Excerpt from my talk at the panel discussion organized by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute ; held at The Commonwealth Club, San Francisco on Nov 23rd, 2009
I want to take this opportunity to thank Bay Area Council Economic Institute for coming out with the new report – Global Reach, that captures the deep relationship between San Francisco Bay Area and India. Having been in this region for 12 years, I can tell you that I have not come across any company who does not currently have a presence or relationship in India, or is not thinking about having a direct or indirect presence in India, or does not want to do business in India because of its fast upcoming economic status ; so in essence a+b+c = the universe of all the companies, enterprises and organizations in this region. This simple fact is the most unique and fascinating aspect of the relationship between India and Bay Area. No wonder the relationship continues to thrive.
The Global Reach report is a timely release, as it not only captures the interesting insight of the genesis of the relationship starting from 1850 onwards, but also provides the way forward in the global ties. What started as an agricultural relationship took over 125 years to move to education and knowledge based connect when students from India joined the local universities.
The last ten years have really catapulted the global ties between India and the Bay Area to a different orbit – which is multidimensional. While the start and foundation of this is certainly driven by the engineering talent and maturity that’s been leveraged by several bay area companies, the emerging economy of India and rapidly growing consumer segment provides a phenomenal opportunity for the local companies to expand their global market presence as well.
Bay Area enjoys a very special and privileged relationship with India that revolves around the engineering prowess that India has delivered. Engineered in India is a philosophy, is a way of life that provides competitive edge to almost all the bay area companies. The connect, the ties, the relationship has moved several notches in the last decade, starting from low cost service provider to now becoming a strategic partner, owning full product development through shared innovation and business model.
Engineering is core to India, Innovation is what drives the valley and this powerful combination has sparked the global ties through a special bond that’s grown rapidly over the last ten years. In the next decade the current level of engineering services to be delivered from India will increase 4 to 5 times to what its today. It will increase to $ 40 – 50 Billion from less than $ 10 Billion today. While the initial platform was built by industry segments like Telecom, Semiconductor, Software and Computing etc., the next wave of growth will bring in several new segments like Clean Tech, Bio Tech, Energy, Infrastructure, Aero, Auto, Medical Devices, Consumer and more. The 300K engineers that will graduate from India in 2009 is twice the numbers of engineering that graduated in 2004. The supply side from India and the demand environment to compete in the global market for the SFO-Bay Area companies are the critical part of the collaboration.
Over the last 3 years, the complexity of product development work being done in India has increased by 35%, from doing low to medium projects the local companies are now leveraging India based teams to drive full product development in medical devices, telecom, consumer, software, computing platforms etc. Relationships are getting aligned at making an impact in the market place through shared risk and reward than just deploying people on the programs. In one of the recent cases, a fortune 500 company leveraged our SaaS platform to introduce their new services in an emerging geo, providing substantial time to launch advantage.
It’s about global collaboration, global reach, providing complimentary connect, driving knowledge, cultural compatibility, IP protection, engineering excellence and leveraging local market and there is no better natural ally for the Bay Area than India.