Will Outsourced Product Development Specialists Survive?

Prashant Raje

I have spent most of my career of thirty years in the software product development space. ‘Product Development’ and ‘Product Engineering’ had not been invented as labels for what we did when I started my career in 1981. I was called a ‘System Software Programmer’. Our tribe was rather small. But we were a proud tribe – proud of the kind of work that we did; and proud that we did not do ‘lesser’ work, like developing business applications! We believed that our work was ‘special’. We felt that we did the hard, creative, brainy work of creating platforms that others used for the ‘mundane’ job of developing business applications.

As I grew professionally, my love and bias for product development and engineering only grew stronger.

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Infosys story part 1: Internal issues not tough market or visa row, may dwindle it down !

Sudin Apte

Everyday, Infosys is in news – rather negatively! What has triggered with missing revenue guidance, is not stopping for a moment. Be it Projecting its single digit growth, visa row and related legal suites, early signs of challenges in recruitment and consistent criticizing by financial or industry analysts (and its heavy reporting) – the list simply is never ending.

To assess where Infosys is heading, I tried to analyze the situation from multiple perspective. We surveyed 82 Infosys clients including 40+ strategic accounts ( We even spoke to over 60 TCS, 50+ Wipro and 40+ Wipro clients) in our latest survey of over 300 offshore clients. We also spoke to over two dozen current and ex-employees (mostly senior and/or long term), debated with select financial analysts and industry experts. Here are few key pointers that this exhaustive study has thrown up:

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Infosys let me down – I lost a bet! (One of my very few wrong predictions)

Sudin Apte

Bangalore, October 2005; George Colony (Forrester’s Chairman and CEO) was in India. We finished our meeting with Infosys’ top brass – Murthy, Nandan and Kris and were on our way to Sarjapur Road to meet Mr. Premji. Earlier evening we were in the then new TCS facility at Banyan Park (Mumbai) to meet Mr. Ramadorai and the CTO.

We were discussing where Indian IT is heading and how these players will evolve. In his typical style, George asked me to stake my neck out and predict which company will be the first to cross US $10B mark. I thought Infosys will overtake TCS somewhere around 2009-10 and will be first to become 10 Billion dollar company. George thought other way round. This was how our $1 bet happened!

April 23, 2012; TCS announced its results and crossed the $10B mark.

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