Engineering invention for marketing


Product development is not just about coding, it’s about creative minds that see the future; it’s about an attitude that’s consistent; and an urge to invent. The reasons can be multifold but we put it in a nut shell to ‘the requirement of marketing needs for sustaining competition or increasing market share’ or simply a ‘pre-cursor to marketing’.

More than just ‘engineers’

The right product guy is the one who can smell business in technology. Yes, technical knowledge in areas like J2EE, XML, Operating Systems, Networking etc are required, but prowess in understanding business practices is also necessary. This comes only with consistency. Some reputed HR companies specializing in training of how to go about Product development train them in the first two weeks of programs which help entrants get acclimatized to a product development environment. Their competency development programs focuses on knowledge because Product companies want the 15-20 percent freshly qualified personnel that they recruit to be more than just ‘engineers’.

Customer facing developers

Providing a platform to innovate is what IBM India Software Lab (ISL) one of World’s largest software development labs with over 2,000 skilled employees across 4 metros of India aims at. ISL is one of the few labs experimenting with the emerging technologies like extensible Markup Language (XML), RFID, SOA, Web Services, Virtualization, Autonomic Computing, and grid Computing.

Enhancing Business Sense

For HCL Technologies with focal areas in banking aerospace, automotive, etc. it is imperative to have domain / business expertise. The company divides its competency under 3 heads

1. Behavioral Competencies.
2. Business and Process Competencies.
3. Technical Competencies.

Along with a centralized entity called ‘Talent Transformation & Intrapreneurship (Internal entrepreneurship) Development’ under its corporate University. The primary focus of this University is to breed entrepreneurs by turning ideas into business internal to the organization, to enable manager shift from managing opportunities to creating opportunities.

i-Flex Solutions build internal expertise as they do not get people from the market with expertise on proprietary products.

Tailor-making Education

Product majors are also tying up with the academia to provide industry specific training to students, or intervene in the syllabus to incorporate relevant courses. For instance, SAP runs a University Alliance Program India at 23 leading colleges and universities. The programs provide engineering and management students with opportunities to get practical work experience on SAP software.

In 1998, Cranes Software established Cranes Varsity to impart post-professional technical proficiency to domains like Digital Signal Processing (DSP), Real Time Embedded systems (RTES) and mathematical Modeling.

Lateral for mission critical jobs

Attracting talented NRI with high-end product development skills to man high level product architectural positions, and train freshers is another trend. Symphony Services has 10 percent of its people in technology, architecture and product management from the US.

Getting hold of senior leaders like an architect or a product director is a difficult task. Hence, most companies either attract talented NRIs or get people from global headquarters.

There’s a dearth of architects because at senior levels they do not want to move.