Nearshore Americas

Conference Explores ‘Strategic Axis’ of India, South Africa and Brazil

Exploring the increase in trade and cross-border exchange among the Southern Hemisphere giants of India, Brazil and Africa is the focus of a new conference which is taking place soon in Brazil.

The two-day South-South Innovation Summit scheduled for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from October 25, 2010 is seen the first major step in this direction. The two-day meet in this rapidly growing economic nation in Latin America aims at enabling business collaborations and IT/ BPO opportunities between India, Brazil and South America. In an interview with Nearshore Americas, Robert Janssen of Outsource Brazil underlined the objectives of the  summit, saying that the event is to discuss how cooperative activities and collaborative platform can produce business opportunities for companies in India, South America and Brazil working together.

Janssen pointed out that such new business opportunities are to come from the North American and European markets, adding that the upcoming world sporting events to be held in Brazil are expected to produce other opportunities as well. The South-South Innovation Summit will also address the current requirements for IT infrastructure for the upcoming world sporting events, such as the Military Games in 2011, Confederation Cup in 2013, World Cup in 2014 and Summer Olympics in 2016.

The major participants at the South-South Innovation Summit include government and industry-specific officials from India, Brazil and South Africa; IT executives from local multinationals; executives from IT companies from the three countries and investment and business development experts.  Ganesh Natarajan, a member of Chairman’s Council of NASSCOM, and Chairman of the National Committee on IT, IT-Enabled Services and e-Commerce for the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) Ganesh Natarajan is leading a 17-member team comprising top executives from top IT firms from India to this summit.

The organizers as well as the key participants at the South-South Innovation Summit say there will be two cooperation agreements signed at the opening ceremony – one between Brazil and India and the other between Brazil and South Africa. These agreements will aim at fostering the development of specific programs that will promote collaboration between companies from the three countries. Next year, the summit is likely to be organized in South Africa.

Strategic Axes

Underlining the objectives of the event, Janssen said, “The summit has been worked out around two key ‘strategic content axes’. Firstly, how to develop further the cooperation agreements signed by the Brazil’s leading industry organizations and help these firms benefit from collaboration and working together on new projects and clients. Secondly, the main axis is on how to provide the proper funding and investments to promote economic growth for the organizations from the three countries, and this help them be more competitive in the more mature markets.”

Talking about the benefits that the three participating nations are likely to reap from the summit, Janssen pointed out that the Indian IT industry has forecast a global market for ITO/ BPO at US$ 250 billion by 2020 and a part of this growth will come from non-English speaking markets.  On account of this, the Indian firms want  strategic partners to fill their language and cultural void.

The South-South Innovation Summit is also being considered as one more movement to help promote the enduring and successful business relationships between Latin America and Africa.

The IT service industry in South Africa is heavily focused in the contact center business and, to a great extent, needs to expand its portfolio of services in order to look for some up selling to their existing European clients. In addition, by collaborating with Brazilian organizations, where there is greater complementary play, the South African companies will have another option to penetrate the North American market, which is in much closer time zone. This is an opportunity for them to upgrade their skills sets as well as offerings.

Referring to the prospective gains for the Brazilian IT services industry, Janssen said, “It is an opportunity for Brazil to engage in larger projects by being able to improve capability and scalability. By forging partnerships with South African IT firms, Brazilian companies now can have larger scale of resources with native English and, thereby, seek larger projects in English-speaking markets, especially the United States.”

The South-South Innovation Summit is also being considered as one more movement to help promote the enduring and successful business relationships between Latin America and Africa. Participants from both sides are hoping that it will also work as a stepping stone for building a stronger IT sector in the region. According to Janssen, events like this one need to be permanent in the calendar year as the region is increasingly becoming important and relevant for several client organizations active in several different industries, and that because of their global footprint strategies, need now to understand how to be serviced in the region also with the same high standards it is elsewhere.

Meanwhile, talking to Nearshore Americas, Ganesh Natarajan said that the Indian IT industry has high hopes from the South-South Innovation Summit. “The NASSCOM has been visiting several markets – Europe, China and even Latin America, to seek new markets and collaborations with local businesses for nearshore operations. We are very excited about the Brazil summit since it holds tremendous opportunities for the Indian IT and ITeS sector for entering into new collaborations with the Latin American, especially Brazilian, and African companies.”

Asked about the realistic goals of NASSCOM at the South-South Innovation Summit, Natarajan, who is also the Co-Chairman and CEO of leading Indian IT firm Zensar, said, “We are particularly looking at opportunities in the finance, insurance, and telecom sectors. We have several new products and services and wish to sell them in this rapidly growing market and desire to overcome the language barrier confronted by Indian IT firms in non-English speaking markets.” The NASSCOM delegation head also informed that after the South-South Innovation Summit in Brazil, many members of the team would also be visiting neighboring nations like Chile and Uruguay to explore new opportunities.

Chandan Das

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