Indian software seeks Aussie partners

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A delegation of Indian software and services companies has been visiting this year's CeBIT expo in Sydney seeking Australian partners to collaborate in joint export efforts and outsourcing arrangements.

A group of 19 pre-selected companies under the auspices of India's National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) has been spruiking its wares and potential opportunities for partnership with small Australian peers at CeBIT.

Ganesh Natarajan, innovation initiative chairman at NASSCOM, said Indian IT companies had begun working together on ways for the subcontinental industry to enter the next phase of development.

That phase was innovation, he said.

"We said, 'can we go to Australia, find Australian companies that are quality-oriented, and find partnerships with Australian companies with the skills and scale to go to the global market'," Natarajan said.

NASSCOM had identified some 90 of 3500 Indian software companies with a "point of view" that could help India push towards greater sophistication and innovation in the global market, he said.

"19 companies are here [at CeBIT]," Natarajan said. "We're also investigating university partnerships here."

Indian companies could partner small companies here instead of opening a local office in Australia. Together, partners could maximise not only the Indian companies' chances in the Australian market but the Australian companies' chances globally, he said.

"We're looking for Australian companies with their domain skills on, say, how to do things in banking in Australia, but also cultural skills," Natarajan said.

Partnerships with Australian universities would help boost Indian skills also. But some of the Indian companies had also found opportunities, for example, with universities in China that Australian partners could be involved with and benefit from, Natarajan added.

He said it wouldn't be a one-sided arrangement, with India getting all the gain. Further, it wasn't about buying out Australian companies either, as had happened with Infosys and Expert IS.

"Nobody needs to buy anybody. We just need to go after the collaborative market," Natarajan said.

"Our model is to do the requirements and analysis and when it makes sense, then your country can send the code back. That is the new global model. Programming is plumbing, as far as I am concerned," Natarajan said.

NASSCOM believes benefits accruing to Australian firms that partnered Indian companies included access to India's US$28 billion software industry, a sector with some 300 of the Fortune 500 companies as partners and outsourcing customers and the abilities of some 1.1 million staff, he said.

Indian companies were moving into new, higher value service lines and verticals and attracting more venture capital, Natarajan said.

NASSCOM's CeBIT delegation included: Concen Tek, Nucleus Software Exports, Prologic First India, HCL Technologies (Australia), Elitecore Technologies, Tricom Information and Technology, NuNet Technologies, Pramati Technologies, Intellicom Contact Centers, Smile Multimedia, Data Infosys, Hurix Systems, Pradot Technologies, netCustomer India, 24/7 Customer, Kalzoom Technologies, Zensar Technologies, Cambridge Technology Enterprises and JV Info Solutions.

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