Friday, September 05, 2008

Does globalization promote localization

Lot of discussions over a cup of tea throw up scenarios that you are unlikely to have visualised by yourself. A discussion began highlighting how the concept of globalization was making the world flat, breaking up national and international boundaries, making the whole globe a big village, providing a common marketplace, etc. What enabled it? Technology. Just within India, goods and services are today exchanged across states. Thanks to mobiles, thanks to better transport and IT systems that make it possible.

On the other side of the coin, technology has also enabled localization.The sheer amount of power and flexibility that technology thrusts into our hands has enabled us to have mobile phones that send smses in our regional languages, have Internet giants like Google, Microsoft and Yahoo clambering over each other to provide support for regional languages across their software applications. Google has gone a step ahead and even included custom calendars for each region of the world in its Calendar application. Nokia has released phones with Dravidian languages as the input interface on the number pad.

Why did this not happen before? We did not have players in India with the clout of these MNC giants to provide the quality of services and products that would have mass appeal. Now that we have them, they are hungry to grab more market share which is leading them to target the local non English speaking sections of various societies.

So what's happening? Globalization promotion localization....I don't see otherwise.

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