By Yogendra Kalavalapalli
Mint, New Delhi.
Is managing director of research and consultancy firm International Data Corp. (IDC), Asia-Pacific excluding Japan, Eva Au has a bird’s eye view of technology trends in the region. Au, who was recently in Hyderabad to participate in the IDC Insights Awards function, spoke on the technology challenges that governments face as they try to evolve in an Internet economy, and underscored differences in the start-up ecosystems of China and India. Edited excerpts —
Q: Even as the Indian government is pitching its Make in India campaign, do you think India can match China’s capabilities?
A: Do I think India has the competence? Yes. Do I think it will be good enough? Yes, India has the capability. The intellectual capacity is there. China is today ahead because the government supports them (companies). Take the phone manufacturers in Shenzhen as an example. Shenzhen (in Guangdong province) has the most well-established ecosystem, from R&D (research and development) to manufacturing and assembling. About 80% of the mobile phones in the world were manufactured in China in 2014. Given that Guangdong is the single largest province in China in terms of mobile phone manufacturing, around 60% of the mobile phones in the world actually come from manufacturers in Guangdong. Key players ranging from large-scale OEM/ODM (original equipment manufacturer/original design manufacturer), IC (integrated circuit) providers and electronic components providers to application vendors have a presence there. There is an ecosystem there. It is not just Chinese companies. There are US multinationals such as Intel. The local government has put in a lot of effort to support the local industry in Shenzhen.
India is also not far behind in this race. I would say there are more entrepreneurs in India than in China, but they are individual companies striving hard towards growth. The growth ultimately will happen, but it won’t be (a) coordinated (effort) like in China. It will happen at an individual pace. The government set-up of these two countries is very different. In a way, it is an interesting comparison, but also not a fair comparison.