College of Business: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Indian Software Industry Subject of Beckman Lecture


9/22/2005

N. R. Narayana Murthy.Offshore outsourcing is a key feature of today’s global markets, with India serving as a major port for such activity.  As the country’s software industry continues to rise, India’s information technology professionals must find new ways to compete in the global economy.  These issues were addressed during the twenty-first Arnold O. Beckman Lecture in Science and Technology held September 14 in Foellinger Auditorium.  Featured speaker N.R. Narayana Murthy -- chairman of the board and chief mentor of Infosys Technologies Limited -- gave his perspective in his lecture The Indian Software Industry: Managing Change and Growth in the Knowledge Economy.

Murthy cited three components that aided the successful growth of the Indian software industry: globalization, 24-hour productivity, and the Global Delivery Model (GDM).  He believes that globalization is about “sourcing capital from where it is cheapest, sourcing talent from where it is best available, producing where it is most cost-effective, and selling where the markets are.”

The outsourcing of jobs to India is viewed unfavorably by Americans who believe these positions should be available to US citizens. Murthy pointed out the 24 hour cycle resulting from the practice.  Because the cycle combines the prime work hours in the US with the prime work hours in India, customers receive quick solutions in critical, time sensitive operations.  This type of efficiency is essential to the Global Delivery Model, which Murthy says, “suggests that we split a large task into multiple subtasks and execute each task where it is best executed.”

Though the Indian software industry is constantly evolving, Murthy acknowledges the challenges it faces if it hopes to continue to compete in the global market.  Companies must ensure that their employees focus on speed, imagination and excellence so that adaptation takes place. 

Murthy predicts that the power of the gaming user-interface will be applied to info-system designs within the next 10 years.  Because the younger generation is reared on this interface, it is vital to the industry’s future. 

He also contends that businesses should “learn to operate in multicultural teams” because local talent is the best.  And professionals should become more solution-oriented and focus on products that enhance revenue productivity. 

The founder of Infosys Technologies obtained his Bachelor of Electrical Engineering (B.E.) from University of Mysore in 1967 and his Master of Technology (M.Tech.) from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur in 1969.

The College of Business was a co-sponsor of the Beckman Lecture.

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