Software services exports

The software and services industry is all set to achieve $60 billion exports in three years pointed out the Nasscom President. According to Nasscom’s yearly strategic review, exports will exceed $31 billion in the current fiscal. The report, which was released recently, revealed India is on track to double that figure by 2010.

In the last decade, the Indian IT industry has grown 10 fold, from $4.8 billion in 1997-98 to $ 47.8 billion in 2006-07, the report said. The study pegs the contribution of the industry to the country’s gross domestic product at about 5.4% which has grown from 1.2% since 1998.

A boom is also visible in the domestic market. The report pegs the domestic revenues at $15.9 billion which is a growth of over 21% from last year.

The last decade is a testament to the growing impact of the Indian IT industry on the global and local economies. The top sectors still remain banking, financial services and insurance, telecom and hi-tech, which continue to bring in about 60% of the revenues of the industry. But other verticals such manufacturing, retail, transportation, healthcare and utilities are also growing rapidly. The industry is perfectly poised to tap new opportunities in the off-shoring and domestic segments for greater wealth and IP creation.

As a direct result, it was announced the MNC investments may reach an unprecedented level of over $10 billion to be invested over the next few years.

The IT sector would employ 1.6 million people by the end of the fiscal which is almost five times the employment figure of year 1998 which offered employment to 190,000 people.

The domestic market will expand and for the first time appears to be breaking out of the historical “hardware-linked� growth pattern. Though newer locations are emerging as global delivery matures, India continues to be the preferred destination.

7% of the large deals globally are bagged by Indian firms compared to 1% about a decade ago. He said the 2010 target for exports is fairly achievable even if the industry growth rate reduces.

The 31.2% projected average export growth to achieve the target has now been reduced to 24.2% and for domestic growth, has reduced from 22.1% to 18.6%.

On perceived challenges infrastructure, human resources, innovation challenges, regulator and policy environment could pose hurdles. Continuation of tax exemptions to software technology parks beyond 2009 too is being pursued on the government level.