Daily Post 1558


Intermediaries are anathema to business and more so when they are mercenaries and add no value to the product, integration or supply chain efficiency. They just make their cut. They don’t have to do make even the simple effort of locating the right product and find ways and means of sourcing it. Known products, expertise and solutions have to unfortunately go through this exercise. The costs keep on inflating without any value add or cutting down on the gestation period, adding robustness to the project or improving the capability of its operation. The technical and business landscape becomes immensely difficult to handle, more so in the governmental sector where these skills and expertise are yet to be created.

The most fascinating part of the story has its genesis in the old adage – too many cooks spoil the broth. The jungle growth of project management is not to be seen, but experienced to be believed. The owner of the project – gets completely exasperated by the time the project is able to take off and henceforth it is an ending saga of time and cost overruns. How we have come to this situation is as intriguing as the resultant projects and services we avail of as Indian citizens and the astronomical sums which go into it. The story starts with OEMs, the original equipment manufacturers, they have been providers / sellers of products directly dealing with the consumers.

Both because of bad experience with the OEMs through retailers and the increasing complexity of purchases these days – lots of products being required for a single integrated purpose, sourcing it and bringing it together becomes critical. Simultaneously, the projects started happening. Projects were happening earlier too, but the IT and technology projects came with its own set of complexities. The project become incomprehensible between the owner and a few OEMs. The lack of learning of the OEMs and owners of the projects become the biggest bottleneck. That led to the creation of what is euphemistically known as System Integrators.

No separate engineers are either produced or trained for this purpose. Their bulbs have to light up as soon as they positioned there. As we all know that does not happen. The MNC consultants had a field day, they spread like wild fire. Technology cannot become a slave of process and here we are in one mess after another, nearly everywhere. Even in many a non-technology government projects it gets unstuck because of backend technology backbone and IT integration. A white paper of major technology projects can be an eye opener. Now to sort out this mess, we have started having Advisors. Advisors will advise the present operational framework of Consultants, SIs, OEMs and owners. Whether they solve the mess or add to it, only time will tell.


Sanjay Sahay

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