Indian software companies are swarming to China's IT (information technology) market in the hope of benefiting from the rising market demand for high-quality IT integration solutions.
Shanghai, as one of China's IT bases, is at the forefront of the trend.
Hyderabad-based Satyam Computer Service Ltd has surpassed its peers, working closely with Shanghai Pudong Software Park -- the nation's leading software industry base -- since last November.
Satyam will establish a software development centre in the park in order to serve its global clients with operations in China and related markets.
Satyam's chairman and founder, B Ramalinga Raju, said Satyam looks forward to providing cost-effective solutions to customers in China by collaborating with local professionals and companies.
"We consider China as a major opportunity and see this as one of the fastest growing markets for us," he said.
Rama Raju, managing director of Satyam said he was impressed by the city's physical infrastructure and human resources, which are essential elements in software development.
He believes Satyam's high quality and competitive prices will attract Chinese customers.
"We will have a market focus on manufacturing, banking and telecommunications as there is an urgent need for comprehensive IT solutions and services," he said.
Satyam has been doing business on the Chinese mainland for over a year, serving its multinational clients operating here. It already has two Chinese customers under its belt, including one major Chinese telecommunications operator.
Though Satyam hasn't decided on its future size of operations in China, Ramalinga Raju said they looked at this market as very large.
"We have no doubt that we will plan to expand our operations in different parts of China," he added.
According to Indian ambassador Shivshankar Menon, this is a sign of India's "positive" response to Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji's recent visit to India.
Zhu said he expected the two nation's trade to increase from US$2 billion to US$10 billion this year.
"Software will surely make its contribution to accelerating the trade increase. The IT industry in India and China is now mature enough to work together to supply the rest of the world," said Menon.
During Zhu's Indian visit, he sought India's cooperation in developing the technology sector in China and said the two countries together could take on the global market as "the number one IT superpower."
Zhu gave on-the-spot approval for India's biggest software company, Infosys, to open an office in Shanghai, when he was on a visit to the southern Indian headquarters of Infosys.
"You will see Infosys coming to Shanghai soon, and several more Indian software companies are in talks with us," revealed Professor Hu Hongliang, director of Shanghai Pudong Software Park.
By introducing foreign software companies into the city, local software makers can gain technology and management expertise from their Indian counterparts, thus accelerating the development of Shanghai's software industry, he explained.
He pointed out that China's software development level lags behind that of India and other developed countries. Of the world's 58 software companies that attained CMM Level 5 assessment, or the fifth grade of Capability of Maturity Model for software, which reflects its commitment to quality processes and products, 32 are from India while China has none.
Indian IT training giants established their presence in China in 1997. India's National Institute of Information Technology (NIIT) has set up a chain of 30 training centres in China. More than 1,000 students are enrolled in its Shanghai branch. Rajendra Pawar, chairman of NIIT, was quoted as saying that China would become one of its biggest potential markets and the company would set up about 100 training centres here by the end of 2002.
Aptech, another Indian IT training giant, joined hands with Beida Jade Training Centre, which is affiliated with China's prestigious Beijing University, to train software programmers.
(Xinhua News Agency February 21, 2002)