On with the new
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Over time, there is a noticeable generational shift. The two youngest siblings relish non-vegetarian food, wear jeans and one even stays with his girlfriend and wants to be an artist. There, Sharma drew a parallel to India's mobile and internet businesses. "The family has suddenly woken up to the situation and there is talk of providing separate floors to each brother... but with a common kitchen with authentic Thai and Italian cooking", he said, alluding indirectly to the restructuring in the offing at Nasscom based on recommendations by Infosys chairman emeritus Narayana Murthy.
But among players within the product ecosystem, there is a feeling of urgency that the industry is at a crucial turn. It has to capitalise on the opportunity to sell Indian software products to Western customers, and take it beyond that and help transform small- and medium-sized businesses and, in turn, the Indian economy. "Success will create a new generation of software product companies that will use their India customer base to disrupt global markets and carve out leadership", said Sharma.
Interestingly, Nasscom's own numbers corroborate the dynamism in India's product scenario. "Nasscom has a bumper crop of new product companies enrolling as members", its president, Som Mittal, said. The 1,300-member trade body had 300-plus product companies as members until last year but in 2012-13, a further 100-odd new members signed up. Nasscom's recent product conclave in Bangalore a few weeks ago attracted 1,600 participants.
As a testament to India's changing technology landscape, new product companies are sprouting up daily in Bangalore and other Indian cities, enlivening the start-up ecology. Cloud computing has lowered entry barriers and companies are building products with much less capital than before. Product development is coming from smaller, disruptive companies. Products are being sold as a services to new customers acquired over the internet, blurring the distinction between software as a product and software as a service. All this augurs well for the growth of India's software product companies.
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