Friday, September 23, 2011

Telecom Gear Virtualization and Spectrum Outsourcing

I wrote last year about possibility of Telecom Spectrum outsourcing. My hypothesis was that Spectrum is scarce in congested area but easily available in country side. Can future technologies utilize this spectrum imbalance and facilitate spectrum outsourcing ?

I got feedback that I am sounding crazy.

Now Nokia Siemens Network (NSN) has introduced a new technology which will enable Telecom Gear (BTS) Virtualization similar to cloud computing paradigm in IT.

This is in a way vindicating my earlier thinking. (Though not in the way I imagined !)

Telecom transmission is function of BTS Power and Spectrum availability. If BTS power is centralized then as a proxy, the spectrum is also centralized . The idle spectrum in country side can indeed help balance the scarce spectrum in congested area !

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Angola : A country whose time has come ?

I read two news items about Angola, a small country in south central Africa, recently.

First news is about crowning of Liela Lopes as Miss Universe 2011

Other news is that IBM is opening its new center in Luanda, Angola

That makes me think whether Angola's time has come on world stage?

Does Miss Universe results indicate future possibilities ?

I remember crowning of Sushmita Sen as Miss Universe ( First from India) in 1994. Around same time India started making its mark globally in IT industry.

To validate this further, the first Miss Universe from China should be in mid 1980's. I checked the Miss Universe list and to my surprise there is no Miss Universe from China yet.

Further many Venezeulan and Peurto Rican ladies have won Miss Universe competitions. ( Countries whose time has not come yet...)

So this is inconclusive. So what about Angola ? Investigation continues ...

Friday, September 16, 2011

How to create Jobs in US?

Technology which is responsible for loss of jobs can get the job back:

1. Use of Technology such as video phone can reverse the outsourcing trend. For e.g. In telemarketing calls, an Indian male face will get better response or a beautiful female face from California?

2. Invest in Technology R&D

The problem of Job creation needs to be analyzed from the global perspective. Global Solution may be creation of additional new jobs for all abilities in all countries. Countries should not fight for local maxima optimizing their job at cost of other countries.

I believe, the long term solution is to create large R&D in further new areas and increase share of R&D employment in total global employment. Once new technologies become viable, market will take care of creating additional jobs in downstream- manufacturing, agriculture, infrastructure and services.

3. Technology companies like Apple who have gained from globalization and have more cash than US Government should invest in local job creation

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Inspiring Leadership: President and Governors in India

President and Governors in India are not elected people but ceremonial heads nominated by political parties. ( President is elected by electoral college of elected representatives but Ruling party can nominate and get their candidate elected). Governors are political appointees. Looking through current list of Governors, it looks like that this post has become a retiring option for the politicians.

When trust in politicians is all time low in India, Should our ceremonial heads at least be inspiring personalities?

One current leader In India who inspired billions is Kalam, ex President . Apart from his many achievement he was awarded Bharat Ratna , highest civilian award in India.

Should future Presidents of India be Bharat Ratnas? There are only 4 living Bharat Ratna recepients in India : Kalam, Ravi Shankar, Lata Mangeshkar & Amartya Sen

Wouldn't any of above four will be more inspiring than current set of political leaders aspiring to be President of India?

Shouldn't highest civilian award is a good eligibility criteria for nominating candidates for President by Political parties

Taking the reasoning further, should other civilian awards such as Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri etc be made eligibility criteria for other political nominations such as Governors.

Should Governor position move away from being a retiring post for political leaders and bureaucrats and instead be given to inspiring people.

Skeptics will ask whether this will increase quality of leadership or lower the standards of civilian awards?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Strategy for Promoting Gujarat as IT/ITES Center of Excellence

Ten Point Strategy for Promoting Gujarat as IT/ITES Center of Excellence

  1. 1.Set Aspiring Goals for Gujarat IT/ ITES Every plan starts from an aspiring goal. Indian IT industry had goal of $50 Billion exports by 2010. Gujarat Government should set up a similar goal for the state also say $10 Billion IT/ITES Revenue by 2020.

  1. 2.Promote Local Entrepreneurs and Local Firm to Achieve Global Scale – What current IT/ITES centers of excellence such as Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai, Noida and Gurgaon have in common? They all have at least one of the Top 10 IT/ITES Company headquartered in their region. Bangalore has Infosys, Wipro; Chennai has Cognizant; Hyderabad has Satyam; Pune has Tech Mahindra; Mumbai has TCS; Noida has HCL and Gurgaon has Genpact.

Investment by big companies only would not make a region as center of excellence unless a local firm has scaled up. The case in point is of Chandigarh, Bhubaneswar, Trivandrum, Jaipur, Kolkata, Mysore, etc where big firms like Infosys, TCS, Wipro, Genpact have invested but no local company has been able to build a scale.

Government should indentify few local firms which can scale up and give these local firms preference for government work and local industry work, to help these local firms achieve the initial economics of scale.

There are companies which have centres in Gujarat but they are Head Quartered in other places. Government can request these firms to relocate HQ back in Gujarat.

  1. 3.Encourage Rivarly and Cooperation between firms - Why Bangalore has emerged as leaders among other IT/ ITES centers of excellence? One of the reasons is the rivalry between two big firms Infosys and Wipro. The management literature has examples that when firms vigorously compete with each other for work and talent but share other location dependent resources, the centers of excellence are created. Gujarat government should promote healthy competition and rivalry among local firms like it is doing in auto sector.

  1. 4.Prepare Master Plan for Infrastructure, Manpower Supporting Industries and Other Catalyst factors - What kind of resources will be required for $10 Billion IT/ITES business? Office space, residential space, manpower, transportation, entertainment among others things. What kind of factors do the companies consider when they decide their IT/ITES location strategy?

There is no need to reinvent the wheel as some success has already been achieved. Here the best feedback the Government can get is from local entrepreneurs and companies, who have opened their centers, about their concerns and frustration points. Remove their frustration points and wheel can be accelerated.

Backpaper calculation says , $10 Billion revenue can give employment to 5 lakh employees , utilize space of 50 million square feet etc

  1. 5.Promote Gujarat as Center of Excellence for Public Sector and Analytics – Every center of excellence have achieved some specialization because of manpower and supporting industries. Gurgaon is known for the call centers, Bangalore is known for IT and product development, Mumbai is for known for Financial captives, Hyderabad is for known for Pharma Services etc.

What should Gujarat concentrate on? Historically Gujarat’s strength lies in large scale activities such as cooperative movements like Anand etc . In current times Gujarat has established itself as manufacturing and Auto hub. In IT/ITes sector this historical strength can be translated into Public Sector and Engineering Services space.

How can Government promote Gujarat as Public sector and Engineering Services hub? Public sector and Engineering services need specialized manpower. Gujarat has nation’s renowned rural management institute IRMA and IIM Ahmedabad . Government can think of establishing another technical institute focusing on Automobiles and Engineering Services With these institutes involvement, Government can train human resources for Engineering Services and Public sector.

  1. 6.Promote Gujarat as an Emerging Center for Cloud Computing – Getting a pie of new work is easy than fighting for existing work. So Government should also concentrate on developing expertise and manpower in upcoming technologies such as Cloud Computing. Government can setup center of excellence in Cloud Computing at IIM Ahmedabad.

  1. 7.Promote Gujarat as Captive Centers Destination – Every other IT/ITES Center of Excellence has captive center of few fortune 500 firms. Government should identify few Fortune 500 firms (Automobile Firms) who do good business in Gujarat state and request these firms to open their one of captive centers in the state.

  1. 8.Establish a Venture Capital Fund – Establish a Venture Capital Fund in collaboration with IIM Ahmedabad to promote young technology entrepreneurs to start and grow their firms in Gujarat

  1. 9.Reach out to Gujarati Diaspora – Gujarati Diaspora is employed in technology companies world wide. In India also because of lack of opportunities, many Gujarati engineers have moved out to other locations. Government should reach out to them for two reasons. The first reason is to encourage them to come back and improve the competiveness of Gujarat state. The second reason is to seek their help in marketing attractiveness of Gujarat to the firms, who want to outsource their work or who want to set up captive centers. This is similar to the role played by the NRI’s in the initial days of India’s outsourcing revolution.

  1. 10.Aggressive Marketing to Promote Gujarat as IT and ITES Destination– What good the policy and attractiveness of state is if it is not marketed to decision makers? Employ aggressive marketing similar to Vibrant Gujarat as “Great Gujarat: Preferred IT and ITES Destination”