Here is what the top guy at Infosys, Nandan Nilekani, told the New York Times.
The whole process where people get an idea and put together a team, raise the capital, create a product and mainstream it -- that can only be done in the US. It can't be done sitting in India. The Indian part of the equation is to help these innovative US companies bring their products to the market quicker, cheaper and better, which increases the innovative cycle there. It is a complementarity we need to enhance.
Let's go back some 40-50 years; a person by the name Vikram Sarabhai wanted India to build a satellite and put it into orbit - here is a photo of two dedicated engineers working on the rocket:
I don't know whether we hi-tech software engineers realize it, but launching a satellite is a lot more difficult than writing that `next generation' .NET enabled pet shop accounting software or a Linux device driver for the XYZ network card. What if Vikram Sarabhai had thought:
The whole process where people build a satellite, a rocket and all its associated electronic/mechanical/chemical components is something which can be done only in US/Russia. It can't be done sitting in India ....
That's where the difference comes - we no longer have visionaries like a Vikram Sarabhai in our midst - what we have are a handful of extremely good businessmen who know how to make money with the minimum of risk.
Look at the guy in the photo, Aravamudan, working with his shirt off like an ordinary labourer - he is a specialist in aerodynamics and flight mechanics! That's the kind of passion which makes a true Engineer and a true geek!
That said, all of you wannabe hackers and geeks, don't start working with your shirt off in your air conditioned offices ...