Trends Report

Tech Investments In India: Foresight Or Folly?

April 15th, 2008
NR
Navi Radjou
CT
Chris Townsend
With contributor:
Janine Liu

Summary

Judging by the enthusiasm demonstrated by attendees of the fifth annual Harvard Business School India Conference, the Indian economy is no longer the global laggard that it was in the 1980s, when India's IT services export sector was born. Successive economic reforms introduced since 1991 have turned India into one of the world's fastest-growing regions; it is expanding at a breakneck pace of 8% annually. As whole swathes of the red-hot Indian economy — from retail to telecom to transportation to healthcare — are being deregulated, multinational tech vendors must no longer treat India as merely a low-cost talent supply base but also as a lucrative market for their offerings and as a real-life organizational learning lab for testing new operating models for emerging markets. Yet investing in India, with its complex political and sociocultural landscape, is a complicated game that demands forethought and constant vigilance. This document outlines the positive and negative factors shaping the Indian economy and offers recommendations to tech strategists on how to start internalizing the rules of the "India game."

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