This is one event (EmergeOut Conclave) from NASSCOM, that I don’t miss. I attended it last year and made sure I attend it this year too. This year the NASSCOM team have bettered themselves from last year and almost all the sessions were thought-provoking & interesting. You can watch the videos of some of the sessions here.
Mr.Bharat Goenka, CMD, Tally Solutions
Mr.Bharat Goenka, CMD, Tally Solutions talked on “How Big is the Domestic Market Really?”. The Talk was simply brilliant. He shared several nuggets of wisdom from his long product making & selling the experience to the Indian market. His analysis of Indian Market and Piracy was spot on.
Some of the quotes from what he talked:
- Pre-sell the future vision, but always deliver the present without fail. It is mistake pre-sell future technology today
- Tally has about 2.0 Million Users (500,000 Companies). 50% of the sale came in last 2.5 years. The first 50% came in 21 years before it. There are another 3.5 Million Unlicensed (Pirated) users of Tally
- Passive data renders itself well to the cloud. But Financial data always is active data and you need control over it for legal reasons. If two customers share the same server; if a government official took control and possession of the server, what happens to you; or comfortable with it?
- Few decades Music in India was nearly 100% pirated. Today good part of Music Purchase is legal and the revolution was starting rolling by T-Series. Similarly, in legal Software, the whole buying experience has to be made easy and affordable
- You will find it amazing how Indian Market adapts to new idea
- In India, you can have a market of any size you want. You want 1 Million customers, you can. All it takes is your imagination, planning & execution for reaching out to those 1 Million customers
- The problem is not converting a prospect to customer, but how to reach them. They are not going to come to you
- Tally was made from Day 1 for a mass market, so that customers most of the time self-service themselves, rather than call our support
- Tally ERP in terms of number of licenses sold is a huge success
Jessie Paul – CEO, Paul Writer
Jessie Paul talked about “Frugal Marketing in an emerging Economy – What works, What’s Hype, What’s Trendy”.
Marketing makes customers, to come to you. Sales you go to them. Recently Apple iPad has done it – customers were queuing outside to buy it
- Earlier in my career, I was with Ogilvy & Mather. Nowadays customers invite O & M and plead with them to work for them, that’s how big the brand has become
- Marketing makes any call a warm call. Clever marketing makes sure you handle well your ageing of products after few years
- Always have a conversation beyond the product or service. Talk and Interact beyond the buy from me, buy from me routine
- Remember, people always buy from people
- There are five tips for marketing
- Think Narrow: This allows you to operate without a mass spread. Wherever possible, claim First/Biggest/Largest
- Own the EcoSystem: Create your own story. Try and connect to people who are connected to Decision Maker
- Create your own channels: Institute an Awards (For customers, they too love to get awards). Customize Mass-Media in creative, cost-effective manner, for example, you can brand the water bottles given in today’s event or reach to Indian NRI community advertise in a local magazine like Thendral. Create your own customer community.
- Insights, not information: 5 Years back market research was difficult to make, so people valued it, but not now with Internet & Information abundance. Cardinal sin in today’s business world is to be boring. Have and advertise thought leadership
- Go Online: 20 Million Users in India using Social Media. In India you know who watches News TV Channels more – it is Youth. Success stories like SMS MouthShut. Social Media is social, so CEO has to do it, you can’t ghostwrite or outsourced it. Finally, Social Media in India may not directly have your customers there, but it certainly has their influencers.
- Clients most time don’t visit your offices, they call your landline to ensure you have a presence
- Create an executive branding for yourself. Have a brand map.
Transforming the CIO into the Chief Innovation Officer
This session was chaired by Sangeeta Patni, CEO of Extensio Software. The speakers included Ajay Dhir (Group CIO, Jindal Steel), Daya Prakash (CIO, LG Electronics India), Padmaja Ravishankar (Head Information Systems, 24 x 7 Customer) and L.Sundarrajan (CIO, Holcim)
- The CIO Association of India is one of the largest social networks, of CIO’s, IT Leaders and Tech in India
- Jindal Steel selected this e-auction platform over the MNC brands which were expensive and had too many features. The solution is an Open Source Platform (MySQL and PHP). Earlier they were spending Rs.3 Crore per annum, now this whole solution cost Rs.40 Lakhs and the IP was given to Jindal for comfort
- Importance of IT Solution vendor having deep domain knowledge, interest to visit clients factory, their Shop floor, don’t restrict your IT solutions purely from AC rooms
- Creativity is all about seeing what everyone sees and thinking what no else has thought
- Innovation is introducing ideas to the end user and not just producing them. For example – Mobile Printing like a salesperson taking order printing then and there an order confirmation
- Person (CIO or his staff) to whom you are selling the IT product or solution, should have the where with all to sell the idea internally within the organization
- Think over, of all the corners before you present your solution – kind of meditate, focus on it before you present it
- LG Electronics India using an Indian Business Intelligence/Analytics product called Kautilya
User Centric Design: Designing Products for New Markets
This session was chaired by Dr.Girish Prabhu (Director of Srishti Labs, Srishti School of Art, Design & Technology, Bangalore). The speakers were Warren Greving (Director, Srishti Labs), Kaushal Sarda (Chief of Bangalore Office, 2020 Social), George John Vettah (Founder, Kallos Solutions Pvt. Ltd.), Pallav Nadhani (Founder, Infosoft Global (P) Ltd.), Kishore Ramisetty (Business Head, Innovative Products Group, Intel Technology India Pvt. Ltd.)
- Fusion Charts: Today has 250,000 Users & 15,000 customers in 110 Countries, with over 75 Charts & 550 Maps. Don’t build software, build an experience. Ease of use and Good Looks are paramount. They are going to introduce something called OOMFO charts for PowerPoint. They have closed focus group of customers who give them great feedback
- User-centric design is all about making your software friendly, approachable & Easy to use. Focus & Focus on users and what they do, make it easy for them.
- An example of UCD is Intel’s Handheld device.
- HP Labs in India some years back developed an Indian Gesture Keyboard, which focussed on UCD
Innovation Jam: New Ideas for New Markets
This was an unconference interactive and fun session by Kiruba Shankar (CEO, Business Blogging). Kiruba contacted it lively and interesting. The whole session was about making people think out of the box, present crazy ideas and then rate them by all present. I gave an idea to make movies “free” to fight piracy. They will be paid by advertisement, so you need to add to a 2:30 Hour movie, say 30 Minutes of advertisement!
How SMEs can reinvent IT Services
This valedictory session was Chaired by Mr.Prasanto Roy (President & Chief Editor of CyberMedia). The speaker for this event was none other than Mr.Lakshmi Narayanan (Vice Chairman of Cognizant).
I look forward to Lakshmi’s talk, they are always very insightful and he can easily relate to problems facing Indian IT industry whether you are Small, Medium or Large sized.
- Your startup idea should be for a problem big enough to last for 2 or 3 business/market cycles so that you can correct and perfect yourself
- Integra services – they do backend of book publishing. They acquired a company and got their customers and through that scale
- A young entrepreneur designed an apparel for all weather which can moderate the wearer’s temperature to the surrounding. No one bought the idea, but finally taking it to Indian Army they bought into it
- As a startup, you need to invest in say 2 or 3 anchor customers. This is very important till you get all your processes, sales etc in place – till then it is important you be with them
- When a startup doesn’t have a better pricing model it is better to be transparent to client on your costs plus ask a margin
- In the last 18 months, clients have consolidated their vendors. Now there is a role for big & small companies to collaborate, more than ever. It is a network model where all partners collaborating shares the risk in a ratio to their revenue made. All of them gets paid only when the common goal of the project is achieved. This is different to the conventional model of a large SI (System Integrator) sub-contracting portions of the project to SME vendors
In the closing remarks by Sarada Ramani (CEO of CI India) recalled the quote from earlier in the day made by Mr.Som Mittal on how he expects Asia to be No.1 in IT by 2025 and Public Sector to the best market to be in for IT.