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Archive for April, 2007

An outside-insiders informal view of the IT Industry in Pune, India by an Indian now living in the US.

Yesterday, I arrived in Pune, India where my parents currently live. Pune is ~3 hrs drive from Mumbai (the city formerly known as Bombay). Mumbai priced itself out of the burgeoning IT industry in the 80’s and 90’s due to impossibly high real estate prices, traffic congestion and general infrastructure overload.

A classmate of mine worked for the New York office of McKinsey & Co., the consulting firm. They did a pro-bono assessment, for the state government in the late 80’s, of what Bombay would have to do to emulate the success of Bangalore. Finding ways to make affordable housing widely available was on top of the list. The state government did nothing much and Bangalore became the center of Indian IT and now a well established player in international IT. The state government is being warned that it may make the same mistake again with Pune. Time will tell.

I will be posting about my highly personal and subjective assessment of Pune IT based on a limited number of observations and interactions with friends and new acquaintances. Take it for what it is. Just know that if you have heard of Bangalore, you may well be hearing a lot more of Pune in the next 5-10 years.

In the meanwhile here’s some background.

http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/mag/2005/06/12/stories/2005061200070100.htm

Stay tuned.

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The earlier article got a bit of interest, a lot more than I expected, but also some discussion of whether it made sense at all. An example oft quoted is of Google. So using recent events I’d like add this post to underline what exactly the Peter Principle of Innovation says.

This week Google bought DoubleClick for $3.1 billion, underscoring the fact that it is an advertising company. In the meanwhile Twitter an SMS based webapp exploded and continues to grow. And finally Dodgeball a company in the same space as Twitter was bought by Google and left to languish – clearly it did not fit in with the advertising-uber-alles credo.
The cash-cow – advertising. Other innovative applications don’t make it. A twist of irony is that Evan Williams, left Google and created Twitter underlining the part in the original article that innovators leave to form other companies. Clearly it could not have happened inside Google as it has no immediate relationship to the cash-cow.

‘Nuff said.

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