Big Data opportunity in India versus Big Data opportunity in USA. All American corporates are hailing Big Data as their savior. The next batch of billionaires and billion dollars are predicted to come from this industry. Companies will better understand correlation between customer’s online social and buying behavior. This will help them to offer better targeted products/ solutions for even better profits. The days of human search for causality are over. Large, in fact gigantic super computers will find hidden gems among huge mass of unstructured and structured data and monetize the same. As all things from USA go, even India has caught the Big Data fever.
I did a Google trends dive into where “Big Data” searches were coming from. And this is what I found. India tops the list followed by USA, Australia and the rest of the developed countries pack. This seems to prove my point that there should be a big Big Data opportunity in India. 100 means the country where maximum search terms for “Big Data” has originated.
But a closer look shows the very different nature of the opportunity existing in both markets. USA is the “Adopter” land. Companies are embracing Big Data or are creating the Big Data solutions. Venture Capitalists are funding these start ups. Money is been poured into this sector for a hopefully brighter tomorrow. India on the other hand in trying to cash in on this wave. Not by providing solutions. Neither by adopting Big Data as a way of doing business. But by selling it professional maintenance services. India sees the opportunity to do the back end management of this vertical too which has been the corner stone of its IT industry. That is the nature of Big Data opportunity in India. So in India, the searches are sky rocketing as companies and their employees read up on what is Big Data and search for opportunities in the other markets for deals.
So what does this imply for the Indian behemoths who are at the forefront of the Indian Big Data wave.
1. Low Cost model: The whole managed services industry is built upon low cost model. Each of the Indian companies will have to offer maintenance services at ever lower margin levels with Forex rates, wage inflation playing havoc. The American companies will not see any incremental value differentiation in these maintenance deals versus existing.So they will pay more or less the current existing rates for maintenance.
2. Lesser skill job creation: Big Data is all about super computers. Number crunching giants. The core technology code will reside with the companies creating the solutions abroad. Mostly the Indian IT companies will get Big Data deals which will be viewed as additional projects from existing client relationships.
3. Opportunity lost once again: The last internet wave saw giants emerge in USA. Google, FB, Amazon, Oracle, IBM.. the list is endless. India completely missed the wave as it played the low cost out sourcing model card. It was appropriate then. Now there is a technology startup culture developing in the IT hubs across India. However the way the IT behemoths are approaching this opportunity will mean that we are sure to miss the boat again. Instead of developing a world class Big Data solution which they can sell easily continuously with only a focused sales and development team, they are again going in for the world of endless negotiations and nominal profits
So there is a Big Data opportunity in India, but the current approach is a suboptimal one. Start ups and IT behemoths alike need to rethink, realign and ride the crest of the Big Data wave.