Thursday, March 05, 2009

India the next Silicon Valley

Chicago: Developing countries like India, China and Brazil may soon become Silicon Valley's new address as their receptiveness to new ideas in technology devices and networked services will encourage high-tech companies to test new service offerings in these emerging markets, a study said.

"The next Silicon Valley is already emerging in places like India, Brazil and China. Best of all, it is a much bigger valley. The path to high performance in communications and high tech will certainly pass through the developing world," consulting and outsourcing firm Accenture said in the study.

The time is rapidly coming to an end when new telecom services, consumer electronics developments and media content were invariably tested in developed nations and then eventually made way into the developing world, it said.

Concluding that emerging countries are an extremely receptive market for new ideas and services even more than North America and Europe, the study said communications and hi-tech companies should look to the developing world to test such ideas, trends, devices and other technologies.

Companies would find a highly engaged and well-educated group of consumers in the developing world, a strategy that also comes with less risk. "Introducing a service in America or Europe that does not go well may doom it for all time. But companies might be able to work out the 'kinks' in new services in emerging-world markets," it said.

Further, winning over the tech-forwards in these emerging economies establishes a beachhead from which the greater market can be pursued if all goes well, the study added.

Consumers in Brazil, India and China are highly educated and constitute an emerging middle class.

The study pointed out that these consumers embrace technology innovations and are willing to spend to acquire those innovations. Optimistic about what a networked world can do for them, their families, communities and their nations, these consumers are more likely to associate digital devices and services with advancing g their personal economic position.

"Consumers in developing nations also believe the networked, digital world can influence their lives positively.

"Significantly higher percentages of consumers in Brazil, India and China agree that the trend toward networked devices will help them save time, create new business opportunities and advance their careers. To put it bluntly, these consumers see networked technologies and services as a way to make money," the study said.

As a huge middle class rapidly mature in places like India and China, they are going to want and expect advanced networked services, creating major new opportunities for providers.

Emerging consumers are even more focused on communications services including instant messaging, social networking and photo sharing than their US and European counterparts.

They are more likely, for example, to express strong interest in networked solutions for digital home management, health care, entertainment and communications.

Companies should also be looking to the emerging world for part of the next generation of entrepreneurs. It said these consumers have the education, tools, motivation and access to markets needed to figure out how to make money through applications of networked technologies.

The emerging-world consumers are prepared maybe even more than their developed-world counterparts to be extremely entrepreneurial in their adoption and use of technologies.

"High-tech companies should see these consumers as forerunners of a much broader market. They are also an excellent target group with which companies can test new devices and service offerings, and from which the next generation of entrepreneurs might be developed," it added.

Advanced users of communications services in emerging economies are setting a pace at least as fast as those in the developed world. Although these consumers represent a smaller percentage of the overall population in emerging economies, they are more enthusiastic about the future of technology than those in industrialised nations, the study said.

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