Monday, November 23, 2009

What motivates blogger? I was missing from action for a while

I was a bit tied up. The core business on real estate information front side, appearance on TV channels, travel, socializing and facebook took most of the time! But I keep on coming back to think about GIS market!! Some investment interest, past friends and contacts keep discussing GIS and I keep on hearing about events/happening on GIS space. Few tit-bits for you:

1. In past I have blogged about routeguru . Looks like these young entrepreneurs are not able to monetize their idea. So the old school has won! Also, I have not seen too many GIS based product start-ups in a while. So you if you come across someone, send me details. But I am still hopeful that the people on whom I have put my bet will succeed.

2. Met with two companies (one survey focused and other GIS solutions focused) last week. Even after their existence for more than 6 years, these folks do not have seizable revenues. Focus - only India market. But both entrepreneurs were bullish about future of the company and satisfied with what they have been able to archive! Confusing signals!!

3. Got call from three survey focused companies. Hmm.. everyone talking about R-APDRP and the recent 400 Cr ($100 million) plus GIS project award . So at what rate it makes sense to do consumer survey? Will such projects be viable? I have some comments on this but will write later. Should I!!! BTW people in general are skeptical but

4. There is some level of interest coming from US/international companies to start business in India. But they are struggling with India positioning !!! (Sorry, can't share much details about these companies. Thanks to industry contacts and blogs, two of the companies have spoken with me but it will be inappropriate for me to reveal any further details.

5. Has lengthy chat about Indian GIS Industry and GIS industry in general with two Indian GIS industry veterans (and my good friends). Both are playing leading roles in their respective companies (and their companies at some point were directly competing with ESRI - but no more). Surprisingly both do not see much future for GIS experts!!! This topic deserves much bigger discussion and separate post!!

6. Met with one of the large user of GIS in India. Let me correct - one of the select companies in private space that have spent money (upward of few million USD) on GIS system. The opening statement - GIS is more of a trouble now. We are not able to use as data quality is really poor!!!

Net - net, looks like nothing much have changed in Indian GIS market. Large contract awards, struggling new companies, not so satisfied large corporates!!

So the opportunity exists.. or is my optimism for industry there simple because I always think positive!! Too much to ponder upon and analyze. Hope I get a chance to do so and come up with a blog that contains facts and analysis!!

Hopefully soon!!


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

IS GIS fashion or Obsession in India?

Election commission in India has adopted GIS in big way. Before the recent general election, I watched an interview of CEC (Chief Election Commissioner) of India about delimitation of parliamentray constituencies. He was referring the use of GIS Software for delimiation as if everyone watching NDTV knew what is GIS!!! It was facinating to see the use of technology that we have profess as OUR baby, now becoming almost pevasive.

NDTV, looks like took a cue from that inteview and was heaving relying on Google Maps to show the election results to its viewers.

But the best piece of new I have save for you goes as follows:


Election Commission to use Census data, GPS to track voters

Delhi Bureau , August 25, 2008 12:25 IST

In an attempt to curb bogus voting and monitor the migration of voters across India, the Election Commission is planning to link the Census data of 2011 with its electoral rolls. The EC then plans to use global positioning system to automatically record the voters' migration or shifting of residence.

A software, developed for this specific purpose, will be demonstrated to the Election Commission by the Registrar General of India at the Nirvachan Sadan.

Once the Census data is made available to the Election Commission, it will be clubbed with the electoral rolls. The GPS chip would be added to the electronic photo identity cards already issued to the voters.

The identity card will enable the Election Commission to record the movement of voters and pinpoint their location at the time of polling.

The ID will also detect bogus voters, said Commission sources said.

The GPS will also cut down the time taken in revising electoral rolls, as it will provide automatic updates on the basis of the voter's location, the sources said.

The RGI, which carries out the Census every decade, agreed to make the necessary changes in the software to facilitate its data's link-up with the electoral rolls.

According to sources, this data would be useful for the timely demarcation and delimitation of constituencies.


This is on! Guess the budget for the above project!

Is GIS now an obsession on India? And are we trying to learn from projects done is US/UK/Canada?

Your comments?


Monday, June 15, 2009

Indian GIS Market: On an Upswing

Indian GIS market will grow much faster than any other market in world! The die is cast!!

Indian GIS market is witnessing a major transformation**. Central Government (Federal Government) has spent several hundred crore Indian rupees (Several 100 million $s) under APRDP-R and National Land Records Modernization Programme (NLRMP) and planning to spend much more in future. Sample this - Rs 473 cores was allocation in NLRMP last year – that mean almost 100 million USD at the start of the projects!!!

“NLRMP has been approved by the Cabinet in its meeting held on 21.8.2008. The budget provision for the Scheme during the current year (2008-09) is Rs.473.00 crore. Accordingly, it is proposed to implement the NLRMP across the country and to make it fully operational over the next five to eight year period”

If we put together all the budgeted numbers that are planned for GIS related expenditure by Indian government, it will be a substantial percentage of the “total world GIS market size” estimated by Daratech report!! Actually, Daratech report of past years has given a complete slip to the Indian market (and none of the Indian companies figure in the list of Daratech)!!! All that should change for good now!!! And BTW, in addition to the government planning, some serious money in being spent in private sector as well!!!

Today’s TOI Business page has interesting news – “Finmin set to web-monitor infra projects – GIS Mapping will enable Officials Identify Causes of Delay, Deadline Miss”. . This GIS based process is $800K project. And you will hear many more in coming days.

For last few days, I started doing some research to re-assess and re-evaluate the Indian market. It will take me few more weeks to put together a market size evaluation and document the new dynamics in market (yes, its changing fast). Those of you who are interesting may send a request for the copy of report to me.

But there are several big question: Where is all the money going? Are these big budget projects getting successfully implemented? Are companies making money on these projects? Are Indian companies/government seeking out expertise from countries like Canada and USA to learn from the experience and mistakes committed by the countries who have invested heavily on GIS based systems?

Is Indian GIS market mature? More on this in future but I am keen to share an Incident that is almost 10 years old! There was a tender by Municipal Corporation of an IT savvy Indian state for a GIS project. Who’s who of Indian GIS industry participated in the pre-bid meeting. At least 30 executives of top companies converged in the city. Several thousand $ must have been spent by companies on preparation for the bid! Finally the project was awarded for USD200, yes there is no K in that – Rs 10,000 only!!! And all big companies lost out. Chairman of that company is a good friend and his logic was very interesting – he said my objective was to beat you(RMSI), Infotech & Rolta and I have done it!!! Cheers.

How different is situation now? Let’s discuss in coming days!!!

Manoj Misra

PS: ** I am fascinated by the word “Transformation”! My favorite questions, when I used to interview staff for technical positions used to be – what’s the difference between “Projection” and “Transformation”!!! The big question about Indian market is – is this “Projection” of market or true “Transformation”?

Monday, March 9, 2009


Is Indian GIS story still on? I have no doubts!!! As always, I am extremely bullish about the future of GIS in India.. In the last 2 years, I have been fortunate to have interacted with some extremely talented GIS professionals and "GIS" entrepreneurs. Almost every one echoes my view!!!

Tope story in today's edition of Economic Times reads "Spreading CHEERS - INDIAN ARMS BRIGHTEN UP MNC STORY"

"INDIAN subsidiaries, relatively minor cogs in the wheels of large multinational companies till 2007, have emerged crucial profit generators, as earnings in developed western markets tumble amid the worst economic downturn in a generation. 

Barring a few exceptions, the locally-listed units of companies such as ABB, Glaxo, Siemens, Cummins, Oracle, Suzuki, Whirlpool, Nestle and Areva have increased their contribution to the global consolidated earnings as growth remains robust across various sectors of Indian industry.

 Significantly, this has happened despite a sharp depreciation of the rupee against major international currencies in the past one year, which tends to depress earnings in dollar terms as the dollar value of the subsidiary’s contribution is lower after currency conversion. Had this not happened, the contribution of these Indian units would have been much higher”

So how’s Indian arm of ESRI, Liaca, Intergraph, Autodesk, Bentley, Pitney Bowes etc doing in India? It’s anybody’s guess.


  • What’s different between Indian an ROW (Rest of World)?
  • What are the “facts” and “figures” behind this growth story?
  • Where’s the money being spent? And who’s chasing this money?
  • How’s technology driving the changes here in India?
  • How’s the landscape of Indian GIS industry is changing? Believe you me – it’s changing at a very fast pace!!
  • Has Navteq and TeleAtlas made any impact as yet Indian GIS market? How still CE (MapmyIndia) and Satnav bullish about pumping money into content development?


Stay tunes to hear from me… this time I will convert my “wish” into a “will” to write and I will!!!


Manoj Misra

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