India is a peninsula with the Arabian Sea to its west, the Indian Ocean to its south, and the Bay of Bengal on the east while in the north it shares borders with Pakistan, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. A culturally rich country, India has the second largest population on earth with 15% of the world population under its belt. With its large population, it is not surprising then that India is a country brimming with talented individuals.
Looking at its long history of tolerance, India has been able to be accommodating towards variety in terms of culture, religion and social levels. However, India is still a country that is grounded in tradition, one that they are fiercely proud of. Even among young Indian yuppies, there are distinctively Indian ways of doing things in terms of fashion, gender roles, work attitudes, family and life in general. In order to gain a better insight into the Web industry in India today, we take a look at what people in the industry, like freelancers, creative agencies, entrepreneurs, and other outstanding individuals has to say.
Be the change that you want to see in the world. - Mohandas Gandhi
Design & Art in India
For centuries, Indian art and designs have been distinguished for their great aesthetic and functional value. In ancient times, Shilpis (traditionally trained Hindu sculptors) conceptualized the intricate designs and patterns, which were painstakingly crafted into the temples and objects associated with them. In fact, India has the widest variety of crafts compared to anywhere else in the world.
The diverse and intricate range of craft forms produced by Indian craftsman has always been the basis of the creative process of the artisan tradition. It presents both the wide canvas of creative activity and the broadest spectrum of development. This concept has been embraced by today’s great architects and artists, designers, creative agencies and software engineers.
Design is an essential part of the Indian culture. One look at the architectural beauty of the Taj Mahal, and you cannot deny the amazing capability and possibilities inherent in India and among its people. The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum built on the southern bank of the Yamuna River outside Agra in India, and one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Built by a group of about 20,000 men for emperor Shan Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, it is a testament to what love and passion can accomplish.
We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made! - Albert Einstein
The Real India
With more than 930 million inhabitants, a projection of 60 million Internet users and set to grow rapidly to the third largest Internet user base in the world, the number of Internet users worldwide is expected to touch 2.2 billion by 2013.
In a time when the outsourcing of projects is favored, many companies and brands in India are making a stand in the Web industry. Although Indian designers follow the web design trends of the world, there is a relatively low demand internally. Now that communication is so easy and uncomplicated with new and constantly improving technologies, overseas companies are flocking to Indian creative firms. This way, they get quality work done at a lower cost, although there has been an increase in price evaluation in recent years.
The online user base has reduced to 47 million in India in recent years. Although the overall base of Indians online has shrunk, on the positive side, 3 out of 4 Internet users are now on the net ‘daily’.
Google is clearly the most popular website among online Indians, with 35% of all online Indians claiming to use this website the most. Yahoo trails behind at second place with 28% of all Internet users using it the most. Gmail, Orkut and Rediff are the 3rd, 4th, and 5th most used websites in India respectively.
Outsourcing to India
Described as the paradise of outsourcing, however, the reality is that wages are rising in India. The cost advantage for off shoring to India used to be at least 1:6. Today, it is at best 1:3. Attrition is a frightening concept but unavoidable. Jobs that are low value-added and easily automated will very likely disappear within the next decade or so.
There is a lot of talk about India moving up the value chain. Some of that has indeed happened. An industry that gained momentum is software development. Indian software developers were tapped to help fix the “Y2K” problems in old software code and the industry have blossomed beautifully into one that offers a more comprehensive spectrum of services. Yet India is still the world’s back office. India’s tech and web industry has an abundance of worker bees. What customers expect or want, India will provide no questions asked.
With this boom in offshore outsourcing, India’s software and services exports are estimated to grow rapidly. Rates are rising quickly in all markets and the lowest rates are in Pakistan and Ukraine. While America and India are in the middle, Europe and California are the most expensive. In the tech world, one must really classify California as a “country” on its own separate from America. Russia is regional, while there is almost no development services exported from Japan (low supply) and from the hyper-fast growing economies like China (too much internal demand).
Indian development companies will argue that they really are cheaper than other top countries development companies. This was true in the past. Even now, Indian labor is a lot cheaper if you are buying generic "resources", which is what the Indian companies want to sell. However, a generic "resource" is not the same as having a talented person.
There are many programmers and developers in India as it is considered a lucrative and stable career path. However, not all are passionate and strive to excel in this field. As such, not many have the drive and determination to succeed in other countries or make it to the top. There may be quantity but perhaps lacking in quality. However, this is the same situation in any country.
The percentage of truly talented developers or designers is small no matter where they come from. And the asking price of good programmers and designers, the people who can make it anywhere that everyone wants to work with, cost almost as much whether they are hired from India or other countries with a top-notch Web development industry.
India still has some of the best and talented developers and designers and even as I explore and discover these talented individuals, more new and talented individuals rise up the ranks. Here are some of the best in the industry and this list will definitely continue to grow.
30 India's Web Talents and Agencies
The talents mentioned in this list are not only great assets in the field, but also have made waves by stepping out and be heard. They have all played a part in making the India's Web Industry a success.
We are responsible for what we are, and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves. If what we are now has been the result of our own past actions, it certainly follows that whatever we wish to be in future can be produced by our present actions; so we have to know how to act. - Swami Vivekananda
Interactive Agencies in India
High-quality interactive agencies can be found all over India. Some have won prestigious international prizes, including the acclaimed Cannes Lions. Here are some of the most renowned agencies, listed in random order.
More of India's Pride
These are more of India's web talents and creative agencies. Do check them out as well.
India: Still Water Runs Deep
Although some clients have a preference of choose their designers or developers based on the country they come from, it should never be the sole deciding factor. Race, religion or nationality should not have any effect on your choice of who works for you. Adopt an open mindset and make the wise choice based on talent and suitability in terms of working attitudes, skills, knowledge, and service orientation.
Talent is everywhere and does not discriminate based on race, religion or nationality. Talent exists, you just have to find the talents, nurture them and let them shine. Many talents from India do not have a portfolio or a strong presence on the Web. As such it is unfair to make any judgment based on the few Indian designers or Web professionals that are better known.
Feel you can make a difference and do your country proud? Submit a link to your portfolio at the comment box below. Show the world what India can produce and do. Give us an insight into the situation of the industry in your country. We are eager to learn more about your experiences and thoughts. If you have worked with talented Indian freelancers or creative agencies/companies from India, share you experience with us as well. Talent is everywhere; it just needs to be discovered by the world.
I'll be constantly adding new web talents and creative agencies in the list. So please come back and check them out!