Holy SAP

Sant Shri Gajanan Maharaj Sansthan in Shegaon is known to be one of the holy places in Vidarbha sub-state. I was reading through a magazine today and an interesting article caught my eye concerning the same regional institution. Sant Shri Gajanan Maharaj Sansthan has deployed SAP ERP solution to manage their day to day operations.

Holy SAP! I was indeed amused, though not surprised. With over 5000 donations and 2000 vendors to manage on a daily basis, the institution is arguably one of the busiest in state. Few years back, the entire process was managed manually. Keeping track of numerous transactions was obviously very painful. Students from adjoining engineering college, also a part of the same sansthan (institution) helped the temple develop a legacy software to partially keep track of the transactions. However as the number kept increasing, the need of an ERP surfaced. What started as an engineering project turned out to be one of the most comprehensive SAP ERP deployments at a non-profit organization in the country. The students were helped by Indian IT majors Patni Computer Systems, L& T Infotech and Tech Mahindra.

Even god has now become tech savvy. Bravo! Gajanan Maharaj ki Jay!

(Source: Networking Magazine)

Should companies outsource their core work?

I work as a Presales Manager in a company called focusing of Publishing, broadcast and media industry. Since they provide technology, interactive content and animation services, understandably their existing and target customers are those from US and Europe. Meaning they are on a job to convince their prospective customers to outsource their work to an off shore location in India. Since I also undertake consulting assignments as a free lancer for helping companies get their sales process right and for companies to kick off their outsourcing practice, they hired me to conceive and promote their service offerings to the US and Europe.

Like many other companies in India, they too believe that because we provide our international customers a cost advantage, we are actually adding a great value to their business model. Well of course, I agree that they say this is not the only value addition, but one of them. It reminds me of the “Nirma Super” advertisement (Wahi quality, wahi safedi, wahi jhag kam damo mein mile to koi ye kyun le… wo na le) Lol, well what are we trying to tell the Americans and Europeans? Had you outsourced the development of ‘a windows’ or a ‘Firefox’ in India, you could have saved humongous sums of money? May be…

Maye be… is the best word when we have to escape an argument. If we were good enough to develop a Firefox, by now we would have done that. I’m not saying we can not. We can, after all aren’t we promoting the above Nirma Super ad? We have matching (well almost) infrastructure, excellent work conditions, advantage of time difference, huge pool of talented engineers and technicians- young and old, and most of all the ideas to make it big in the world. But what are Indian companies doing with it? Deploying most of them on technical support? or software testing? Well… things need to be set right. I know it is not easy to build a Microsoft Corporation or Mozilla overnight. But in this post, I’m going to urge companies of the likes of SAP, Oracle, Microsoft and others to make better use of Indian talent by outsourcing their core work to us. Let the world know that we can build Windows too.

Let us take an example. If you deploy a technical Architect (any domain) in US (Silicon Valley), You might probably end up paying in excess of $600 per day on him/her including overheads. However, if you hire a technical architect here in India for the same work, you will be charged maximum of $220 per day, a straight saving of $380 per day. Moreover there are other savings on maintenance of lesser infrastructure. Like all others, you can easily set up a VPN connectivity so that there is a seamless information flow. Moreover you have the option of using free telephony from Skype or others to save on your telephone bills… some more savings. Even if you add the cost of setting up of network infrastructure, you still manage to save enough. Although I agree that outsourcing a single person’s work will not be as beneficial as outsourcing the entire work. So when you get a team to develop an IE 9, why don’t you consider giving it to a team here in India? Worried about the deliverables?

There have also been enough questions raised on the quality of people here in India. I would like to highlight the fact that we have 6 Indian Institute of Technologies and 25 National Institute of Technologies which provide world class engineering education to thousands of engineers across India and also to some of the foreign students. Besides we have more than 1000 other university managed or affiliated colleges that churn out millions of engineers every year. Do you still feel we have a dearth of talent? Then what about umpteen Indians working at global corporations? And those who led multi billion organizations? What about Arun Sarin? What about Laxmi Mittal? What about Indra Nooyi?

Hello global corporations. Indians have arrived on the global scene. We are no longer the ‘some IT geek sitting in Bangalore or Pune’ fixing up your bugs. I urge the Oracle’s, SAP’s, Microsoft’s, Mozilla’s of the world to treat us with respect. We can also what you do sitting in Redwood or Seattle. May be the next Outlook is called In(dia)-Outlook and surely we will do much better.

All you Indian guys reading my blog, please start treating yourself with respect. You are no longer a bug fixer. I urge you to spread this word regarding India as a great Development and Innovation hub rather than outsourcing hub.

Happy reading! Cheers!