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Communications of the ACM

ACM Opinion

How Indian It Became a Respected Global Brand


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The Long Revolution cover image

Credit: www.harpercollins.co.in

The so-called "Internet Age" we live in imposes what is being called "Internet speed." This accelerated lifestyle is exemplified in an extreme form by the saying attributed to media guru Marshall McLuhan: "If it works, it's obsolete." Something the lay buyer of personal computing products has come to rue is that hardware and software are often outdated even as one decides to acquire them. When events happen at such a frenetic pace, it is difficult to assess the historic significance of fast-evolving trends such as outsourcing before they are overtaken by events and technology.

That may explain why compiling information technology happenings can be a frustrating exercise, with McLuhan-like obsolescence threatening a publication. Yet, for India at least, the story of the country's rise to become a respected, globally accepted brand in IT is a key component of its wider history, and the task of telling it can be both daunting and challenging. That is reason enough to welcome Dinesh Sharma's "The Long Revolution: The Birth and Growth of India's IT Industry," arguably the most comprehensive treatment so far of the birth pangs, early development, growth and maturity of India’s information technology industry.

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