Patrice Riemens on Fri, 15 Aug 1997 11:55:28 +0200 (MET DST)

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<nettime> Bill Gates on e-India

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> goa-net-digest             Tuesday, 5 August 1997       Volume 01 : Number 663
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> From: Marlon Menezes <>
> Date: Sun, 03 Aug 1997 13:21:55 -0700
> Subject: Even more of Bill Gates on India's software industry
> Date: 
>             1 Aug 1997 07:07:42 GMT
>        From: 
>    (Srinivas Prasad)
>  Organization: 
>             National University of Singapore
>      Will India Be a Software Superpower?
>      By BILL GATES
>      Distributed by New York Times Special Features 
>      QUESTION: What do you foresee as the future of the
> software industry in India? (Amit Sharda, India) 
>      ANSWER:
>      After a recent trip to India, I received a lot of questions similar
> to this one.
> The software industry will create millions of new jobs in the years 
>      ahead. India more than any other developing nation is seizing this 
>      opportunity and will become a huge exporter of software expertise. 
>      In fact, India is likely to be a software superpower. 
>      The Indian software industry already employs hundreds of thousands
> of people and is growing very rapidly. India's education system turns
> out large numbers of well-qualified software engineers who form the 
>      backbone of the country's high-technology initiatives.
>      I came away from my recent visit impressed not just by Indian
> software companies such as Ramco, Wipro, HCL, TCS and Infosys, but also
> by India's university system and the resolve of the nation's business
> and political leaders to reap the benefits of the information
> revolution.
>      India recently abolished its import duty on software. Several years 
>      ago the government eliminated an ill-conceived licensing system
> that had throttled the market by restricting which domestic companies
> were permitted to make software.
>      India is making progress on broader fronts, too. Literacy levels
> are rising and population growth rates are falling. The atmosphere is
> palpably upbeat.
>      Still, India faces big challenges, such as a poor communications 
>      infrastructure and the existence of well-meaning laws that hinder 
>      entrepreneurs. For example there are laws that say people can't be 
>      laid off and that companies can't go bankrupt. As its
> technological, political and economic systems are modernized, India's
> progress will accelerate.
>      Corporations in developed nations are beginning to look to India
> for low-cost, high-quality software development. Indian software
> companies are well suited to projects like ``Year 2000,'' the massive
> effort to get corporate mainframe computers to understand that the year
> following ``99'' is ``2000'' rather than ``1900.'' (This is no small
> matter. An incorrect date could affect calculations on such things as
> pensions.)
>      Although some Indian companies such as Ramco produce packaged 
>      software, I expect most of India's programming talents to be used
> to create customized software for corporate use. This isn't a surprise,
> considering that even in the United States 90 percent of the software 
>      professionals develop vertical applications such as accounting and 
>      financial packages for corporations rather than work on packaged 
>      software products such as databases and spreadsheets.
>      The growing technical prowess of nations such as India unnerves
> some people in developed countries who fear a loss of jobs and 
> opportunities. I think these fears are misplaced. Economics is not a
> zero-sum game.
>      The United States has the preeminent position in software and will 
>      continue to lead. But as opportunities are gradually more evenly 
>      shared around the world, the net effect won't be a loss of jobs in
> the U.S. or other developed nations. The economy will be stimulated. The 
> demand for customized corporate software will remain greater than the 
> supply for a long time.
>      I'm often asked whether my company intends to develop software 
>      products in India. We outsource some work there now, but we don't
> do major development outside the United States yet. Someday we'll pick a
> second location somewhere in the world, and India is one of the places
> we'll consider.
> ------------------------------

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