Skip to comments.Why IT pros may soon pick India over Silicon Valley
Posted on 01/30/2013 7:55:42 AM PST by James C. Bennett
Suresh Sambandam of OrangeScape, Krishna Mehra of Capillary Technologies, Jaspreet Singh of Druva, Balaji Sreenivasan of Aurigo, Vivek Ravisankar of InterviewStreet - all have something in common, other than that they have been featured here for their accomplishments. They are all technology entrepreneurs who started their ventures in India over the past few years, built them to a significant level of success, and now they have all relocated to the US, or are in the process of relocating (themselves, not the companies).
We have mentioned just five names. But there are more. And the one common reason for the move is the US market. It's by far the biggest consumer of technology. "It's as big as the rest of the world in software technology spends - they over-invest in technology," says Mehra of Capillary, which built its cloud-based retail analytics and customer engagement business in India for the first three years. Mehra has established a team of five locals in the US and will himself move to the US in the second quarter of this year.
Aurigo's Sreenivasan says customers prefer to know that the CEO is in the same geography that they are in. "This is even more with enterprise software customers, who spend millions of dollars on their IT systems," he says. Aurigo provides project management solutions to big construction and utilities companies, and 80% of its revenues comes from the North American market.
"Ultimately, people buy from people. The passion that an entrepreneur has is unique and it is important that it be leveraged in the marketplace the company operates in. Building new relationships and nurturing old ones is as important as building the most innovative software. If a customer does not feel comfortable engaging with a vendor, it does not matter how many features the vendor's software product has, or what platform it is built on," Sreenivasan says. He also found that his sales team was more effective when managed closely rather than remotely with frequent trips back and forth.
Shekhar Kirani, partner in VC firm Accel Partners, says it's also easier for companies to honour a contract and resolve issues locally if the start-up has a US headquarters.
The Silicon Valley eco-system is another powerful draw for Indian tech entrepreneurs. OrangeScape's platform-as-a-service product allows people to create cloud-based applications and deploy them easily and quickly. But it's also a space that has seen the entry of big players - Microsoft, Salesforce.com, Google and IBM. To bring attention to his product in the midst of such competition, OrangeScape's Sambandam says he needed to be in the "global headquarters" of technology - Silicon Valley.
"In the Valley, venture capitalists, technology writers, technology consultants all combine to make good products successful. Customers also look at all that is being said about a product and adopt products that are expected to become global. And then the rest of the world picks them up," Sambandam says.
Aneesh Reddy, Capillary's CEO and co-founder who will continue to be based in India, echoes similar views: "The Valley has a lot of activity happening on the social and mobile front, and we wanted to be part of the action, rather than view it from a distance. The Valley also gives a lot of visibility and opens up possibilities for partnerships."
Samir Kelekar, founder of Bangalore-based IT security firm Zeno Security, is relocating to the US to explore licensing opportunities for technologies he has developed. He has a patent in the area of network security and two more are in the pipeline. "In the US, many inventors are able to navigate the patent system on their own without a lawyer's help. Also, it's so easy to start a business there. In India, I need a lawyer and a chartered accountant to help me keep pace with the new rules introduced. In Delaware, where I have an office, there are state-appointed agents to incorporate your company on your behalf if you are based outside Delaware," he says.
However, for all of these companies, India remains the hub of software development. Where there are multiple founders, typically only one founder moves to the US. And experts say that as the Indian start-up eco-system develops and as the start-ups mature, there may be fewer reasons for founders to be in the US. Dhiraj Rajaram, founder of analytics firm Mu Sigma, which is today a near $100-million company, shifted to Bangalore from the US, after establishing a mature US office.
Because they like crappy, over complicated code that has to be re-written to actually work. The money saved up front comes back in code refactoring and not to mention the loss of customers once they have to talk to Rajesh over the phone for support.
The global talent pool is a farce. The Indian we actually hire here have sent word back on how much they get paid and salaries are rising quickly in India. Watch for a reversal.
Back in the late 80's one of my software applications contractors was half Indian and half US and because he was Indian he could bring some of his "cousins" to work on a project.
He had 26 "cousins" living in 6 motel rooms in La Crosse WI, and hacking code for one of the first Oracle total integration systems, GL, payroll, payables, receivables the entire accounting system and they were damned good and very smart.
This was at the beginning of the India IT import system including TaTa and the rest.
I don't know what the Indians were paid, and since my project was delivered on time and under budget, the client was thrilled, I got a bonus and 100 plus IT geeks that had previously strutted and pranced around the replaced IBM mainframes were leaving LaCrosse for other places to slump and pout.
But the open systems revolution had begun, and not even IBM could stop it.
The initial onslaught of Indians were the cream of the crop and high talent was available at relatively low prices.
Over time, that changed and India is now just another source of technical talent with bad breath and high pitched accents.
Crappy software is absolutely correct. In the late 90s leading up to Y2K the company I worked for sent our code offshore to India for Y2K problem ID and solutions. We told the corporate weasels that they would be better off letting us do it because we knew the systems and knew how they had to work. The invested at least 10 mil and a year of getting back crappy code that took twice as long to debug and fix as it would have if we had done it ourselves. After a year they gave up, cancelled the project and who ended up doing it? Why of course, those of us who told them not to send it to India in the first place.
I now teach app development and I can tell you that there are few really talented students from that area of the world. The majority of them can make it work if they have numerous examples, work together or somehow obtain the solution but otherwise have no intellectual curiosity or drive to analyze a problem or set of requirements and then formulate a reasonable solution. As a group, they are most likely to be caught collaborating on what is supposed to be an individual assignment and/or outright cheat.
It seems the current crop of corporate weasels haven’t learned the lessons from almost 20 years ago.
Another one of my peeves is all the third party open ware crap they bring with them. Every time we design something they want to piggy back all this unnecessary junk plug-ins. We are arguing about that right now.
I love Resharper but we have had to add: RhinoMocks, NuGet, StructureMap, nHibernate, all these different Mecurial plug-ins just to get it to work without going down every hour (I miss TFS from my last job), Jenkins, and the list is endless. Bad part is they have corrupted the younger young gun developers and they think we need all this crap too. Structure Map I am warming up to even if freeware.
It seems they want to use all this free stuff to make their stuff that they won’t give away free Very odd........
My last job we had just as much code and got by with VS 2010, TFS and Resharper and we never had this much issues.
Where will the next great talent pool boon be? Tanzania, Mongolia? Why do we keep training the rest of the world to take our technology and jobs?
My oh my, how did we ever get by before the Indians got here?
We had to pay them. Now that the Indians are mainstreaming and getting higher salaries watch and see where we go next.
They also have an entitlement mentality. They get offended when they get a “meets standards” on job evaluations.
From my experience:
The companies in India are unimaginative and users can’t understand them. Not only that, they have a tendency to be rude and sometimes out right refuse to do things. They expect everything to be spelled out in detail before the project begins which is laughable when dealing with American business.
The inability for the user to talk to the programmer is critical these days. Users rarely know what they want and project managers are too often people who couldn’t hack it at programming.
I punched code in a Southern cotton mill with 2 guys from India and I had to act as their interpreter. One of them came back from a meeting and said to me “She said I was slicker than snot on a door knob. Is that good?”.