Indian software companies are becoming confident, almost arrogant some would say, with plans of world domination. Don’t believe me? The NY Times interviewed Nandan M. Nilekani this weekend, the CEO of Infosys, India’s second-largest outsourcer.
Even consultants should beware, as he is after IBM and Accenture. You know why he’ll succeed? He makes $60,000 a year at a company worth nearly $20 billion. Last quarter Infosys recruited a phenomenal 8,026 employees and grew profits by 35.6%.
Q. Are you worried about the outcry over outsourcing in America?
A. What’s happening is pretty fundamental. If you go back to the 1830′s, India and China were 50 percent of the world’s G.D.P., and then they missed the entire revolution of industry. So if you take a long view of this game, it’s just part of the process.
Q. Is there anything you realistically fear from Western policy makers?
A. No. I think politicians have to win elections. But underlying secular trends like technology and demographics – you can’t stop these things, they’re all megatrends. They’re going to happen whether you like it or not. In fact, the guys who are going to win are the ones who say, “It’s going to happen anyway; let’s figure out how we can take advantage of it.”
He handles himself pretty well, like a guy in fact who is secure in the knowledge that things will eventually go his way.
Rohin points out below that China is doing much better than India economically. But the latter is investing more in its knowledge base, a strategy much better for the longer term. Expanding into value-added services is logical progression.
Q. Does it feel odd to find yourself lecturing Americans on the joys of capitalism?
A. You guys told us for so many years to cut out this socialist rubbish and go to free markets. We came to free markets and now you’re telling us, “Stop, don’t come.”
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Filed in: Economics,South Asia