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Social Capital A Must For Indian IT Companies To Move Into IT Consulting, Says Professor From George Mason University


Since the mid 1980s, several Indian firms have gained significant market share in the U.S. in software services, IT outsourcing and IT consulting. Prof. Tojo Thatchenkery, Professor of Organizational Learning & Knowledge Management at George Mason University, has coined a term “Indian Social Capital” to describe the positive characteristics and competencies attributed to the Indian software professionals operating overseas. He has done extensive research to use this concept of Indian social capital to explain how the Indian firms, initially branded as “utilitarian body shops" have quickly climbed up the value chain from subcontractors to full contractors and then to something close to consulting firms.

Based on research on several firms in this domain, he has proposed that transitioning to the next value chain of consulting status requires a different set of competencies and mindset. Further, the same organizational mobility and glass-ceiling issues the Indian Americans in the U.S. face as they try to move up the corporate hierarchy are likely to adversely impact the Indian firms efforts to move up the value chain. He presented research to show that the “value migration trajectory” that the Indian ITES firms have worked very hard to set in motion is unlikely to launch them onto the IT consulting arena. Instead, a different trajectory based on a new appreciation regarding how social capital shapes business decision at the highest level will need to be set in motion, therefore IT firms will have to actively manage this process of social capital formation to overcome the entry barriers.

The talk organized by Sona Institute of Advanced Studies (SIAS) was well attended by a large number of senior executives from leading IT and BPO organizations. SIAS is a part of the Sona Valliappa Educational Group, which owns and runs Educational Institutions (Sona College of Technology, Sona School of Management & Thiagarajar Polytechnic at Salem) where over 5000 students study on campus.

SIAS has tied up with George Mason University (GMU) to offer Masters program in Organizational Learning & Change Management at Bangalore. The students of this program will have full access to GMU faculty, placement services and its online content. The students will not have to incur enormous costs of travel and stay abroad far away from their families.

C. Valliappa, Chairman of Sona Valliappa group said, “with the problem of getting US visas becoming more and more difficult, the SIAS offering would be an ideal solution”.

In his welcome speech, Chocko Valliappa, Founder Trustee of SIAS said that Change Management is becoming more and more important as companies move up the value chain from off shoring to outsourcing. Globalization, reengineering and outsourcing are all propounding the need for change management.

Prof. JL Gandhi, Dean of SIAS mentioned that the program would start on the 27th of September and would be structured over 5 semesters. Since it is targeted for working professionals, classes will be held around weekends. Students successfully completing the program will be awarded Masters Degree exactly the same as the one given in the USA. The students will benefit financially as the cost of doing the program in India will be less than one third of doing the same program in the USA.

The program is open for corporate sponsorship by companies who wish to depute their key employees. Companies that sponsor more than 5 students in a single batch will be eligible to receive specialized consultancy services from George Mason faculty.

For further details please contact:

Prof. J.L.Gandhi
Dean Corporate Education
Sona Institute of Advanced Studies
Sona Towers 7th Floor
71 Miller Road Bangalore 560052
ph: 222 66677 Extn-1027
email: jlgandhi@veetechnologies.com

About the Author

Prof J.L. Gandhi is a Dean, corporate Education for Sona Institute Of Advance Studies.

He is from IIT-Karagpur and IIM-Calcutta
He has been a educationalist with wide experience in working corporate world as well in India and abroad.


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