Today in Tech: Japanese IT market; Marissa Mayer on working from home & more

NS Ramnath
Published: 26, Feb 2013

I have been with Forbes India since August 2008. I like writing about ideas, events and people at the intersection of business, society and technology. Prior, I was with Economic Times. I am based in Bangalore. Email:

Can India crack Japanese IT services market? Japan, despite its prolonged economic woes, is a thriving market for technology. It spends $125 billion on IT services, second only to the US in terms of size. Indian IT Services companies however haven't made significant inroads into Japan. Economic Times has a report that says they should, if it wants to cross $200 billion mark in revenues. It quotes TCS CEO and Nasscom chairman N Chandrasekaran as saying: "If we fix the language and culture issues, growth will happen." Read the story here.

Based on a conversations I have had with executives in the industry, I would add two more. One, the Chinese angle. For sometime, Indian companies have been trying to set up offshore development centres in China. To succeed in China is the key to crack Japanese market. Reason: More than half of offshored work goes to China because of the combination of cost arbitrage and language capabilities. Two, apart from cultural issues - That Japanese are too process driven and less forgiving about mistakes than Americans is a common refrain - there are structural ones. Indian companies will have to learn to work with the informal business group or Keiretsu. While it's not as rigid as it used to be, it's presence cannot be ignored. Alliances are the key.


Marissa Mayer bans working from home
Not many would have expected this. Not from Marissa Mayer, one of the youngest CEOs of a large tech company. And not at a time when there's mounting evidence that working from home is both professionally efficient and personally fulfilling. But Mayer has put a stop to remote working starting June. AllThingsD has a copy of the memo:

Beginning in June, we’re asking all employees with work-from-home arrangements to work in Yahoo offices. If this impacts you, your management has already been in touch with next steps. And, for the rest of us who occasionally have to stay home for the cable guy, please use your best judgment in the spirit of collaboration. Being a Yahoo isn’t just about your day-to-day job, it is about the interactions and experiences that are only possible in our offices.

As expected, the move has come under a lot of criticism: Blow to Work-Family BalanceThe Exact Opposite Of What CEOs Should Be Doing;  Back To the Stone Age?;  Could backfire badly; Sparks a firestorm
What's your take?


Facebook's new feature
I first read about 'Reply to comments' feature in Facebook sometime last year. Today, I saw it in one of the feeds. It's not a big deal, really. Still, I thought I must highlight it  because it says something about the way new media firms approach the market: add a feature; release it for only a few; analyse and, then, scale up. Bayes would agree.


Also of interest

  • Pheed Leaps Facebook, Twitter As Top Social App for iPhone | Huffington Post
  • Why Android is ahead of iOS contextually | Robert Scoble
  • Apple in India: a lost opportunity? GigaOm
  • The Promise and Peril of the ‘Data-Driven Society’ | New York Times


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