Find­ing Op­por­tu­ni­ties in Ad­ver­si­ties

Dataquest - - EDIT -

This is the first time it is ap­par­ent that the US pres­i­den­tial elec­tions and the of­fice of the US Pres­i­dent is go­ing to re­ally to have an im­pact on the In­dian global ser­vices in­dus­try. In the past, we could dis­miss them as mere `elec­tion rhetoric’, but the quick ac­tions of Don­ald Trump since he took of­fice gives rea­son for some level of pre­pared­ness on our part.

Though, there is no im­me­di­ate crack­down on the H-1B visa, the life­line of the In­dian global ser­vices in­dus­try, it could hap­pen overnight. Trump’s style is to use a sledge­ham­mer to re­pair a Swiss watch, I heard some­one say on the TV.

The Trump pres­i­dency rep­re­sents a new world or­der, a big change in the ex­ist­ing world or­der brought about by pro­tec­tion­ist and de-glob­al­iza­tion moves. Pro­tect­ing Amer­i­can in­ter­ests through the `buy Amer­i­can and hire Amer­i­can’ dic­tum, the can­cel­la­tion of trade treaties, and the crack­down on im­mi­grants have al­ready seen ac­tion. The ac­tion on H-1B and L1 visas may not be too far away.

We can­not get by do­ing more of what we have been do­ing or have done in the past, such as lob­by­ing and im­age-mak­ing. We must find new op­por­tu­ni­ties in the new world or­der. The ear­lier we do, the higher the chances we get to script and set the new rules of the game.

There could be op­por­tu­ni­ties both within the US and the rest of the world. Off­shore may not be the an­swer this time. It might in­volve re­cruit­ing large num­ber of Amer­i­can work­ers. It might in­volve mas­sive train­ing of Amer­i­cans in the same way in­sti­tutes such as NIIT and Aptech pro­duced new IT tal­ent in In­dia through the 90s.

Even if the Trump fac­tor was not there, the tech in­dus­try would have any­way been in the throes of painful change brought about by dig­i­tal. The na­ture of IT work it­self has changed and so have the con­tents of out­sourc­ing. Ro­botic au­to­ma­tion has sim­i­larly changed the na­ture of BPO work. In that sense, it is a dou­ble whammy for the tech and tech ser­vices in­dus­try.

The sor­est and most un­fair point for the global tech ser­vices com­pa­nies is that we have got used to mea­sur­ing them by quar­terly growth in rev­enue, prof­its, and head­count. Let us stop do­ing that. Th­ese mea­sures could prove to be big dis­trac­tions be­cause chas­ing them would re­quire th­ese com­pa­nies to cling to the sta­tus quo.

Ev­ery com­pany worth its name is striv­ing hard to push the fron­tier with things such as CX and UX, an­a­lyt­ics, AI, IoT, de­sign think­ing, and more. Th­ese bat­tle­grounds would de­fine a new game with new rules. The smartest com­pa­nies would any­way bubble up to the top to lead the new or­der, Trump notw notwith­stand­ing. Ed Nair Group Ed­i­tor-ICT Busi­ness www.dqin­dia.com

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