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India, a Country on the Move

A rising tide lifts all boats, but some tides rise higher than others. BSA this week is holding its annual Global Strategy Summit in New Delhi because, in the global software and IT markets, India has the potential to be an especially powerful tide.

India’s economy, now the tenth-largest in the world, has been growing at an annual rate of 8 percent. That’s thanks in no small part to the country’s thriving ICT sector, which accounts for 6.4 percent of all products and services and drives a quarter of all merchandise exports while employing upwards of 2.5 million people.

The roots of India’s strength in information technology are well known. They include dynamic human capital, robust research and development, and an improving business and legal environment. Those things — especially the first two — propelled India as it advanced a remarkable 10 ranking positions in two years to reach 34th place out of the 66 countries in the 2011 edition of the IT Industry Competitiveness Index that BSA released in September.

But even beyond its impressive market fundamentals, there are other reasons why BSA believes India is poised to have an outsized influence on the global software and IT markets. For one thing, India aspires to become a knowledge economy with a global role — and Indian government is eager to work with industry to bring its plans to fruition. For another, Indian industry itself is well organized and highly attuned to the global marketplace.

I will delve into the significance of both of those dynamics in subsequent blog posts this week, because we will have a great deal to report. Nearly two dozen executives from BSA member companies have made the trip to New Delhi for a series of meetings with top officials in India’s ministries of State Commerce and Industry; Communications and Information Technology; Finance; and Law and Justice. There also will be public events with policymakers, business leaders, and Indian media.

On Wednesday, BSA and India’s Department of Information Technology will unveil the details of a working partnership to strengthen India’s IT ecosystem by promoting cutting-edge practices for enterprises to manage the software tools they use to run their operations. On Thursday morning, we will hold a briefing for industry on BSA’s new certification program for organizations implementing software asset management programs that align with international standards, known as CSS(O). And later in the day BSA will join the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) for a discussion about steps India can take to further accelerate IT competitiveness.

It promises to be an eventful week. Please check back here for more updates.

Robert Holleyman

Author:

As President and CEO of BSA | The Software Alliance from 1990 until April 2013, Robert Holleyman long served as the chief advocate for the global software industry. Before leaving BSA to start his own venture, Cloud4Growth, Holleyman led the most successful anti-piracy program in the history of any industry, driving down software piracy rates in markets around the world.

Named one of the 50 most influential people in the intellectual property world, he was instrumental in putting into place the global policy framework that today protects software under copyright law. A widely respected champion for open markets, Holleyman also was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the President’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations, the principal advisory committee for the US government on trade matters.

Holleyman was a leader in industry efforts to establish the legal framework necessary for cloud-computing technologies to flourish. He was an early proponent for policies that promote deployment of security technologies to build public trust and confidence in cyberspace. And he created a highly regarded series of forums for industry executives and policymakers to exchange points of view and forge agreements on the best ways to spur technology advances and promote economic growth.

Before heading BSA, Holleyman was a counselor and legislative adviser in the United States Senate, an attorney in private practice, and a judicial clerk in US District Court. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, a J.D. from Louisiana State University, and has completed the Stanford Executive Program at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

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