India powers up its ‘Software Product’ potential, Introduces National Policy on Software Products (NPSP)

This is an exciting occasion for our indigenous software industry as India’s National Policy on Software Products gets rolled out. This policy offers the perfect framework to bring together the industry, academia and the government to help realise the vision of India as a dominant player in the global software product market.

For ease of reference, let us summarise some of the major things that the policy focuses on

  • Single Window Platform to facilitate issues of the software companies
  • specific tax regime for software products by distinguishing  them from software services via HS code
  • enabling Indian software product companies to set off tax against R&D  credits on the accrual basis
  • creation of a Software Product Development fund of INR 5000 crores to invest in Indian software product companies
  • grant in aid of  INR 500 Crores to support research and innovation on software products
  • encouragement to innovation via 20 Grant Challenges focusing on Education, Healthcare & Agriculture thus further enabling software products to solve societal challenges
  • enabling participation of Indian software companies in the govt. e-marketplace to improve access to opportunities in the domestic market
  • developing a framework for Indian software product companies in government procurement.
  • special focus  on Indian software product companies in international trade development programmes
  • encouraging software product development across a wide set of industries by developing software product clusters around existing industry concentrations such as in automobile, manufacturing, textiles etc.
  • nurturing the software product start-up ecosystem
  • building a sustainable talent pipeline through skilling and training programmes
  • encouraging entrepreneurship and employment generation in tier II cities
  • creating governing bodies and raising funds to enable scaling of native software product companies.

There is good cause for cheer here. The policy offers to address many of the needs of the Software Product Ecosystem. For the first time, HS codes or Harmonised Codes will be assigned to Indian software product companies that will facilitate a clear distinction from ‘Software Services’ facilitating availing of any benefits accruing under the ‘Make in India’ programme. In addition, this will enable Indian software product companies to participate in govt contracts through registration on GeM (Govt. eMarketplace).

Considering that we remain a net importer of software products at present, steps such as the inclusion of Indian software products in foreign aid programmes, setting up of specialised software product incubators in other geographies and promoting our software product capabilities through international exhibitions definitely show intent in the right direction. With a commitment to develop 10000 software product start-ups, with 1000 of them in tier II cities, technology entrepreneurs building IP driven product companies can now look forward to infrastructural and funding support. The policy also aims to go beyond metro-centric development with a commitment to develop tech clusters around existing industry concentrations, enable skilling and drive employment in non-metros and tier II cities while actively encouraging Indian software companies to solve native problems.  

This policy could not have been possible without the vision of the Honourable Minister Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, and continuous engagement and discussions with Shri Ajay Prakash Sawhney, Rajeev Kumar and Ajai Kumar Garg from MEITY and their team.

We have seen software companies solving native problems do exceptionally well, just look at what Paytm has been able to achieve while driving digital payments in India. There is now an understanding ‘Make in India’ can help us bridge the digital divide given that Indian entrepreneurs have a greater understanding of local issues and the challenges that are unique to us.

Setting up bodies such as the National Software Products Mission in a tripartite arrangement with the industry, academia and govt. to enable creation and monitoring of schemes beneficial to native software product companies is another much-needed step that will create a forum distinct to our software product companies and help give them a strong voice.

We would like to thank Lalitesh Katragadda, Vishnu Dusad, Sharad Sharma, Rishikesha T Krishnan, Bharat Goenka, T.V. Mohandas Pai, Arvind Gupta for their diligent efforts on the continuous dialogue and inputs for the policy.

While launching the policy is a great start, its implementation is what we all will have our eyes on. Now is the moment of action. We all look forward to fast-tracking of the various proposed measures under this policy for the benefits to start showing!

Website link to the official policy –  (


J​ANUARY​ 15, 2019​ – ​

DECEMBER 8, 2016​ – ​

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iSPIRT’s Response to Union Interim Budget 2019

Our policy team tracks the interest of Software product industry

INDIA, Bangalore, Feb 1st, 2019 – Proposals for Union budget of 2019 have been announced today by Finance Minister.

Being an interim budget not many announcements were expected. Some of the important announcements that may affect the expansion of the economy, in general, owing to increased income and ease of living in the middle class are as follows:

  1. Within two years tax assessment will be all electronic.
  2. IT return processing just in 24 hours
  3. Rebate on taxes paid for those with an income below 5 lakhs
  4. TDS threshold on interest income by woman on bank/post office deposits raised from Rs. 10,000 to 40,000
  5. Increase in standard deduction from Rs. 40,000 to 50,000
  6. Rollover of Capital gains tax benefit u/s 54 from investment in one house to two houses, for a taxpayer having capital gains up to Rs. 2 crore
  7. Recommendation to GST Council for reducing GST for home buyers
  8. Exemption from levy of tax on notional rent, on unsold inventories, from one year to two years
  9. Many benefits announced for Agriculture and Rural sector

The coining of the phrase “Digital Village” and placing it second on the list of ten-dimension vision statement in budget speech is a welcome step. The statement nudges the next Government to improve access to technology in rural India, a welcome step. We expect “Digital India” and easy and quality access to the internet for every citizen will remain a focus area, irrespective of which government comes to power.

The government has announced a direct cash transfer scheme for farmers. We are happy to see that technologies like the India Stack are being used by policymakers for effective policy-making irrespective of political ideology. Cash transfers promise to be more efficient initiatives that directly benefit our poor without needing them to run from pillar to post trying to prove their identity and eligibility. “Similarly, startups and SMEs remains a focus area in the vision statement. These are very important for a healthy ecosystem built up.

Similarly, focused phrases such as “Healthy India”, “Electric Vehicle” and “Rural Industrialisation using modern digital technologies” are welcome ideas in ten-dimension vision for Indian Software product industry and startup ecosystem.

However, among key issues for Startups and Investments which need to be addressed but have been missed out are Angel tax and Tax parity between listed and unlisted securities. Angel Tax is a very important issue which needs to be addressed conclusively at the earliest. We need to ensure gaps between policy declaration and implementation do not cause entrepreneurs and investors to relocate themselves aboard.

About iSPIRT Foundation

We are a non-profit think tank that builds public goods for Indian product startup to thrive and grow. iSPIRT aims to do for Indian startups what DARPA or Stanford did in Silicon Valley. iSPIRT builds four types of public goods – technology building blocks (aka India stack), startup-friendly policies, market access programs like M&A Connect and Playbooks that codify scarce tacit knowledge for product entrepreneurs of India. visit

For further queries, reach out to Nakul Saxena ([email protected]) or Sudhir Singh ([email protected])

The Most Important Technology Trends of 2014, According to Gartner

Leading market analysts issue their latest technology trends every year. Gartner, Inc., the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company has defined the top 10 technology trends and drivers that will be strategic for Indian organizations in 2014.

134459715These technologies can impact an organization’s long-term plans, programs and initiatives. Implementing business process improvements, revenue growth through differentiated products and services, and business expansion are the top business priority areas of investment for Indian organizations.

Gartner’s top 10 strategic technology trends for Indian companies in 2014 include:

Business Intelligence (BI) and Analytics

The BI, analytics and performance management segment is the hottest software market in India, fueled by IT prioritization and expanding business buying centers. A competitive business environment and economic conditions are also forcing enterprises in India to focus on using fact based decision-making tools to rationalize costs and time for businesses.

Mobility Solutions

Mobility in enterprise has created a huge opportunity for IT leaders to reduce costs, increase productivity and enable smooth business transactions. Swift growth in the prevalence of mobile devices, a decline in their price, and falling data plan costs have the potential to completely transform some business models.

Cloud Computing

Although still in its infancy in India and other emerging markets, cloud adoption is increasing. Led by infrastructure-as-a-service engagements in the data center, disaster recovery and storage areas, there is a broad range of providers that target large organizations as well as SMBs. This fast growing adoption by a diverse range of organizations has catalyzed providers to invest in high quality data centers and innovative cloud infrastructures, as well as a portfolio of cloud-related offerings such as security, communications and managed services.

 Social Media and Computing

Social media in India has seen exponential growth in the recent past with enterprises using it for customer support and customers using it to offer opinions. A growing number of enterprises used social media to connect with their customers and for marketing campaigns in 2013 and social media is playing a pivotal role in Indian politics with the government and political parties increasingly using it to connect with citizens

Machine to Machine (M2M)

The M2M market in India is in a nascent stage but growing rapidly. Indian enterprises driven by demands to improve agility and productivity are evaluating the use of M2M-enabled solutions.

 Hosted Virtual Desktop (HVD)

In India, server-based computing, which is also referred as “hosted shared desktop” or “terminal services,” is seeing more adoption. More than 80 percent of desktop virtualization implementations are based on HVD. Organizations are only looking at desktop virtualization from the point of cost requirement, and they overlook other benefits such as full data backup, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) support, extended hardware life cycles, security, compliance and anytime-anywhere access.

 Personal Cloud

Adoption of cloud computing in India is currently limited to the private cloud. Organizations are focused on protecting their applications located in enterprise app stores, as well as the content on employees’ personal devices used at work. Tablets are becoming the first-choice user device and this form factor’s explosion is creating device ubiquity. Users are creating their own personal digital ecosystems with their own sets of apps, games and media. Content is starting to shift to the cloud but, in the future, the cloud will become the primary storage for personal content, and local versions of the content will exist only as staged or cached elements.

 The Internet of Things (IoT)

The IoT delivers tangible value to enterprises through the ability to better utilize remote assets and creates business cases in three key areas – operational technology (OT), digital supply chain and customer interaction.

 Collaboration Technologies

Collaboration technologies (otherwise known as workflow management or team collaboration) consist broadly of – real-time electronic meetings, content delivery, desktop and application sharing, text chat, group document markup with electronic whiteboarding, security and remote control. More advanced features include integrated voice over IP, file sharing, videoconferencing, content archiving, media streaming, feedback and polling. Real-time collaboration technologies not included in the Web conferencing category include instant messaging and stand-alone audio conferencing.

 3D Printing

In India interest levels in 3D printing are slowly picking up and this is reflected in the increased presence of providers in the 3D printing space. Because of the country’s large population base, high volumes and low cost requirements, 3D printing is expected to take off rapidly and revolutionize industries as diverse as aerospace, consumer goods, healthcare, retail, manufacturing and the military. 3D printing has the potential to radically transform design, manufacturing and the supply chain model in India.

According to Gartner, while Indian companies may be keen to invest in new technologies, there are still barriers to full-scale adoption including business readiness, a lack of capacity for organizational change and low levels of IT funding. Implementing business process improvements, revenue growth through differentiated products and services, and business expansion are the top business priority areas of investment for Indian organizations.

iSPIRT invites you to participate in the Indian Software Product Industry Survey

As you know, the Indian software product industry is still in its infancy. Your active involvement is essential to nurture and grow this industry and realize our collective dream of building a product nation.

This survey is the first step towards developing a systematic and accurate understanding of the Indian Software Product Industry landscape. The data from this survey will enable iSPIRT to work effectively with various stakeholders (software product companies, government and venture capital) to build a strong software product ecosystem.

This survey has been developed by iSPIRT in collaboration with Prof. Sharique Hasan and Rembrand Koning of Stanford Graduate School of Business.  The data collected will remain confidential and solely with iSPIRT. Any report generated from this data will be on an aggregate basis and individuals and companies will not be named. Should you have any questions about the data or its usage, please reach out to me at vardhini(at)

In this survey, we are asking you to provide basic information about your company, your hiring issues, as well as your funding and ownership structure. You should expect to spend about 20 minutes to complete this survey. We would appreciate that you answer each of the questions in the survey, except for those that are marked optional. We understand your time is valuable and we truly appreciate your participation.

We would be happy to share the survey findings with you. Please participate in the survey online at

Announcing ProductNation OutSights – Structured reports showcasing #MadeInIndia Software Products

As a lead up to India’s 66th Independence Day, ProductNation announces the launch of our OutSights Series. As there are a large number of thought leaders who have a lot of insights on a lot of topics, we decided that what we have, are OutSights.

We start this series with structured reports showcasing #MadeInIndia Software Products with Global Outlook. We will create a ready listing of software products #MadeInIndia that have the potential to take the international market by storm and may pose serious competition to established market leaders in their respective fields.

While this is not a competitive series, these reports will compare companies and their products, on the basis of published criteria. ProductNation intends to conduct in depth analysis of products submitted for review in order to arrive on the list of finalists, who make it into the final report. These reports will be published and syndicated across channels and will be available as a buying guide for those shopping in these categories. The finalists will also receive the ProductNation OutSights Badge which they can display on their web properties with pride.

Here are the list of reports that are scheduled for release between July, August and September, 2013:

  •      Enterprise Cloud Apps from India to watch out for
  •      Innovative Big Data Analytics Companies from India
  •      Indian CRM apps changing customer experience
  •      VAS providers from India for global telcos
  •      Amazing Indian software products with poor marketing

ProductNation welcomes all Indian software makers who wish to participate in ProductNation OutSights, for their respective product categories. Keep watching this space for eligibility and cut-off dates for entry.

For queries or suggestions for report categories write an email to [email protected]. Please submit your product details online before 20th July 2013.