Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Jerry Rao @ SJMSOM

Jaithirth Rao, also known as Jerry Rao, is an Indian businessman and former CEO of the software company MphasiS.
Rao was born in Bangalore and is an alumnus of Loyola College in Chennai, Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad and the University of Chicago. In a banking career of over 20 years, he served with Citi and its parent Citicorp in various capacities in Asia, Europe, South America, and North America. In 1998 he started Mphasis Corporation, a software company based in California, which subsequently merged with BFL Software in 2000 to form Mphasis-BFL with twin headquarters in Santa Monica, California, and Bangalore, India.
Rao is actively involved with the Confederation of Indian Industry and with the Government of India’s Software Technology Park initiatives, and has been Chairman of India’s National Association of Software and Service Companies – NASSCOM. Mr. Rao was named the Ernst & Young 'Entrepreneur of the Year 2004' for the New York region. His many areas of interest include technology strategy, customer relationship management (CRM), financial services, and e-commerce – a subject on which he has testified before the US Congress. A published poet, he is reportedly working on a second book of poems and a historical novel set in the 16th Century
He was present at SJMSOM, IIT Bombay on 20th March as a visiting faculty to talk about emerging markets and international business. He started off with the reasons for India’s jump from an agricultural economy to a services economy, bypassing the industrial stage. He emphasized that no clear reason emerges and it was a combination of various factors like an over educated work force, the Hindu growth rate and a widespread knowledge of the English language. He illustrated, with the example of the textile industry, how control and regulation suppresses growth and innovation.
He then moved on to the phenomenal success and growth of the IT industry. He attributed it to a complete lack of sales duties, 100% FDI and the lowest regulations of any industry. With the introduction of the concept of disruptive innovation, he explained how Indian IT companies reached global standards by competing on a global level without any protection.
He ended his talk with a discussion on the problems that are faced by the IT industry such as a lack of innovation. According to him, product innovation will only happen when we are close to the market although the ecosystem (angel investors, venture capitalists, low entry and exit barriers etc.) already exists.

Sweta Kindo
Batch of 2011-2013


  1. It was quite insightful and I must say very well summarized here...Looking forward for much such lectures in future.