India’s next big tech wave can only be product development, says Healtheon Web co-founder Krishna Kolluri

India’s first two waves of technology are nearing completion. The first wave, of exporting manpower to USA and other developed economies indeed paid off, producing great results. Indians made their way to the top of companies, and today are CEOs or co-founders of the biggest IT global majors and players.

The second wave was the rise of Indian companies, in services and BPO. However, the valuations and profits in services/BPO are linear, not exponential.

This dream of exponential gains will be the next wave from India, says Krishna ‘Kittu’ Kolluri, General Partner, New Enterprise Associates Inc (NEA), that has committed capital to the tune of US $ 8.5 billion.

Imagine, the next Google or Facebook emerging globally but being a Hyderabad-based startup. The country rode the crest of success with service delivery, but the days of examples like Infosys driving growth are passé.

We should not have gone after the low-hanging fruit and gone ahead instead, with products, he says.

These are some thoughts that venture capitalist and co-founder of Healtheon Web MD Krishna shared with The Hindu while in town recently.

“From the days of the desktop to the laptop, we have indeed come a long way, but now the drivers are Internet-enabled mobile devices,” he said.

Phenomenal growth

Pointing out that an estimated 160 million people in India had access to some data line or the other, he said the sector was growing year-on-year, at a phenomenal 50 per cent. It is now more pronounced with video, data usage, social networking and messaging putting pressure on wire-line and wireless networks.

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