Aditi Sets Trends In OPD Space

by Sohini Bagchi    Nov 14, 2005

The outsourcing product development (OPD) sector is an outsourcing process that takes care of the entire production cycle - R&D, prototyping, development testing and maintenance support network.

The sector is fast emerging and promises to be India-centric, further boosting India’s IT lead. CXOtoday caught up with Anjana Kaul, COO, Aditi Technologies, a prominent player in the OPD industry, to get some interesting insights on trends in outsourced product development and the dynamic role Aditi plays in this space.

“Even three years ago, OPD was an unheard of concept in India. The role of outsourced product development differs from software services companies. OPD companies were looked at as partners who could contribute to the future business initiatives of product companies, especially by contributing to the product roadmap, unlike general IT services,” informed Kaul.

On the role of Aditi in the OPD space, Kaul remarked, “This industry is morphing where the newer ISVs are focusing more on the idea of the product and they leave the complete automating of the idea in the hands of a product specialist. We are, in effect, taking on the role of a CTO to many new age product entrepreneurs. Aditi has also been getting a lot of enquiries to partner product companies for being their complete R&D arm.”

The OPD major started its own product in the enterprise CRM space a few years ago. Since then, there was no looking back. Today the $29 million company employs over 500 engineers, and has already developed a large number of products for its clients, which include Microsoft, Accenture, Siemens, Sharp, Talisma and Omnicell.

Quizzed on the challenges in the industry, Kaul said, “Today we have carved a niche in the OPD industry, thanks to the emergence of the Indian offshore business model and our expertise in creating our own products. But things were not rosy in the initial stages and we had to prove our creative and thinking ability time and again.”

She further elucidates, “As product engineering is a dynamic process, we realized changing customer requirements dictate changing specs, trade-offs need to be done, time to market is critical and end-users have to be supported. We specialize in ‘user-centric’ product for our clients, which makes us different from our competitors.”

On the industry segment the company serves, she informed, “We are adding value not just in technical skills but also in defining the product road map. So the start up space where end-to-end new product development occurs is our nucleus. At the same time we cater to the SMB segment and large companies where we take ownership of certain features in the product.”

During the last six months, Aditi has come up with a number of new production initiatives for its clients. It had created an online retail music product to address the piracy issue that the music industry faces today. To give timely information to stockbrokers worldwide, the company has come up with a product that ensured accurate financial information. Its other popular initiative is a micro-finance product for the financial/ NGO sector dealing with huge funds.

Another initiative is the successful transition of their BOT (Build Operate Transfer) undertaking, resulting in the India subsidiary of Omnicell, a provider of patient safety solutions. Aditi was responsible for training and building the Omnicell team in domain expertise and software development. The company’s BOT business model has ensured a highly talented workforce to meet Omnicell’s research and development, and other business objectives.

Kaul says that the market size of OPD in India is currently around $3 billion and is expected to grow to $8-11 billion by 2008.

“The OPD industry is highly promising today and we can foresee this growing into a potent industry in the years to come,” said a confident Kaul.