Part II – The woes of Indian Domestic IT sector
To read Part I click here
A brief on Micro Challenges faced by Indian Software companies whilst serving the MSME sector
Well this time no silliness about search engine optimization for Hashbrown Systems, the whole content marketing aspect is perfunctory at best.
Earlier I had mentioned about the numbers that were obviously too big and too unreal for any genuine play in the business sector. What we lack is a fine grasp of the obvious and those numbers were used and abused by scores of young men and women from IIT and IIM to get sweet deals and while the money of the investor away.
I will go on a limb and say that even Walmart acquisition of Flipkart has nothing to do with the present reality of Indian ecommerce market, but that is not why we are here. We are here to understand what is prohibiting adaption of IT as a business process tool for greater efficiency.
Now to keep things in perspective we would only discuss the MSME – Micro Medium and Small Enterprises – in simpler terms companies with turnover between 75cr to 1000cr.
Since we, at Hashbrown Systems, have had dealings with them. Understand their working, their pain, our pains and we can probably tell from a distance if the prospective client is truly interested in our services or bullshitting and phishing for information.
If you look at any successful business story in your neighborhood and community, you would notice that they achieved their success organically, and most of the times they stick to the first thing that worked and after that simply followed the ‘do not fix what ain’t broken’ principle. Thankfully none of them are using COBOL or FORTRAN.
The time of Indecision is now
Hashbrown Systems services clients who are looking at solutions beyond the first phase of social stack adaption. The clients either have web presence for marketing purpose or do not have a specific requirement to be present online but they need to adapt the greatest and latest in Information Technology to achieve greater efficiency and higher gains within their organization.
Or at least that is how they try to put it?
There is a perceptible difference of cost from the first brush when you get a webpage to a CRM/ERP integration. The good clients end the conversation, thank us for the time and wish the honest and clear people of Hashbrown fare thee well.
The sinister ones stick around to learn more, waste our time with meetings and arrive at the same conclusion as the good ones only they lament about the costs and that it was not worth their resources.
Then there is a client who is clear about his objective, is excited by the possibilities of technology and understands its limitations.
Once you have met him, and all the arrangements have been worked out, cometh the second challenge.
The organizational behavior & Skill Gap
This is one challenge I ask everyone to embrace and in the next article I would discuss more about it. During IT integration, the existing team of the organization would face the maximum hardship. A genuine fear of job-loss would be noticeable, the user’s ability or inability to use computers would encumber development.
Apart from that, the age-old maxim of ‘we have always done it this way’, would be thrown at every step of change. Old devices, unsupported OS but somehow still supported, zero protocols, you name it. It would be a deployment nightmare come true but this is where your moment to shine would come in and somehow you would have to weather this storm.
In smaller organization, the job description is mostly vague and there is no definite hierarchy. There is a queen bee, the boss, and there is a swarm. The swarm consists of all the employees, all the customers, all the vendors and all the consultants including you.
A system to be successful one would need minimum skill set. Often time that is missing along with the desire to learn new skills. This is a marriage made in heaven, pun intended, as those unwilling to adapt the most are those who are best at their job and the organization depend on them and not the other way around. I reckon a lot of maneuvering and cajoling is required but mostly it works our fine.
Everyone loves a nice jugaad (a hack / improvisation)
An example that would crop in another article – when we presented our audit solution to a major outdoor media owner of the country, he was content with the way WhatsApp was being used to monitor the functions.
Four years later he is paying through his nose for the same product that was perhaps being offered to him for peanuts.
The more clients I meet, the more I get convinced that I will have to work harder, smarter and be able to convince my prospects by way of real-world working solutions and numbers to match my claims, but if a client is happy to use Facebook to sell his rooms, then you were only there for information sharing.
In Indian IT sales, you will find boatloads of people who would have improvisations of free software. As a thumb rule any business executive who does not value his own time, is not worth the chase. Period.
Any suggestions? ….to be continued