Shifting workforce to India has been a common move in the last decade. Comparatively cheap labor, ambitious and hard-working employees was expected. Plus, limited time difference to European markets. Yes, there were plenty of good reasons why the IT market in India has experienced huge growth rates. That is at least what I have been taught throughout my university degree International & Digital Business Management and various trainings.
Last week I had the opportunity to visit one of the IBM centers in Bangalore due to a client event, which I have organized over the last weeks with fantastic local support. The moment I arrived in the Indian office was quite interesting. Just like in Germany, I entered the office early around 8:30AM. Unlike in Germany, the office was empty. No one around. However, by the time I was getting productive the office got crowded. People running around, phones ringing everywhere. People were greeting me at any time in the open office as Indian coffee helped waking me up. Fascinating – the machine gets running, I thought silently.
That was the first impression I had when I started working in India. However, the second was even more interesting: it was about the expertise located in such an Indian office. All skills and know-how of the latest and greatest technology were gathered around me. Experts on blockchain, on automation coming with cognitive technology and on cloud migration shared their stories with me. All underlined with real life stories, straight from agile development, straight from a customer perspective, straight from the research labs, as I recognized directly. No, not all projects are managed from Europe or North America. Clients start considering the Indian office not only as the center of delivery, but even as the center of project management.
And thirdly, the Indian teams are getting more and more empowered through brand-new equipment. I have visited the IBM automation lab and the cloud migration floor in Bangalore, where hundreds of agile practitioners and design thinkers work. The facility represents the attitude of the workers: It is open-minded, straight-forward, disruptive and collaborative without falling into the trap of spending too much valuable time in conceptualizing rather than prototyping.
For sure, I knew a lot about India as a country of global delivery before but it does for a large part not match what I have experienced in person. Besides the happiness and gratitude of our hosts I took away mainly one perception: the future of IT will not be designed by western countries and developed by Indian delivery centers. It will most probably be designed by strongly connected international teams working in a decentralized & agile environment.
I am more than happy to share additional insights and keep me updated on your thoughts,
Author: Daniel Kranz, Executive Assistant to general manager, Global Business Services Europe, IBM