N Rangaswamy and Divya Kumar
The paper makes a case for information and communication technologies (ICT) in small businesses against the broader backdrop of the developing economy of India. ICTs come to India through two routes; the global employment route of IT information companies or the development route of donor-driven services to bridge internal digital divide. Local and context specific ICT based services in small businesses are organic, market-driven and self-sustaining bringing affordable services to hitherto „underserved‟ and „information poor‟ contexts. It seems pertinent to ask if ICT as service offerings in small business can sustain and evolve a participatory eco-system resulting in expansion of benefits to the player/entrepreneur and customer/user of technology. From a case-study in urban India we observe that most ICT-based or ICT-empowered businesses, services and products are shaped by two factors 1. The nature of key players driving business 2. Local and evolving customer relevance of the product. The two can combine to produce a third- opportunities that can turn businesses round to a more aggressive consumer oriented service offerings to sustain business and increase ICT infusion into local markets.
Publisher 19th Australasia Conference on Information Systems