3SE Ltd, a joint venture between the Indian government and the European Commission for promoting partnerships between European and Indian software companies, will within the next few weeks announce major investment from some well known European technology companies that will dilute the shareholdings of the government bodies and put 3SE on a more commercial footing. […]
3SE Ltd, a joint venture between the Indian government and the European Commission for promoting partnerships between European and Indian software companies, will within the next few weeks announce major investment from some well known European technology companies that will dilute the shareholdings of the government bodies and put 3SE on a more commercial footing. The company was unable to reveal the names of the investors yet, but says it should make some announcements soon. 3SE, which was formed three years ago in Bangalore, India, focuses on software companies, and offers a number of services to bring European and Indian companies together. Its brief is to enable European companies to form partnerships with Indian businesses, or set up offshore arms in India.. Equally it aims to promote the export of more Indian software into Europe – currently some 90% of Indian software exports go to the US. The company charges on a fee basis, and breaks its services right down into components, starting with an initial consultancy and training about doing business in India, right through to proposing several potential partners, finding offices, employing local staff and dealing with local legislation. The fee is agreed for each stage of the service, and 3SE says because of its government parents, its fees are very reasonable and it is likely to be busy in the next 18 months, putting companies in touch with Indian software houses that can help with their Year 2000 and EMU Economic and Monetary Union system changes. Scott Hansen, 3SE director for Europe, says the company’s main challenge with Year 2000 is to convince technology managers that it is safe to give up some of their work to competent Indian companies, and to convince the chief executives that it makes sound business sense to pay only a fraction of the costs for Year 2000 fixing by using India’s cheaper workforce. Hansen expects a big rush in the next few months, as companies wake up to the crisis facing them for Year 2000, and realize the shortage of skills available. In conjunction with most of the major Indian software companies, 3SE has set up a form of insurance policy for companies not yet sure of the amount of extra resources they will need. For a fee, they can ‘reserve’ an estimated requirement of man years of programming at a given time, and be guaranteed availability of that number of programmers. Mrs Parminder Mandip Singh, joint secretary for the government of India department of electronics, says the Indian government is actively promoting software skills and setting up a large number of national information institutes to provide higher education in technology. The country recognizes, she said, that this is a strong area in which India can really compete globally. Mrs Singh is not unduly worried about the possibility of sanctions being brought against India following the recent outcry about the country’s nuclear testing (CI No 3,411). She says any sanctions from the US are primarily in the defense sector, and both she and 3SE believed industry would intervene if it came down to threatening the software work being carried out by India on behalf of much of the western world.