Thursday, July 07, 2005

Re: Why Indians Aren’t Software Innovators?

In the current software industry, there is little ongoing innovation.

The Indian education system fails to teach underlying concepts and understanding.

What you said about education in India is mostly correct. The majority of the students perform really well by rote learning. Although the Indian educational system has flaws, I suppose the courses in schools are much more rigorous compared to stuff taught in Western countries.

If the Indian education system does not actively foster innovative thinking, one may ask why there are so many successful Indian entrepreneurs in the software industry in the United States.

One reason may be that many of these successful ventures were started by graduates of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT).
One many then ask about the success of non-IIT Indian software entrepreneurs in the United States. Most of the remaining Indian entrepreneurs are likely completed graduate studies in the United States have developed innovative thinking through these institutions.

I somehow believe that innovation cannot be taught. Pawan mentioned fostering innovation which is more correct. Without a doubt there are many intelligent guys in India. I believe that there are also many innovators. Why? Simply because of the environment. There is a lot of chaos and huge ammounts of competition. This harsh environment makes the best innovators. Those Indians who move abroad find an environment where it is easier to explore new ideas. They can survive anywhere. Remove red-tape and Indians really thrive.

Also IITians are a bunch of really intelligent guys. But not necessarily good at software and definitely not necessarily good innovators. Innovation like Leadership is self-taught. For a similar reason I find it absurd that people are taught managerial skills in MBA schools.

As Pawan mentioned, there is a less demand for products in India. And so most guys move to services.

Therefore, the Indian software industry will inevitably either perish or will have to become innovative as the payoffs for outsourcing decrease.

The Indian software industry has a very long life ahead. They are already moving to higher end services. From testing jobs, companies are now doing some design stuff too. Even in hardware and other domains, more jobs where high skills are needed are being shifted. The quality of the "outsourced jobs" is improving.

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