crystals 300x214 Crystal Gazing   Interview With Harbir Singh, Dean Wharton


By Sunil Kumar[Originally Published a few years back]

Isaac Newton once said: “If I could see farther than others it is because I stood on the shoulder of giants.” Here is the interview verbatim as I took it on the Wharton-Infosys event.

What can CTOs expect from Wharton in the Indian subcontinent?

Most global firms are well aware of advantages that come from outsourcing business processes such as IT/software and customer service functions to India. In recent years global firms have begun to outsource higher level ‘technology functions’ to India. For example, many US and European pharma and biotech firms have been developing India-based centers to provide bioscience research, clinical trials, and data analysis.

CTOs, who are thinking of locating technology functions in India, need to consider many of the same factors essential in business process outsourcing. For example, should the technology center be fully outsourced, set up as a Joint Venture(JV) or collaboration or be wholly owned as an India-based technology center.

In some cases, capabilities already exist to provide such services as rapid, real-time data analysis and clinical drug trials – where procedures are well developed and reasonably easy to monitor. In other cases, such as nanotechnology, sophisticated or proprietary equipment as well as special expertise may be needed.

…….are indicative of the type of technological innovation that is possible in India, and are a harbinger of things to come.

The next wave of technology, globally will undoubtedly involve genomics/proteomics, nanotechnology, and other emerging fields of science. Many experts feel that there will be a shortage of trained specialists in these fields, for many years. There is no doubt about the fact that we will need more genetic scientists and nanotechnologists in the coming decade and India’s excellent educational infrastructure offers a possible solution.

How does Wharton envisage a learning organization globally and in India?

In their book Peripheral Vision, George Day and Paul Schoemaker say most innovations occur at the periphery of our field of vision. Many innovations come from outside our industry, or result from the convergence of technologies that are virtually impossible to predict. Learning organizations need to maintain ‘constant vigilance‘ or detect weak signals that may turn into strong disruptive technologies, and blips on the periphery of our radar screens.

Websites such as ..are publishing problems online etc….This kind of activity is possible in an Internet connected world without communication boundaries. It gives a new meaning to the phrase ‘learning organization’ since the entire world is now a company’s learning campus.

What is the transformational paradigm Wharton is looking at?

A recent trend has been documented by Wharton professors..It suggests that outsourcing functions that began the BPO revolution in India are expanding from ‘lower level’ functions such as…to ‘higher level’ functions such as decision-making. Firms in India that pioneered outsourcing of IT/software and … the 90s have added higher-level……..

[There were more questions, this is the shorter version...]

 Crystal Gazing   Interview With Harbir Singh, Dean Wharton
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