Big blue lines up for India


In a tremendous show of confidence in India, IBM on Tuesday said it will invest $6 billion in the country over the next three years. The company has invested $2 billion here since 2003, making it IBM’s second largest operational base in the world.

Addressing a gathering—estimated at over 10,000-comprising IBM employees, partners, technology experts, researchers, financial analysts and customers at the Palace Grounds here on Tuesday, IBM chairman and CEO Samuel J Palmisano said India and other emerging economies were increasingly key to the growth of the company.

IBM focus in India is on making the right investments, developing talent and acquiring business partners and customers. They don’t want to miss this opportunity. The investment will ensure that most of the opportunities are made to grow in this marketplace. It will also enable the company to full-fill IBM’s vision to become a globally integrated company.

The fresh investment in the country is expected to go into development of new technologies, innovation, research activities, infrastructure building, high quality talent development and educational initiatives.

What makes IBM special is its focus on innovation. Innovation needs intellectual talent that is open to change, adaptable and adjustable. Such people are available across emerging geographies—China, Brazil, Russia and more so in India. During 2005, emerging markets contributed $3.8 billion to IBM’s global turnover of $91 billion, with India posting a 55% year-on-year growth, China growing8%, Brazil7%, and Russia29%.

IBM today is the largest foreign technology enterprise in India. In fact, it was the first global tech enterprise to foray into the country, way back in 1951. But the then market conditions forced it to pull out. It made a re-entry in 1971through a JV with the Tatas. In the last three years, the company has witnessed phenomenal growth. In early 2003, it had around 3,000 employees in India; today that number is over 43,000 against its US strength of 140,000 and global strength of 340,000.

The firm has been driving growth through software and systems development, services, academic and industry collaboration and leadership development.

Addressing a gathering, President APJ suggested IBM and India collaborate to design, develop and market nano computers.

Future computers and computing accessories, he said, would be micro-sized, wearable, wire less and would be capable of talking to each other. However, the creativity of the human mind will always remain superior to most powerful computers. India is considered to have 540 million young, highly innovative brains and this enormous talent attract companies from all over the world including IBM.

The President noted that vision and innovation go hand-in-hand. When IBM founder Thomas Watson thought of the slogan, “Think� he never would have imagined that this word would make a world of difference to life and computers. Again during the mid-60s, when Vikram Sarabhai dreamt of Indian designing and building satellites and space craft and also launching them from its own soil. No one would have thought it would happen. But today, thanks to tech advancements, India is capable of building any kind of satellites. India has even partnered with Russia to make the world’s first supersonic cruise missile and is now capable of launching other countries’ satellites on a commercial basis.

No doubt India has got its due recognition as a country to boost economical and technological growth where right human resource talent is available who can perform with delivering outstanding results.