This year’s NASSCOM Product Conclave which concluded last week had a few surprises in for me. This year’s theme was cloud computing and start-ups. A few things that stood out at this year’s events are:
- Co-Creator forum: One unique activity that has been tried out at the event was a match making process where big SI’s and MNC’s were introduced to Indian product companies to explore possible partnering opportunities. I participated as part of the SAP team. We met some interesting product companies and are exploring partnering opportunities with them. I think this indicates another shift in the industry. Partnerships are going to be crucial to win in the new reality.
- Presence of investor community: Start-up’s invariably attract investors (Angel investors and VC’s). This year there was a good participation in the event by the investor community, not only as speakers, but also as sponsors and more importantly delegates. This indicates that there is a lot of money waiting to be invested in the Indian product companies which is good news for the industry at large and start-ups more specifically.
- Perceptible shift in the industry: There are a lot more companies in India who now want to create products than just offer services. This indicates that the Indian IT industry is moving up the value chain. I am sure that India will emerge as a hub for software products soon and there would be no surprise if the next Google or Microsoft will emerge from this community.
- Emergence of ZOHO: One success story of a product company in India has been ZOHO. ZOHO has proved to be a path breaker in this community and I could sense that they are being considered the leader in the pack, just like Infosys was considered when the services economy was about to take off. Whether ZOHO will also grow as big as Infosys, time only will tell. One thing for sure is that they have shown to the Indian software industry that creating world class products from India can be a reality. The importance given to them was evident from the fact that their CEO had 3 back-to-back sessions on the last day of the event.
- Dilemma – Cloud or On-Premise: I could sense that there is no consensus on the cloud or on-premise dilemma. I guess both will have to co-exist and grow together for some more time to come before one or the other emerges as the clear winner to create and deliver great products.
Here are some interesting product companies to watch out for:
Do you know of other interesting start-ups in India which have the potential to become big?