CIS-A2K/Office location

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CIS-A2K

CIS-A2K (Centre for Internet and Society - Access to Knowledge) is a campaign to promote the fundamental principles of justice, freedom, and economic development. It deals with issues like copyrights, patents and trademarks, which are an important part of the digital landscape.
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Initial discussionEdit

India Programs is exploring the setting-up of an office in India. There are a number of determinants that are being considered to arrive at the location of this office. Each criteria has an associate 1-5 point weightage indicating the importance of that criterion in the overall process. There are a total of 10 proposed determinants and these are outlined in the table below.

Location Selection Criteria
Criteria Weightage Commentary
Existing Community

••••

Office can work closely with a reasonably large, active community

Potential Community

•••••

Office will help catalyse and co-ordinate community development where the community is relatively weak.

Proximity to Government

•••

Office can work with appropriate Government authorities, e.g., HRD Ministry, Communications & IT Ministry, Judiciary, etc.

Proximity to Partners

••

Office can work with existing/potential partners as well as organisations operating in similar "spaces" as the Foundation (e.g., Internet, education, information, etc.)

Proximity to National Media

••

Office can work with national media to help message community efforts, India Programs activities, etc.

Student Base

•••

Office can work with students on campus programs, etc.

Open Source Community

•••

Office can support participation in open source community as well as Foundation open source projects.

Ability to Retain & Attract Talent

••

Location needs to be such that it is adequately attractive to potential team members.

Travel Connectivity

•••

Location must provide swift, cost-effective travel options to most parts of the country

Cost Efficiency

•••

Location must be cost-efficient - including living expenses for team members.

Each potential location will then be scored on a 1-5 scale for each of the criteria and a overall weighted score will be calculated for each town to determine the relative attractiveness, viability and potential of having the office located at that location. The current consideration set (in alphabetical order) is outlined in the table below. (Currently, there are no scores.)


Town Locations Scores
Criteria Weightage Bengaluru Chennai Hyderabad Kolkatta Mumbai New Delhi Pune any other location
Existing Community

••••

Potential Community

•••••

Proximity to Government

•••

Proximity to Partners

••

Proximity to National Media

••

Student Base

•••

Open Source Community

•••

Ability to Attract & Retain Talent

••

Travel Connectivity

•••

Cost Efficiency

•••

COMPOSITE SCORE

AssessmentEdit

Based on the feedback, inputs and discussion with / amongst the community, the Location Selection Criteria has been modified. The changes are as follows

  • "New Community" changed to "Potential to Reach New Community"
  • "Proximity to National Media" changed to "Proximity to Major Media"
  • All scores changed from 1-5 stars to actual numbers (e.g., 1 is low; 5 is high)
  • "Existing Community" reduced from 4 to 3
  • "Proximity to Government" reduced from 3 to 1
  • "Student Base" increased from 3 to 4
  • "Ability to Attract & Retain Talent" increased from 2 to 3
  • "Travel Connectivity" increased from 3 to 5
  • "Cost Efficiency" increased from 3 to 5

The table therefore looks as follows:-

Location Selection Criteria
Criteria Weightage Commentary
Existing Community

3

Office can work closely with a reasonably large, active community

Potential to Reach New Community

5

Office will help catalyse and co-ordinate community development where the community is relatively weak.

Proximity to Government

1

Office can work with appropriate Government authorities, e.g., HRD Ministry, Communications & IT Ministry, Judiciary, etc.

Proximity to Partners

2

Office can work with existing/potential partners as well as organisations operating in similar "spaces" as the Foundation (e.g., Internet, education, information, etc.)

Proximity to Major Media

2

Office can work with national media to help message community efforts, Foundation Projects, India Programs activities, etc.

Student Base

4

Office can work with students on campus programs, etc.

Open Source Community

4

Office can support participation in open source community as well as Foundation open source projects.

Ability to Retain & Attract Talent

3

Location needs to be such that it is adequately attractive to potential team members.

Travel Connectivity

5

Location must provide swift, cost-effective travel options to most parts of the country

Cost Efficiency

5

Location must be cost-efficient - both the Foundation's operating expenses as well as living expenses for team members.

Each potential location has been scored on a 1-5 scale (1 is low; 5 is high) for each of the criteria and a overall weighted score has been calculated for each town to determine the relative attractiveness, viability and potential of having the office located there. The consideration set now includes Thiruvananthapuram (T'puram for brevity) and Kochi, which were added by the community. The basis of the scoring has been based on a best consensus basis.

Town Locations Scores
Criteria Weightage Bengaluru Chennai Hyderabad Kolkatta Mumbai New Delhi Pune T'puram Kochi
Existing Community

3

5

3

1

3

4

2

4

3

3

Potential Community

5

2

3

3

5

4

5

4

4

4

Proximity to Government

1

1

1

1

1

1

5

1

1

1

Proximity to Partners

2

4

2

2

1

4

4

3

1

1

Proximity to Major Media

2

3

1

1

1

4

5

1

1

1

Student Base

4

5

4

4

4

5

5

5

3

3

Open Source Community

4

5

2

2

2

2

2

5

4

4

Ability to Attract & Retain Talent

3

4

3

4

3

3

4

4

2

2

Travel Connectivity

5

4

3

3

2

4

5

2

1

1

Cost Efficiency

5

3

4

4

4

1

3

5

5

5

COMPOSITE SCORE

3.7

2.9

2.8

3.0

3.3

3.9

3.8

2.9

2.9

RecommendationEdit

In the context of the above, it is therefore proposed to set up the office in New Delhi (or the NCR / Gurgaon) region.

This represents a strong opportunity for India Programs to catalyse community development in North India, be in a major student city, be based in arguably the best connected place to travel anywhere in the country, locate in a (relatively) cost-efficient area and be close to partners / major media / government. There are some negatives with New Delhi (primarily the relatively small size of the existing and open source communities.) On balance, though, it does appear that New Delhi is probably the most strategically attractive location for India Programs to be based out off. Needless to say, India Programs team members will travel extensively to try and cover as much of the country and connect with as diverse a community as often as possible. (Indeed, that's an advantage that New Delhi's travel connectivity affords.)

It would be remiss not to point out that there were strong arguments in favour of every other proposed location. This recommendation has been based on looking as objectively as possible at all the relative merits of every location and to arrive at the one that holds the highest potential from a long-term perspective.