Business & Technology Nexus

Dave Stephens on technology and business trends

India and China & Enterprise Software

with one comment

I received a thoughtful request recently to post on how US software vendors (including Oracle) are viewing the India and China markets. Of course all large software vendors have been drawn to India and China as low-cost R&D centers. But it is also true that these very same companies have been investing heavily in a sales presence, although often this hasn't yet translated to significant revenue streams compared to their more mature US and western European markets.

India and China could not be more different, though, when it comes to where to hunt for gold. India, with it's slice of highly educated knowledge workers, is a service industry play. China has that element to it, but the far larger opportunity seems to be providing the Manufacturing industry what they need (which sometimes means catering both to foreign operators as well as their in-country presence).

The short answer is both markets deserve and are getting lots of attention. Both markets also run the risk of becoming another Brazil, where in country software vendors simply take the time to understand and build software that fits local laws more completely. For example, Brazil has a requirement/business practice called 'Nota Fiscal'. It mandates a single document for Shipping Label & Invoice. Physical Receipt and Invoice Receipt are one and the same. At Oracle, we couldn't figure out how to build in support for the Nota Fiscal – it was too expensive (and maybe we weren't smart enough). By not having support for this we gave up on a very large and growing market. SAP and others fared better.

I think the real question the emailer was asking is "do I have a chance of competing in India and China against the big guys". And if you spend your time in country and on-top of local requirements, the answer, surprisingly, may be yes! Good luck!


Written by Dave Stephens

04/21/06 6:59 AM at 6:59 am

Posted in Opinion

One Response

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  1. About India, what I personally think is that if you want to shine in the Indian market then you try to be in India as much as possible. India is a very diversified country with so many languages and religions. This is the thing you must understand and then make your strategy. Second thing is that there is a growing market in South Asia beyond India. Pakistan is doing well and Bangladesh is trying too. These two countries along with Sri Lanka and Nepal have a market of over 350 million people. There are opportunities in this part of the world but you must try to know about the cultures and the people first.

    Razib Ahmed

    04/22/06 6:15 AM at 6:15 am

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