Global firms draw on India for ideas

by Dave


Today, as the economic slowdown shrinks demand in mature markets, some of the world’s largest companies are drawing on inputs provided by their Indian talent and running critical functions from their Indian units. They are devising future strategy, creating blueprints for marketing campaigns, building brands and new businesses from India-based centres that are more tuned to the needs of customers in emerging markets.

Global businesses are also gaining from innovative products that are born out of insights provided by India’s domestic market. Web tools that hike the amount of money earned from Internet search, termed search monetization, developed by the India research centre of Yahoo Inc. , have helped boost the Internet company’s profits.

Iconic apparel maker Levi Strauss and Co. is set to launch a range of non-denim street wear in the US market, a sub-brand that was first developed for collegegoers in India. The launch of Levi’s Sykes, a range of non-denim street wear for 15- to 19-year-olds, marks the international debut of a product category built primarily in India.

A vast majority of the five billion people in the world currently underserved by technology live in emerging countries, so growth for Microsoft or any other company across any industry will come from these geographies,” says Ravi Venkatesan, chairman, Microsoft India Pvt. Ltd. The Indian subsidiary is the only one where the software company’s six business units at present employ about 5,000 people, makes it the second largest employee base—next only to the US.

Emerging markets have similar issues of affordability, accessibility and relevance. A lot of innovation happening in India will be useful in similar economies,” says Venkatesan.