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  1. 1. You are here: Home » Opinion » India Emerging20 NOV, 2009, 01.39AM IST, VIVEK WADHWA, -Excerpts from an Article in The Economic TimesStartups: India’s new charmersWhen the world thinks of the Indian technology sector, it imagines a nation of call centre workers and lowlevel computer programmers administering databases and updating websites. Few observers, even inIndia, realise that the Indian technology sector has rapidly transformed into a giant R&D machine.A host of brand name global multinationals have set up their own R&D operations in India. Intel designedits six core Xeon processor exclusively in India. IBM has over 100,000 employees in India and they areperforming significant roles in most of its software development projects. Cisco is developing cutting edgenetworking in Bangalore.On my recent trip to India I started to see new signs of life in tech entrepreneurship. This to me, was areal surprise. So far, all of the innovation has been in the labs of the multinationals who are performingtheir R&D in India and by their outsourcing providers. But everywhere I looked, I found startups whichwere really smart and hungry. Some were even doing things better than their Silicon Valley counterparts.Not all of these startups are developing breakthrough technologies but many of them are solvingproblems that US companies have thus far failed to solve and doing it with fewer resources.I wasnt alone in my surprise and excitement. My colleague, writer Sarah Lacy, who is known as ValleyGirl and is considered one of the leading experts on Silicon Valley startups was totally blown away whenshe met Harpreet Grover, the founder of a Delhi-based education software firm, His firm isdeveloping software to automate the process of recruiting university students. The solution is so wellthought out, elegantly designed and innovative, that Sarah told Harpreet that this was easily the bestdemo she had seen in two years. Sarah has met thousands of startups over the years including thefounders of products like Facebook, Twitter and Google.(The guest writer is a visiting scholar at UC-Berkeley, director of research at the Center forEntrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at Duke University and a senior researchassociate at Harvard Law School)Full Article available on