Set in 2015, the case describes the evolution of the Indian software services industry from being a supplier of software professionals for onsite projects in the 1990s to becoming an innovation partner of enterprises embracing digital transformation in recent years. The $132 billion industry has become the preferred destination for Information Technology and Business Process Management outsourcing needs of global clients as also the largest private sector employer in India.
In the mid-2000s, the widely acclaimed Global Delivery Model pioneered by the Indian software services firms not only enabled them to grow exponentially but also forced a change in strategy of global software services firms such as IBM and Accenture. To match the operating costs of Indian software services firms, the global firms were forced to adopt an offshore-centric operating model and set up large centers in India. The period ensuing the global financial crisis in 2008 saw two significant developments: a reordering of industry leadership among firms, and digital technologies gaining traction. This emergence and integration of digital technologies has implications for delivery cycles, pricing models, customer expectations, and the competitive scenario, among others. The case draws attention to a discussion of these issues.
The case comprises three broad sections. The first section discusses the industry’s evolution after India’s economic liberalization in 1991 and the Y2K opportunity that provided a fillip to the industry’s growth. The second section describes the global delivery model of Indian software services firms, its impact on global software majors, and evolution of the competitive landscape amid the global financial crisis in 2008. The third section describes the actions of various firms with the advent of digital technologies, and briefly discusses the opportunities and challenges for incumbent firms.
Understand the principle that should guide a firm in making a strategic choice at an inflection point – contingency perspective or paradox perspective