The business world is being disrupted by the combined effects of growing emerging economies, shifts in global demographics, ubiquity of technology and accountability regulation. Infosys believes that to compete in the flat world, businesses must shift their operational priorities.

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The Sky is Falling and the World is Flat

by Richa Govil 

I moved to India almost exactly two years ago, at a time when the US economy was still trying to find a path to growth. On landing in India, I saw growth all around me. New construction everywhere you look. Cellular network coverage even in remotest parts of rural India. 28 year olds putting down-payment on apartments…  

I was amused to find that I had joined a company where business units growing at 25% CAGR were the underperformers! A company which has generated so much respect and intrigue that it attracts to its campus not only friends and family of our employees, or our clients and prospects, but also heads of state from around the world.

If you look at all this from the perspective of someone with a predominantly US experience, you’ll agree that this is mind-boggling. 

I am no Thomas Friedman, and “The World is Mind-boggling” would probably not have sold two million copies. 

Well in any case, I am now at Infosys and I look forward to exploring with you some of the opportunities and challenges of business in a flat world. I would like to leave you with a thought: In your business, does “flat world” feel more like hype or reality?

Comments

I feel flat world is definitely a reality.Companies like Infosys and TCS with their model of global delivery and cross border collaboration would turn out to be single largest factors of preserving world peace and mushrooming growth not only in India but around the planet.
Figuratively speaking the damage would be phenomenal in case the sky falls over a flat world which is exactly why noone would ever let that happen in a flat world.So lets keep working towards making flat world a reality which would also make it much more safer and prosperous.
Smiles
Yash

Keeping the world more safe and prosperous also entails making sure that companies don't use developing countries as colonial powers did not so long ago. Don't just abuse a region by stealing their natural resources (in this case, educated labor). Give back to the society you are building in. Help out the poorer levels of society by investing in good infrastructure: housing, sanitation, clean water, medical care. It's not only good for the society--it's good for the company too. Maybe it's not your windows that get smashed in the next round of rioting. If you're already doing so, and people don't know about it, you're missing an opportunity. Not only do you foster good will by making your good deeds known, you're losing the opportunity to be a good corporate example. Any company benefitting from cheaper labor in other countries should be making similar investments!

The world is now a global village, well connected by latest communication and transportation options, thanks to technology innovations.

India has joined this slow journey in 1991. information Technology has its share in this growth in India, but it should not be forgotten the contribution of other industries like Reliance and Tata. Such companies do not make much noise or hype about this and does not get noticed like Infosys or Wipro.

I feel that the world has been flat for many industries, for years. For example, in case of apparel retailers in the US, planning and design could be done in the US, procurement and sourcing office in Singapore, sourcing and manufacturing done in India/China, goods sold in the US/UK, customer service in India, sales analysis or vendor management done in Philippines, and the senior management is located in the US, etc.. This has been in practice for many years now.

What makes the new Flat World theory different than what has been in existence in this case?

Isn't the flat world concept which is being introduced now a hype in the IT industry, thanks to Tom Friedman and Infosys?

Let us hope that the word flat really means socialism, giving equal opportunity for all and keeping our social responsibility.

Yes I remember that day clearly when I was at the Infosys campus last.An Indian Airlines flew just low over the main library building.Was the sky falling that the airliner was flying so low or was Infosys higher and closer to the sky?Both could be possible.
In this world or should we say flat world where sky is not the limit it did
seem for a moment that there was not much of a gap between infosys and
the sky.New Economy and knowledge based companies like Infosys,TCS,Wipro herald a new era in the growth of the indian economy.A visit to the infosys campus and the world really seems flat.The campus like a global village itself playing host to world leaders,weaving their way through the dusty roads of Bangalore and making a visit to Infosys.
The campus like a global village itself drawing techies from around the world and students from universities around the world signify a shift of economic power from the west.Being an Ex-Infoscion myself I was witness to this new and changing phenomenon.A witness to the meeting of different worlds and different people into one world.One Flat world.

Richa,

A nice discussion you have thrown open. I would say the flat world is indeed a reality and that's exactly what India has capitalized on. The interesting part of the discussion however is that the "world is still flattening", but is it in the desired direction in which India can re-capitalize on? Or for that matter any country which is feeling the "midlife IT crisis" .

Let's face the facts. We did things "well" at a cheaper price. So we won the "phase 1" of flattening. But now there are many other cheaper places which can do the work equally well ! So, what do we do?

I am sure we would not volunteer to accept salary cuts/lesser hikes, which means we cannot be cost effective for too long.

To counter this and keep our economical interests (as companies) intact we need to either increase productivity or increase our rates !! Of the two a more permanent and sensible decision would be to move into a space where we are compelled to innovate and add value in each of our transactions.Customer Delight as it's called ! So that we justify the increased rates and prove it's worth through increased revenues for our clients.

We need to build niche skills which would thwart the the pure "offshoring" image India has brought upon itself. The answer is meaningful and relevant consulting which Infosys is indeed trying well. CTS MBAs kind of approach also holds the key.

I would not say the sky is falling. I would say that the sky is rising and simultaneously the world is also becoming flat. It's all about how much we succeed in getting closer to the sky. IT unlike other fields recreates it's market on every innovation it comes up with. This holds the path to our success !

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