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Comments on Inside India
Software: More Than Just an Industry
A.Sheshabalaya, Tijd Academy, Belgium
November 21, 1995

The third sector is software. As you know, software is a value-adding engine for every single economic sector - not just for manufacturing and services, but in agriculture too.
Beguiling India beckons
Seattle Times
October 28, 2005

Skeptics are wont to claim that India's successes in software are not "scalable," and cannot be the basis for countrywide development. But software is not a mere "industry" in the traditional sense of steel or textiles, to focus on two of China's strong suits. An uber-industry, software is increasingly in everything.
Indian Pharma's Vital Stats
A.Sheshabalaya, Find-SVP Inc., New York
October 1996

There are also some 20,000 smaller Indian companies, many of them so-called loan license units (LLUs) which have no manufacturing plants of their own but instead rely on the spare capacity of other manufacturers. Some larger companies ... count on LLUs to supply them with drugs until their own manufacturing units come on stream.
Hari Bhartia's mantra for success
Rediff.com
December 27, 2005

Why this switch to the extremely competitive world of pharma?" I wanted to know. Last heard, there were over 20,000 pharma companies in the country.
Nuclear Secrets and Software Technology
A.Sheshabalaya, ID-Side, Belgium
June 1998

Software skills were also evident in the hydrogen bomb, especially in terms of a process innovation which allowed India to produce tritium.
India, the US and Nuclear Proliferation
Asia Times
October 8, 2004

Analyst Henry Sokolski, executive director of the Washington-based Non-Proliferation Policy Education Center, was quoted by news agencies as having speculated that the sanctions (against two Indian scientists) may relate to India's breakthrough development of an economic way to produce tritium, a radioactive isotope used in nuclear bombs.
The Roots for Upward Mobility
A.Sheshabalaya, ERA Conference, Brussels
October 12-13, 1998

Today's scooter buyer in the mass market will be tomorrow's middle market car buyer. Today's mass market branded shampoo buyer will buy his scooter and color TV tomorrow.
In new money culture, a lust for cars
New York Times
December 5, 2005

"Now the people want to spend and enjoy," Prakky said. "Everyone wants upgradation": the scooter owner wants a motorbike, the motorbike
Read the Telecom Trend
A.Sheshabalaya, Business Eye, London
February 1999

Within one year of launch, India had 250,000 cellular subscribers - 20 percent more than it took Russia four years to reach.

India world's No.3 in mobile users
Reuters
January 21, 2006

Mobile phone companies are taking cheap handsets and life-time prepaid services to India's hundreds of millions of low-income earners in a bid to expand market share and maintain their break-neck rates of growth….Cities such as Delhi and Mumbai boast phone penetration rates of about 40 per cent, similar to East Asian levels, and by the end of 2006, India is expected to be the world's third-largest mobile market by number of users, behind China and the United States.


Mobiles racing past the hundred million mark

Financial Express

May 26, 2006

 

Eleven years after the first mobile rang here, they are rapidly bridging the digital divide...

By May-end or early June 2006, the mobile phone population will cross the historic one hundred million mark


'Made in India' phones set to tap global markets
Reuters
May 26, 2006

 

Analysts expect India's (mobile) user base to rise to 278 million by 2010 as the low call rates lure customers. At 93 million, now it exceeds the combined population of Germany and Belgium.

Compulsions on India's nuclear status
A.Sheshabalaya, Business Week
December 20, 1999

India is, of course, a tempting target for scrutiny, given the zealously autonomous nature of its (nuclear) program which operates in the face of 25-year-old international sanctions, as well as its technical advancement in this domain. With seven operating nuclear power plants, three more due onstream next year, a fast breeder reactor, and cutting-edge research and development on alternative nuclear fuels such as thorium, this is one area where India is far ahead of China, and potentially a competitor to Western companies on world markets. True, more funds and technology could help. But for an energy-starved, oil-importing country, the onus is on the West to lift sanctions, not for India to drop its nuclear-power program.
Why the India Deal Is Good
Selig S. Harrison, Washington Post
August 15, 2005

Korb and Ogden ignore the compelling realities of geology and arithmetic that lie behind the (US) administration's controversial departure (to lift sanctions against India).The geological reality is that India has 31 percent of the world's known deposits of a rare radioactive mineral, thorium, in addition to its substantial reserves of uranium. This has emboldened New Delhi to embark on an exponential expansion of its nuclear power generating capacity, utilizing imported uranium-fueled reactors at first but shifting progressively to thorium-based fast-breeder reactors now under construction or on the drawing board. Fast-breeders, which Japan is also building, are the key to energy independence, since they continuously "breed" never-ending new supplies of plutonium alongside their production of electricity.What this means is that India will dramatically multiply its inventory of fissile material in the years ahead.
Wage Pressures ? Yes, Relevant ? No
A.Sheshabalaya, Rising Elephant
March 2004

Crucially, in spite of the impressive pace of development over the past two decades, India remains a poor country with a billion people and massive room for retaining its cost advantages. Not only are there huge population groups but entire provinces and regions within the country, which have yet to access the benefits from relocation, but who have their own distinctive voice within India's federal democracy and can vote to not be left behind. In effect, there is little likelihood that rising standards of living in India will place any significant upward pressure on wages, and force a search for 'cheaper' alternatives, at least for the foreseeable future.
It's low pay, but ...
International Herald Tribune
August 17, 2005

Analysts who question whether India's competitive advantage in back-office tasks will last often say college undergraduates in India are greedy, and they lament that undergraduates do not want to work in these lower-paying jobs.What they fail to realize is that even as youngsters in cities like Bangalore refuse the low-end, back-office market, India will not refuse these jobs, many of which come from the United States or Europe. The work will be taken up by the 2.5 million Indians, aged 20 to 24, who have at least an undergraduate degree and live in villages where the cost of living is much lower than in cities.

Rival tech towns may outrun Bangalore
Reuters
November 4, 2005

But experts say lower-end software coding or back-office work could easily go to other Indian cities….Although firms like Intel and Motorola have put Bangalore on the world tech map, a host of rival Indian cities are lining up their own incentives such as cheaper land and subsidies.
Yes, Trickle Down May Work. In India.
A.Sheshabalaya, Rising Elephant
March 2004

Its correspondent, Katherine Griffiths, cannot still help feeling (as discussed in Chapter VI, in spite of overwhelmingly opposite information from the World Bank) that "the contrast between those sections of the economy and community swept up in the swift advance of technology and those who remain outside it is still immense." As future chapters establish, not only are these highly-subjective views; the impact of the trickle-down benefits of India's IT boom are without parallel in any other country, possibly at any time in history….Examples like e-Shakti and e-choupals establish that, within India, there are strong institutional mechanisms for ensuring that the trickle-in benefits from relocation are trickling down; indeed, they have good reason to continue doing so….In reality, as with government empowerment schemes, which will provide large-scale access to the New Economy, the effects of India's technology-fed economic boom are permeating deep into the country

Ripples of India's Prosperity Touch Poor
New York Times
May 28, 2005

The bounty from the expansion in manufacturing and services that has been putting money in the hands of millions of Indians is now noticeably trickling down…. The process spans a broad spectrum and reflects much more than an occasional, isolated success story.

Poor rural India? It's a richer place
International Herald Tribune
October 19, 2005

The chasm between India's flourishing cities and bleak rural hinterland is narrowing.Spread across 650,000 villages, with an average population of 1,100, rural villagers were long imagined by city dwellers as primitive, impoverished and irrelevant, something to drive past on the way to something else. That is no longer the case. A new prosperity is sprouting in rural India, with tens of millions entering the pressure-cooker-and-television-owning class and tens of thousands becoming sippers of Scotch, owners of premium tractors and drivers of multiple sedans….It may be a trickle, but India's urban prosperity is flowing to the countryside.


Growth gives hope to India's poor

BBC News

April 18, 2006

 

India's rapid economic growth has brought benefits for rich and poor alike, especially in its booming financial centre, Mumbai....

An Indian Manufacturing Challenge, Too
A. Sheshabalaya, Rising Elephant
March 2004

More significantly, drawing upon the lead in competitiveness of its homegrown multinationals (and its broad-based strengths in science and engineering), Indian manufacturing businesses are also vigorously globalising….
As the examples above illustrate, the Elephant's ascension is comprehensive and its impact on the world economy will clearly be sweeping. While white-collar skills build high-value leverage on world markets, blue-collar businesses are also riding the wave.
Indian manufacturers beat global peers
DNA India
November 30, 2005

Indian manufacturing companies, often overlooked as a competitive force in the global manufacturing arena, are quietly enjoying gross profits and sales growth rates that are nearly twice that of global manufacturers, according to preliminary findings of a global benchmark study by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu….Deloitte's preliminary benchmark findings reveals that industry capabilities in areas such as product innovation, manufacturing quality, and process innovation are driving the performance of Indian manufacturing companies," says Kumar Kandaswami, manufacturing industry leader, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Pvt Ltd. The study also found that Indian manufacturers intend to move aggressively to compete globally.
Enabling Tech Infrastructure, Rural Pull
A. Sheshabalaya, Rising Elephant
March 2004

Unique among developing countries, the country's technical communications infrastructure (from fiber-optic land and undersea cables through to communication satellites) is local-built and rupee-zone costed….
In India, this seems to be the case. From shampoos and soaps, to tractors, motorcycles and mobile phones, rural markets drive long-term business in India.
India's GSM mobile user base soars
Reuters
December 7, 2005

Local mobile call tariffs of as low as 2 U.S. cents a minute are driving cellular usage in India….
Monthly additions are soaring as carriers expand networks into untapped rural areas where around two thirds of the population lives.
Bridging digital divides
A. Sheshabalaya, Rising Elephant
March 2004

Internet-enabled touch-screen kiosks in rural areas … are widely considered a 'silver bullet' to bridge the digital divide ….Others too have hailed such synergies. US-based Digital Partners, for example, finds the strength of the public-private partnership in kiosks a key reason for India's huge e-governance lead over other developing countries. As it states: "in Latin America commercial ICT centres developed by the private sector are a healthy business" but "they don't often succeed in reaching the poor."
(Other) examples of India's efforts in using information technology to actively empower its population include e-Shakti, an initiative by consumer goods giant Unilever's Indian subsidiary to bring electronic commerce (alongside direct support for self-help schemes and micro-credit) for 100 million rural people, by the end of 2006....
Such ambitious experiments have never been attempted before, and their results - within a relatively short period of just one decade - are already remarkable….
... India may be showing a way out from one of the most-recalcitrant challenges for development in the Third World, namely the rural-urban divide. True, it will be several years before the benefits become tangible and manifest, but the Internet's novelties are being utilized to provide the strongest-possible foundations for rural empowerment - above all, by whittling down the role of (city-based) middlemen, as well as rural moneylenders and political touts…
In India, thinking big by thinking small
International Herald Tribune
September 30, 2005

The rural kiosk is a revolutionary new face of banking. Whether a makeshift stall, a room in a village bungalow, or a multipurpose store also offering movies and online medical advice, the kiosks are owned by entrepreneurs. By leaving kiosk ownership to others, who can sell other products and services, ICICI avoids heavy overhead....
Getting the poor to bank, and bank profitably, could push rural finance past a tipping point: from philanthropy with a hint of business logic to real commerce with a hint of compassion…."As and when an Indian company cracks this and solves the problem, it can bottle the solution and sell it to the world, because there will be a lot of places where it is applicable," said Nicholas Winsor, head of personal financial services for India at HSBC Bank in Mumbai. "I'm sure there are going to be solutions that come out of this that are world-beating."....Banks have not ventured out to serve rural customers because they are expensive to reach and, once reached, are often too poor to afford bank products. Cheap, customized, made-in-India software reduces back-office costs to levels that can justify such tiny transactions.
Go East, Youngsters
A.Sheshabalaya, Datamation
October 15, 2004

Students should not be looking just at jobs here in the U.S. Why don't they look beyond the U.S.? There are a lot of jobs -- they just might not be here.
India lures interns
New York Times
August 10, 2005

Graduate students from top schools in the United States, as well as countries like France or Singapore, are vying for internships at India's biggest private companies. For many, outsourcing companies are the destinations of choice.
High-tech's "us and thems" getting dated
A.Sheshabalaya, The Globalist
February 9, 2005

One of the most surreal examples of the Great Indian Absence, however, occurred when European experts on television were using Indian IRS remote-sensing satellite imagery on the tsunami damage - while complaining about a lack of technology in the region. India's high-technology early warning and disaster management systems go further than remote-sensing. They also include sophisticated weather satellites directed at the routine - but still-devastating - hazard of cyclones. Across the entire Indian Ocean, seaborne search and rescue is enabled wholly via the Indian-designed INSAT 3-A satellite. And more recently, India's post-tsunami relief efforts were buttressed by sophisticated satellite hook-ups at its Integrated National Command Post, which provides real-time links to all military units across the country - and to every naval vessel out at sea.
A year on from the Asian tsunami...
European Space Agency
December 23 2005

Three Charter activations were triggered on the 26th of December 2004, one by the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) for Indonesia and Thailand, one by the French Civil Protection for Sri Lanka and another by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for India, the Maldives, Andaman and Nicobar Islands. These were grouped together under ISRO's overall management with a considerable imagery data base being organised by the Charter's member space agencies.
India's world-class financial markets
A.Sheshabalaya, Copenhagen Business School
May 23, 2005

Two months ago, when Warburg Pincus sold a $560 million stake in India's GSM operator Bharti, this block transaction, the largest to date, was completed - without any hiccups - in just 28 minutes.
With Interest: Waiting for India
International Herald Tribune
December 23, 2005

And India's financial infrastructure - its markets, clearing and risk management systems - is among the best in the world.
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