January 2004
Feeling good about feeling good

Ravi Gupta The last year started with a hangover of the feel bad factor of recession of year 2002, which continued till the Iraq war in the middle of the year. Thankfully by the end of the year everyone sensed that there is something to feel good, at least in Asia. While the US is seeing a more or less jobless economic recovery, Asia is seeing the signs of growth again with the off shoring of manufacturing and services to this part of the world increasing by leaps and bounds.

With the predictions that the next few decades will see Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) economies ruling the world, the Indian stock markets touching record heights, the Chinese and Indian economic growth rates crossing 9% and 8% respectively, there is a new sense of confidence sweeping Asia.

Will this ‘feel good’ factor in the overall economy percolate to the GIS industry too? With China pulling all the plugs to develop its infrastructure for attracting the manufacturing industry and also in preparations for the Olympics in 2008, the demand for GIS and related services is touching new heights. The highway development programme and the telecom boom in India, both are creating new demand segments for GIS services. With signs of peace on the India – Pakistan border, there is good hope that the South Asian treaty for free trade regime is nearer. This would help the cross-country flow of the software skills and services, which would help grow the industry faster.

The recession in last three years has been a great teacher. While it forced all the GIS customers to look for return on investment, a dreaded term for a GIS software vendor, it helped the GIS industry to get more and more focused and customized according to user needs and demands. Hope that this trend continues.

Some good news from India. There are some signs that India’s map policy may change, at last. Private sector might be allowed to sell digital data in more organized, free and fair manner. Hope this happens by the end of year.

Let’s capitalize on the year of HOPE!

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