Develop Domain Expertise to Penetrate SMEs Abroad

by Prabhu Ram    Apr 29, 2009

In the present global economy, the total IT investment by companies outside the Fortune 500 companies is higher than the cumulative IT investment of the fortune 500.

With economic crisis looming large, fall of large firms in the developed world, IT companies in India are looking to serve midsize companies abroad. Contextually, these mid-size companies also want to tap the Indian IT talent including start-up Indian IT companies.

Speaking at Emerge-out, a Nasscom event being held in Chennai today, Som Mittal, event president, said that there is untapped opportunity in the SME market in the developed world. He said the Indian IT market has now matured in skills sets and is cost optimized.

As a business strategy, the mid size companies can focus on vertical specific solutions and develop expertise around those. Each SME in the developed countries is a niche in their own market. Domain expertise will enable such companies to invest on the Indian IT talent.

R Chandrasekaran, president and MD, Cognizant Technology said that the down turn will benefit Indian IT-companies especially serving the medical domain. The US government currently bears almost 70% of the cost in health care service industry. Due to economic constraints, it may transfer some of this onus onto the customers. This will result in a spurge in the medical -IT related services.

Offering a separate perspective, Krishnakumar Natarajan, CEO and MD, MindTree said that the crisis has made all the IT companies to come under one roof to grip business overseas. His company in effort with Nasscom will hold events called Friday 2.0 where, industry experts will talk about their tested methodologies that mid size companies can benefit from.

On the pricing model, Krishnakumar who exclusively spoke to CXOtoday said, IT companies should now not look at IT in terms of deployment or services cost. SME s need a paradigm shift, from cost proposition to value proposition.  IT companies, giving software or services need to prove their value in terms of disruptive effectiveness when engaging them in the use of technology, and its effect on their business. Software, support, marketing and advertisement should be an integral part of the deal. But one should develop vertical specific knowledge and expertise which a key to penetrate the western SME market.

On the opportunities that IT companies in India can leverage from the crisis, Bijith K Ahmed, CEO, Aufait Technology, said that IT-mid firms have now gained exceptional expertise that is valued in the international market His major clients are from Dubai and Saudi, and they are still doing the same business without any changes, and he anticipates positive growth this year as well.

Talking to CXOtoday, Gnana SS, CEO of BBSS, a company that recruits, trains and appoints trainees in finance, especially in banks-IT domain, said that there has increase in the demand for IT staffs in the banking section. According to him, the crisis will push more jobs to India, and that will need expertise skills sets, which will open floor to more fine tuned skills sets.

On its own, Nasscom will issue two pages to companies to fill its description as against 17 pages it allowed earlier. Moreover, it is closely working with McKinsey, that has shown that the growth of Indian IT companies have been significantly high, and if the current  trend is continued, IT companies in India will increase its potential to address the overseas SME markets demand and skills required by three times.