Narain is the founder & CEO for 360 Degree Interactive, a web services firm based in Chennai, India. This blog is about his personal views on Web 2.0, RoR, Social networking,Digital media, interactive advertising, SaaS, Service Oriented Architecture, India Inc, rural education, Web standards, mobile 2.0 and more.

Wednesday, January 26

What was 2004 with Mahesh Murthy

Mahesh Murthy is one cool guy in India who is an avid technophile and a promising entrepreneur. He writes for Businessworld. The following are his predictions which were on 2004 January and he likes to crosscheck himself with today.

A little more than a year to the day, yours truly published a list of '10 predictions for 2004'. It's crunch time now. Here are the predictions with my comments a year later in italics:

1. BPO will be big for India, not for Indians:
BPO work will go up at Indian subsidiaries of US and UK firms. No broad-scale opportunities for Indian entrepreneurs... The multiples here will be lower than those for IT service firms.

Pretty much bang on, if I say so myself. Daksh got sold at less than 3x revenues. Ditto for GE's BPO.

2.IT services will go over the hill:
If you believe businesses go through s-curves, the coding-for-cheap business will have reached the mature top of the curve... and the stock will calm retirees, and not excite day-trader types.

Well, I was wrong - and right. The coding coolie shops did well on revenues, but punters aren't buying their stocks. They're up 20 per cent - 40 per cent for the year - same as the market.

3.IT products will be where the action is:
Look to see a few acquisitions of Indian product firms by overseas firms, and a few IPOs that will sizzle. Indian services firms will also start buying product companies as last-ditch measure.

The acquisitions are happening. Certainly one IT product company I know (and co-founded) is up 400 per cent. Others aren't far behind.

4.Investment bankers will wake up:
So M&A activities will go through the roof...

Bang on again. I think my friends in suits have had a busy year doing deals in everything from steel plants to machine tool companies to, yes, the odd Internet company.

5.2004 will be the bull year:
The Google IPO in the US and Reliance Infocomm IPO in India will set off yet another tech mania (a saner one) on both sides of the Pacific. Both will make acquisitions, on both sides of the pond.

The Google IPO turned out to be legendary... Reliance will push its IPO after the brothers make peace. But who thought we'd see a Sensex 6000 so soon? Moi?

6.China will be a threat in services, not products:
Indian manufacturing will come of age... our bhai-bhai friends will make inroads into IT services, where we're still inefficient.

Our manufacturing went head-to-head, and survived. Chinese IT services firms are making inroads and revenues - in China. Not outside it yet. We have more time.

7.VCs will come back to India - though later:
True-blue venture capital will come back to India by late 2004...

They're back. 'Nuff said.

8.Politics will attract professionals:
The age of Lalu Raj will end... A new breed of ex-professionals will start making their mark here.

An unprecedented 141 Lok Sabha members under 40. Chief ministers making Powerpoints. Business triumphing over politics in Karnataka and Maharashtra for infrastructure's sake. Not bad.

9.Roads and retail will make a difference:
...This big overdue investment in infrastructure... will not just help companies make money, but also turbo-charge our economy...

Malls exploded. And continue to do so. Roads are getting better - even in Bombay. Things are finally looking up.

10.We will make movies for the world market:
...A few directors will forsake India, and find fame overseas with films for the world audience, not NRIs.

A few tried. We didn't get anywhere. Guess they'll keep trying.
Courtesy: Businessworld Magazine
Seems like what he said a year back most of it worked. Let me post sometime later about this year's predictions, if he is writing any.


At 4:29 PM, Blogger Aravindan said...

BPO will be big for India, not for Indians:

One exception.......ITC Infotech India Ltd ofcourse we are a JV company :)-

At 10:47 AM, Blogger Narain said...

Well it mentioned about the top 3 indian BPO companies. Take Daksh which was taken over by IBM and another one taken by Accenture. In this Wipro is the only Indian company to acquire a larger BPO company like Spectramind to go global.

At 7:36 PM, Blogger marissa said...

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