Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Service(s) with a Smile!

Dizzying growth, buy-ins, buy-outs, booms, and busts are the material that the services segments are made up of. A major contributor to GDP and comprising key segments that attract foreign investment inflows, the fast growing sector is governed by factors domestic and global. Seeing its importance, governments and private players alike provide incentives to boost engineering, communications, information technology, banking, and so on.
The evolution of Smart Cities and investments in data-enabled services are key areas where the private sector plays a prime role in developing “open” services. According to the OECD, a large portion of the $1.8 trillion global annual investment required for infrastructure projects between 2010 and 2030 will be invested in cities. No wonder policy leaders, citizens, and business houses – in the Asia Pacific, Barcelona, Bengaluru or Boston – are fast forwarding to the future!   
On to startups, the latest entrants into the asset class in the product portfolio and on whom the eyes of the high net worth bracket are trained. Investment is through either personal wealth or angel funding. India is a case in point, the risk nevertheless. GCC governments too have made considerable investments in the services sector, and rightly so by improving ICT infrastructure. GCC business leaders and governments still face challenges, funds being among them, at times.
In the software industry, however, growth rules are far different. A 20% annual growth in a healthcare firm is cause for cheer, but it spells doomsday for IT. To sustain investment, firms anywhere need to plan with foresight as to:
·       How much growth is needed, and how quickly?
·       How much growth is left in core markets and how secure is the firm?
·       What are the chances of expansion and to generate cash for further investment?
·       What new opportunities exist, and when is the move?
Concern about one’s country, the world, its people, and environment has led to a new breed of investors promoting concepts they feel strongly about, to influence decisions that could detrimentally impact society. Socially Responsible Investing has thus come to stay.  
 As Stephen Covey wrote, “To be successful requires beginning with the end in mind.”

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