satyam. Regarding continuing partnership with Satyam, Koh said her company will continue to partner as long as there is a business need for different projects.

Now Send SMS In Any Local Languages

By Manu Sharma

Since local language is always preferred to communicate with close ones, Tachyon Technologies, the Bangalore-based company initially rolled out Quillpad for the online players. It has recently introduced the solution for mobile players for their SMS service.

Talking to CXOtoday, Ram Prakash H., founder and CEO of Tachyon Technologies said, "We innovated a core less compression technology for the mobile version that has been compressed from eight mbps to less than 400 kbps. It has enabled easier usage for the end-user."

LG has rolled out four models that has inbuilt Quillpad in them and these included: KM 380T, KG 195, KP 199 and KP 220 models. Following the success with LG, Tachyon is talking to other manufacturers like Nokia, Samsung among others. "We want to initially target the mobile manufacturers who will bundle the features in the handsets and later approach the mobile service providers like Airtel, Reliance and Vodafone who can provide more value added services to the end users," said Prakash.

As per the agreement signed with LG (global), the license covers all languages. However, the company has initially rolled out models that can support only Hindi. "Quillpad in mobile makes it easy to type in local languages. It is as easy as we type test messages in English in dictionary mode," said Prakash.

On compatibility with other formats, he said Quillpad is Unicode-compliant and would support any application that supports Unicode. Quillpad was developed as an AI technology, which learns the rules and language patterns and can transliterate any language without help of any linguistic expert," said Prakash.

There is a two-fold advantage - since there is no dependence on a linguistic expert, it can be used for any language and one does not have to depend on the dictionary. Prakash said that this learning was just one-time, after which the trained set of patterns could be deployed by all users of Quillpad technology. The newly developed technology then enables predictive transliteration.

"When you are typing a word, the technology will put together the rules and come up with the right word. It is very similar to the way the T9 dictionary on mobile phones supports typing English words," he said. Another feature that is unique is that the technology is not dependent on one Indian language or its structure. It supports any language that can be written phonetically.

"This gives Quillpad an edge over other technologies. As the artificial intelligence technology can learn the pattern of new languages in just three to four hours, one can add new languages overnight," he said.

Software to reduce non-compliance risks

Hewlett Packard (HP) plans to unveil a new document and records management software - TRIM - aimed at reducing an organization's risk of non-compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements over the next few months in India.

Talking to CXOtoday Kris Brown, TRIM marketing manager, HP APAC, said, "We are likely to roll out the software in the coming months and will start with the manpower for sales force and also the training. The software was originally developed in Australia and later acquired by HP."

Globally, there are more than 20,000 regulations that businesses need to comply with, including the significant legislations such as Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA and BASEL-II. In India, specific regulations mandate on how companies manage and store their information, including the IT Act, Indian Evidence Act and SEBI Clause 49, but most of them are not enforced yet by the Indian government, said Brown.

Meeting these guidelines also increases the return on investments for any organization, Brown said.

HP TRIM software is a best-practice document and records management system (DRMS) that reduces your risk of non-compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements while increasing security, data integrity, productivity and accountability.

In India, HP is targeting Central and state government departments, public-sector undertakings (PSUs), organizations and banking and financial institutions.

HP's Bangalore lab, which has been doing software development for the information management and achieving, will also handle the customization of the TRIM software as well.

PayMate takes giant stride in retail segment

In what is probably the largest deployment of mobile payments at the retail level, PayMate, one of India's leading mobile commerce companies, will offer comprehensive Point of Sale solutions (E-POS) across MobileStore's 1,300 stores in over 200 cities.

The service will allow MobileStore customers to pay for their purchases, recharge talk-time and even buy or send gift vouchers instantly and securely via the mobile. The MobileStore is a part of the Essar Group.

Ajay Adiseshann, founder & managing director, PayMate, said, "The MobileStore's reach across 200 cities will act as a catalyst to help us popularize mobile payments rapidly and effectively."

With PayMate's mobile payment platform, customers shopping at The MobileStore can link their credit card to their mobile phone and thereafter make payments on their mobile over an instant auto-IVR call-back, without having to share any further details.

Once registered on PayMate, customers can do retail shopping, online purchases, utility bill payments, etc at over 15,000 PayMate accredited merchants via the mobile.

Rajiv Agarwal, CEO & Director, The MobileStore, said, "We are constantly innovating and concentrating efforts to enhance the shopping experience for our customers. With the increasing penetration of cell phones, mobile commerce is set for tremendous growth over the coming years."

Additionally, The MobileStore will also sell GiftMate vouchers (PayMate's pre-paid mobile voucher) and remote mobile top-up via PayMate's consolidated interface. This means PayMate registered users and GiftMate users can top-up their pre-paid mobile anywhere, anytime over an instant auto-IVR call back.

Obama names Indian American Kundra as infotech czar

US President Barack Obama Thursday named Vivek Kundra, a 34-year-old Indian American, as the federal chief information officer (CIO) at the White House to advance the administration's technology agenda.

"Vivek Kundra will bring a depth of experience in the technology arena and a commitment to lowering the cost of government operations to this position," Obama said.

"I have directed him to work to ensure that we are using the spirit of American innovation and the power of technology to improve performance and lower the cost of government operations," he said.

"As Chief Information Officer (CIO), he will play a key role in making sure our government is running in the most secure, open, and efficient way possible."

A White House announcement noted the CIO directs the policy and strategic planning of federal information technology investments and is responsible for oversight of federal technology spending.

The Federal CIO establishes and oversees enterprise architecture to ensure system interoperability and information sharing and ensure information security and privacy across the federal government.

The CIO will also work closely with the chief technology officer to advance the president's technology agenda, it said.

New Delhi-born Kundra formerly served in Washington DC Mayor Adrian Fenty's cabinet as the chief technology officer (CTO) for the capital city, responsible for technology operations and strategy for 86 agencies.

He has been recognised among the top 25 CTOs in the US and as the 2008 IT Executive of the Year for his pioneering work to drive transparency, engage citizens and lower the cost of government operations.

Kundra is also recognised for his leadership in public safety communications, cyber security and IT portfolio management.

Before Kundra came to the capital, Virginia Governor Timothy M. Kaine appointed him assistant secretary of commerce and technology, the first dual cabinet role in the state's history.

Kundra's diverse record also includes technology and public policy experience in private industry and academia. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia's Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership and holds an MS in information technology from the University of Maryland.


Have small IT firms outwit the big IT giants?

It is not a secret that are at the lower rung of the competition hierarchy in the European technology market. Indian firms still have a long way to go before they get lucrative contracts from that market. But, they seem to be gradually creeping into European market, with smaller firms taking a clear competitive edge than IT biggies like Infosys and TCS, reports CXO today.

"I find that the big Indian companies are too pragmatic. Not able to take my requests simply...CMM Level 5 etc is of no use to me... all I want is my requirement to be fulfilled," Paul Schewefer, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Continental AG.

It seems that a market like Europe demands a highly aggressive planning and quick implementation of strategies if one wants to make the cut. For small companies with lesser number of people, it is comparatively easier to implement changes without having to go through various processes, making it fast. And many small companies in this market have built capabilities in niche areas unlike some giants.

Moreover, Hannover, Germany, based Continental Group's technology expenditure for this year could be up to $500 million. And a lot of that could go to the smaller companies. "Partnering with smaller Indian firms helps them to invest in manpower and technologies, and that helps us as well," said Schewefer.

For the smaller firms, they are looking at the European market via the partnership model. For instance, Aakit Technologies has just sold 26 percent to Germany-based Aequitas Group. "The deal deepens our access to Europe, and also gives our German partner India capabilities," said Tayeb Barodawla, MD, Aakit Technologies.

Earlier, there were reports that Indian IT firms needed long-term deals if they are to make any gain in Europe. It is true that many Indian IT majors are still finding a major share of their revenue from European market through project services, while most of the MNCs drawing revenue from long-term outsourcing contracts.

IT analysts are still of the opinion that top Indian IT companies like TCS, Infosys and Wipro will have to shift focus on long-term outsourcing in order to make significant gains in the European market. These three companies derive around 25 percent of their revenue from European market.


Motorola ex-CFO sues for firing him

Motorola Inc's former chief financial officer (CFO) has sued the company for firing him, claiming that it was a "retaliatory discharge."

Paul Liska sued the maker of telecommunications equipment in county court in Chicago on February 20, a day after he was fired. The suit is under seal, and no further details were available. Liska did not return calls for comment, and the company did not return an email.

A "retaliatory discharge" usually refers to an employee being fired for doing something that's in the public interest, like being a whistleblower.

Schaumburg, Ill.-based Motorola said in early February that Liska was leaving after less than a year of service. It didn't specify a cause, but Chief Executive Greg Brown implied on a conference call that it was connected to the delayed spin-off of the company's cellphone unit. Liska, a former partner at private equity companies, was seen as a restructuring expert.

However, Motorola revealed in a filing this week that it had terminated Liska "for cause," depriving him of his signing bonus, stock options and severance payment. It didn't specify the cause.

The Wall Street Journal quoted Liska as saying he had been told he been terminated on January 29 without cause. There was no explanation for the discrepancy in dates on when Liska was terminated.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Is US new threat to India in BPO sector?

A downturn in worldwide economy, Satyam's fraud case and the terrorist attacks in Mumbai and supply chain and shipping cost issues in China are causing US technology companies to pull back from the two traditional outsourcing locations.

Citing these three global factors, an annual survey by BDO Seidman, LLP, one of America's leading accounting and consulting organizations, suggested several technology firms would choose US as future outsourcing location over India and China.

"While last year may have produced an outsourcing bubble, 2009 will see companies retrench to survive in the face of reduced demand. The US has become a far more viable option for them," said Douglas Sirotta, a Partner in BDO Seidman's Technology Practice.

"This year we are seeing three global factors that are causing US technology companies to pull back from traditional outsourcing locations, led by the recent boom and bust of the worldwide economy.

"Satyam's fraud case and the terrorist attacks in Mumbai are causing a lot of companies to reconsider operating in India. And supply chain and shipping cost issues in China are negatively impacting the attractiveness of outsourcing technology operations to the Far East."

Currently nearly two-thirds (62 per cent) of chief financial officers (CFOs) at leading US technology businesses say that their companies outsource services or manufacturing, it said.

However, the survey results point to a likely decline in international outsourcing in 2009: 22 percent say the United States is the outsourcing destination they are most likely to consider in 2009, compared to 16 per cent for China and 13 per cent for India. Another 19 per cent report no interest in additional outsourcing.

The survey conducted in January 2009 examines the opinions of 100 chief financial officers at leading technology companies located throughout the US. Other major findings:

Less than half (42 per cent) of the CFOs indicate that they have operations outside the US, compared to nearly double that amount (79 per cent) last year.

Nearly a third (29 per cent) of respondents say their primary concern regarding international growth is an uncertain business or political climate.

About a quarter (26 per cent), cite international business and tax regulations, with 21 per cent citing currency risk, 14 per cent intellectual property risk and exploitation, and 10 per cent training of international employees as their primary concern.

Currently the most common non-US locations for outsourcing are India (50 per cent), Southeast Asia, including the Philippines (31 per cent, down from 50 per cent in 2008), China (19 per cent, down from 46 per cent in 2008), and Western Europe (19 per cent).

For future outsourcing, the CFOs most frequently cite the United States (22 per cent), followed by China (16 per cent), India (13 per cent), Southeast Asia, including the Philippines (7 per cent), Latin America (7 per cent), Western Europe (6 per cent), Canada (5 per cent) and Eastern Europe (3 per cent).

Of those outsourcing, the most common functions being off-shored currently are: manufacturing (54 percent), IT services and programming (46 percent), research and development (35 percent), distribution (35 percent) and call centres (35 percent).


Will Microsoft layoff H-1B visa staff too?

Observing that the H-1B work visa programme helps hire the best available talent of the world, American software giant Microsoft has said H-1B visa holders has contributed significantly to its success. However, the company, which had recently announced to lay off some 5,000 jobs in the next 18 months, would be handing over pink slips to H-1B visa holders too.

Microsoft’s observation on H-1B visas and their significant contribution to its success was made by the company in a letter to senator Charles Grassley.

H1-B employees have always accounted for less than 15% of Microsoft’s US workforce, the level that is used in immigration law to determine whether a company is “H-1B dependent,” the letter said. The senator in a letter dated January 22 had sought information from Microsoft particularly about how its plan to fire 5,000 people would affect US workers and non-US citizens working for Microsoft. The Microsoft letter dated March 3 written by Bradford L Smith, its general counsel, has been posted on its website


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Has Accenture sacked half Manila workforce?

US-based outsourcing firm Accenture is laying off almost half its workforce in the Philippine capital due to the effects of the global financial crisis, the Labour Department said.

Accenture Philippines has filed a notice of retrenchment for about 500 workers at its facilities in Manila, said Labour Undersecretary Rosalinda Baldoz.

Accenture, which engages in business process outsourcing, including call centres, had about a thousand workers in Manila and in March 2008 it opened an office in the central city of Cebu which employs about 500 people.

Call centres and other outsourced business processes have become a major industry in the Philippines. Industry leaders had previously predicted that the sector would not be affected by the global financial turmoil as companies in developed countries would outsource more of their functions abroad to save money during the crisis.


Web Abuzz with news of attack on Sri Lankan Cricket Team

Within hours of attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team near the Gaddafi cricket stadium in Lahore, Pakistan, the web was loaded with videos, links and discussions

A few gunmen attacked the Sri Lankan cricket team near the Gaddafi cricket stadium in Lahore, Pakistan. This news broke out a few hours ago and got the social media enthusiasts active over the web along with the news media.

All media was affected -- starting with news channels like IBN Live streaming a live video about the news to the micro-blogging service Twitter which was the one heavily impacted with 140 character discussions.

This attack on Sri Lankan cricket team has become one of the trending topics on Twitter. Here are a few links which lead to Sri Lankan Cricket team related news and discussions on Twitter:

keyword: Sri Lankan
keyword: #srilanka

Few of the reactions on the micro-blogging site Twitter that were noted:

SuaveRepublique: Suave is wishing that the Sri Lankan Cricketers are OK, and that cricket is never played there again.

tajdaroc: HOW is it that the attckers were able to escape having been in plain sight? The access logistics are as simple as can be #SriLanka #Pakistan


Is it business as usual at Satyam?

In his first overseas trip to reinforce Satyam's commitment, Satyam Computer Services' newly appointed Chief Executive Officer A.S. Murty today assured Singapore that "It's business as usual at Satyam".

Murty's trip underscored the company's ongoing commitment to Singapore, headquarters for its "Rest of the World" (RoW) operations, which include Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, India and Africa. The visit was also aimed at restoring stakeholders' confidence and ensuring business continuity in the republic where its business remains strong.

Murty also used his two-day visit to address key considerations about Satyam's operational and financial aspects. Since 2000, Singapore has been an integral part of the leading global consulting and information technology services provider's global growth strategy.

"Satyam's foundation in Singapore and the RoW region is still quite strong," Murty said. "Our customer base remains intact and all of our clients have chosen to stand by us during these challenging times. And, since the beginning of 2009, we have seen a record level of new contracts in the region, which shows the confidence our customers and the industry continue to have in us."

Assuring that Satyam has a promising future, Murty said the new Board represents some of the best management talent available and employee morale continues to be high.

"My immediate priority as CEO is to initiate and cultivate additional measures that will continue to stabilize Satyam and benefit all its stakeholders," Murty said. "Singapore plays a key role in those stabilization efforts, because it is the nerve centre of our efforts to grow our business in this critical region."


Monday, March 2, 2009

Will HCL Tech layoff 450 employees?

IT services company HCL Technologies has asked 450 employees at its Delhi and Bangalore offices to leave. A majority of those axed were on the bench.

An HCL Technologies official, on the condition of anonymity, said that the company had sacked 400 people in Delhi and another 50 in Bangalore in the last one-two months. The firm had earlier asked those on the bench, the buffer of employees kept on the rolls for new projects, to get assigned to projects or face the prospect of being asked to leave the firm, he said.

In an email reply, a company spokeswoman didn’t comment on the number of people sacked by the company but indicated that the move was linked to the performance of employees.

“HCL follows a systematic process of performance review and development, and the expectation of the organisation is for employees to meet the stringent performance standards. This is a routine and ongoing process,” she said.

As of December 31, 2008, HCL had about 52,957 employees. The global downturn has impacted the revenues of clients of Indian IT companies, thereby dampening demand for software services.


Infosys cuts five percent of Australia staff

Top IT firm Infosys Technologies is restructuring its Australian operations. This has created some redundancies, downsizing its workforce at Infosys Australia by around 5 per cent, a source briefed in the matter said.

The subsidiary employs 360 people, a majority of them from Expert Information Services -- the first acquisition Infosys Australia made six years ago.

Infosys board member and director for human resources Mohandas Pai confirmed that there were some separations from Infosys Australia. Responding to a mail, he said, “We have had an organisational restructuring in our Australia subsidiary and as a result, some positions have become redundant. It is the first time after the acquisition that this is being done.”

The tech leader has, however, promised that the laid-off employees would get assistance for outplacement as well as severance pay. A few months ago, Gary Ebeyan, who used to head Infosys Australia, quit the firm citing personal reasons. He was replaced by Jacqueline Korhonen, a former IBM executive. Revenues and profits of Infosys Australia have been slipping in the past three quarters of the fiscal in part due to the impact of the currency movements.

From a first quarter revenue of $34 million and a net income of $3 million, its second quarter revenue slipped to $30.84 million and net income to $2.8 million. In the third quarter, revenue fell further to $26 million and net income to $1.62 million.

“The Australian dollar is weakening significantly,” explained an analyst, who said Infosys could be laying off staff in other regions such as the UK as well. In Australia, Infosys’ largest customer is Telestra, he added.


Delayed projects hold up over 160,000 job creations

India has lost the opportunity of employing more than 160,000 people with 18 major steel, power and auto projects getting delayed over land acquisition and forest and environment clearance issues, says a study by a business chamber.

According to the study by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham), "the 18 strangled projects of India Inc to the tune of Rs.244,815.5 crore (Rs.2.45 trillion) remained on papers, in the form of memorandum of understanding (MoU) and agreements over the past three-four years".

However, a smooth implementation could have created job opportunities for at least 164,000 people directly and 270,000 people indirectly, it added.

"Assocham Research Bureau has identified 18 major projects announced by India Inc in sectors such as power, steel, automotive, IT, real estate and metals and mining that are just on papers and struggling for government clearances since 2003-04 till 2008," Assocham president Sajjan Jindal said.

The delayed projects include Posco India's proposed 12 million-tonne capacity steel plant in Orissa; it has already obtained in-principle for the special economic zone status needed for getting land in August 2005, and has pumped in some Rs.1.75 billion.

But delay in land acquisition has been a major stumbling block, Assocham said, adding that a green signal could have generated employment for 35,730 people.

Tata Steel's three greenfield projects in Jharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh - on a cumulative investment of Rs.820 billion - are similarly in a state of uncertainty on account of land acquisition procedures. Assocham said the three projects could have created employment for at least 2,000-3,000 people directly.

Similarly, Arcelor-Mittal's steel projects in Orissa and Jharkhand are facing peculiar situation for the past three years.

In Jharkhand, the company has got iron ore mines, but not the land, whereas in Orissa, it has land, but are yet to get mines. The planned investment in both the states are a little over Rs.43,050 crore, and is estimated to have generated direct employment for over 5,000 people and indirect employment for about 20,000.

Some mega greenfield projects in Jharkhand, if implemented, would have created nearly 9,000 jobs, Assocham said, basing its estimates on proposed investments of about Rs.40,900 crore by Essar Steel, Jindal Steel and Power and Jindal South-West.

Likewise, in the automotive sector, M&M's joint venture in Chennai with Renault and Nissan has been deferred following a delay in land acquisition; this would have created work for at least 5,000 people directly, Assocham said.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Is HCL BPO eyeing acquisition in US, UK and Australia?

HCL BPO is looking for acquisitions of platform-based BPO firms in the US, UK and Australia with revenues of up to $250 million, its chief executive said. “We want to de-link revenue growth from headcount growth. So, we want to acquire companies in English-speaking countries that derive revenues from output or outcome-based pricing and platform-led services,” HCL BPO president and CEO N Ranjit said.

Last year, the BPO arm of HCL Technologies had acquired two firms —UK-based Liberata Financial Services (LFS) and US-based Control Point Solutions. The BPO firm aims to earn revenues of $1 billion by 2010-11 and expects about 56% or $560 million to come from acquired entities.HCL BPO had revenues of about $223 million in the year-ended June 2008.

Confident of closing at least one buyout this year, Ranjit said the company’s strategy is to buy loss-making or marginally profitable entities at low prices and turning them around. So, while BPO firms typically go under the hammer at 1.5-2 times their revenues, Control Point, with revenues of $27 million, was bought for $20 million. HCL BPO paid $2 million to acquire LFS’ fixed assets and committed an investment of another $24 million. The firm is confident of turning around both acquired companies by the end of calendar year 2009.

The two acquisitions impacted the margins of the BPO firm. In the quarter ended Dec ‘08, its EBITDA margin went down to nearly 14% from 26% a year ago. “We completed the integration of Control Point and LFS in the Oct- Dec quarter. We are hopeful of achieving margins of over 25% by 2009-end ,” Ranjit said. The BPO firm’s revenues were also impacted due to the pound losing value against the dollar as about 72% of its revenues come from the UK.

The company, which only has one Indian client in a large auto maker, said it will not look at increasing its exposure to the domestic market at this stage. “Until Indian companies show willingness to pay more for value addition and information security, we will not look at the market,” Ranjit said.


Indian IT sector may be significantly hurt by global crisis

The Indian IT industry is likely to be impacted significantly by the global financial crisis due to the loss of overseas markets as well as protectionist trends, according to PM's special envoy Shyam Saran.

Saran further said that the sector has been focused on the export market so far. It has not looked at the domestic market as a significant business opportunity.

"Now could be the time to do this. More competitive conditions in both domestic as well as external markets require Indian industry to be more efficient and productive," he told at a seminar on 'GeoPolitical Consequences of Current Financial and Economic Crisis: Implications for India'.

This is where the country's IT industry can play a significant role, but this will require the dynamic sectors of economy, the services and the manufacturing sector, to come together to deliver a major punch, once the global economy settles down into a new and altered landscape, he said.

He suggested that there should be a willingness in business and industry to think through and come up with an ambitious and potentially winning strategy.

They should seek government support for delivering on such a strategy rather than looking only for short-term relief, added Saran.


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