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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Technology in Hyderabad!

Hyderabad is the capital of Andhra Pradesh, India, and is one of the largest metropolitan cities in the Country with a population of approximately 7 million people, making Hyderabad the 4th most populous city and the 6th most populous urban agglomeration in India.

I made a visit to Hyderabad because the city is also becoming a major hub for  information technology and the growth of the IT sector in India. With the opening of the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, this has attracted many IT companies to come here and set up subsidiary hubs for their offices and services. 

Bluefrog Mobile Technologies
I was very interested in visiting Blue Frog Mobile Technologies while in Hyderabad. Bluefrog Mobile was founded in 2007 headquartered in Visakhapatnam. The key uniqueness of Bluefrog is that its management teams are highly competent engineers. Since inception, Bluefrog has made significant contributions to the growth of their customers by providing Value Add Services to their Customers.
Blue Frog particularly specializes in M-Governance which is the strategy and implementation involving the utilization of all kinds of wireless and mobile technology services, applications and devices for improving benefits for citizens, business and all Government units.  It was this specialization along with some of their other current mobile applications in development, that I was very excited to discuss and see where synergies exist between initiatives occurring in Philadelphia, surrounding digital divide and governmental technologies, along with adaptation of technologies that can be deployed in US markets.
The conversation went very well.  We sat for a few hours discussing their innovations and mobile applications being utilized all throughout India for government and rural low income populations. Several items I found very interesting…..compression methods for mobile devices, m-governance for citizen and government interexchange, and mobile applications that can be deployed using USSD, which is a form of SMS with low connectivity, for low income marketplaces.  All of these various technologies have a place, use, and need in the US.
Overall Blue Frog is very excited to explore new marketplaces and action steps were taken to continue conversations ongoing. 
Thank you Blue Frog! My eyes, ears, and mind are wide open.
TATA Consultancy ( Social Services Division)
 I have mentioned TATA Consultancy before when I met with a group of TATA executives in Bangalore.  Again, TATA is one of the largest, if not the largest, most diverse Indian companies, and one of the worlds largest companies, as well.  TATA is just about in everything. A very impressive company to say the least. 
The group I met with in Hyderabad focuses on Government Industry Solutions and social services for low-income communities in India.  I met with the Head of the Andhra Pradesh team as well as several of the key developers who work with rural indian populations and TATA’s corporate responsibility services to implement the e-governance and social service deployment.
What I loved about this conversation was the fact that in India, I found out, the government pays for 80% of healthcare for people below the Country’s poverty line.  This was a surprise and very good to hear.  Apparently the paying of healthcare has been taking places for years.  TATA’s role in this is developing the software and systems portal to enact efficient procedures and record keeping around for this government practice. TATA calls it its Government To Citizen services, or G2C.  In India, many of the e-governance systems, around the Country are developed and built by TATA. Of course, there are many leading companies and some smaller companies that participate with these private/public partnerships. However, TATA leads the group.
After hearing about India’s healthcare system offers an almost full payment of services to poor communities, I began to think about the US and shake my head that we are having such a hard time getting over this process.  A form of basic Healthcare should be offered to every American citizen at a rate that is affordable per the person’s salary.  Most Countries have initiated such systems. As a Country, the USA skipped socialism and we never implemented these types of widespread programs that was comfortable for the entire Nation.  Unfortunately, we are paying for it now.  Rather than work together, we are now bickering on a world wide stage and now putting enough attention to the important matters at hand that will offer us growth and a new platform for innovation.  Hate to have to get on this soapbox, but again, when you travel you really get to see what other Countries are /are not doing to better their communities. 
Overall, the meeting with TATA was a good one.  I again, had the chance to connect the dots and see what synergies existed between our organizations.  More than before, I see that large businesses in India may have the potential to work with developing “Bottom of the Pyramid” models in the US. Definitely look forward to seeing what can come out of these conversations.

I met with the Tech Mahindra team for the second time in India while I was visiting Hyderabad as well.  I was shown an entire presentation given for my benefit to view and discuss more service offerings of the company and where our two organizations could work together to offer more services to US underserved communities as well as government solutions. 
The Tech Mahindra team presented a very thorough analysis of the landscape of total service offerings in India and how the company likes to partner with businesses in the US to assist with all kinds of company initiatives, plans, and projects.
I was very impressed to hear that Tech Mahindra likes the idea to work with smaller businesses and provide a myriad array of services that scale to the company needs and strategies all the while still keeping up the excellent standard of a big global BPO office.  Very interesting to have the conversation about this, given the fact that I have been traveling all over India trying to espouse this very same sentiment. Indian companies should also work with and partner with small US businesses. Work with smaller US businesses.  At the end of the day, this is what will help both of our Countries strengthen ties and open new chapters in international relations between India and the US. Lets see what happens.


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