In God we trust, everybody else bring data to the table.- Narayana Murthy
The best way to predict the future is to create it. – Dr. Forrest C. Shaklee
(IT Groupfie! (L to R) With Priya Deepak, Venkatesh Thyagarajan, Shilen Sagunan, Hrishikesh Nair, Shibu Basheer, Mukund Krishna)
Two months ago, I attended a special event organized by NASSCOM at the Kumarakom Lake Resort to celebrate its 25th anniversary. (December 2014). My main reason for going? To listen to Narayana Murthy. He spoke at length (and passionately) on how IT is the most law-abiding industry and how it would shape the future of this country.
I doubt I have would have hung on to Shahrukh Khan’s speech like this! I unabashedly cheered, applauded and clicked! I even walked up to Sudha Murthy and gushed on and on about her writing and her spirit. All in all, a very memorable evening for someone who hates going to these business networking events.
So what was the main theme at this event? In one phrase? Indian IT shining. And I agree wholeheartedly. Here’s why.
The discussion has moved on. Board rooms no longer discuss the need for outsourcing. Or where to outsource. The new topic of discussion? What can we outsource more of?
If you are part of the huge Indian IT industry, you have multiple reasons to cheer in 2015. But before we jump in, a quick glance at the facts and figures behind the Indian IT/BPM industry.
- 1% share of the national GDP
- With 3.1 million, it is the largest employer in the private sector
- Employ 35-38% women in their workforce; 4th largest urban women employer
- At 38%, IT/BPM is the largest share of India’s total service exports
- Highest attractor of funds and investments – nearly $2.4 billion
- USD 118 billion in revenue in the financial year 2014
According to Nasscom ex-president, Som Mittal: (In an interview with cio.com in January 2014)
Our industry is 25-years-old. It has matured a lot. Cheaper, better, faster is now a given. Customers are looking beyond costs. Technology has become consumerized, whether you’re talking about social media, cloud computing, analytics, or mobility. All of these are now getting integrated into IT services. Our industry had previously been focused on the Fortune 500 and then the Fortune 1000. But now we’re seeing more opportunity with helping small to medium-sized enterprises leverage this new technology.
What’s in the future for Indian IT in 2015?
Some of the top work force trends in 2015? The workforce will continuously look for a job (with tremendous help from mobile apps and social media) and the demand supply gap for skilled workers will widen. Put these together and the IT industry does have a veritable problem on its hands.
Add to this, the swift changes in technology and concerns over India’s ability to boost infrastructure and create the right climate for IT investors and businesses, you may be right in thinking that Indian IT may stumble around a bit in 2015.
Nope, not according to NASSCOM founding member and charter member of TiE, Chennai, K.V. Ramani. When I was introduced to him at the NASSCOM event, I was struck by his enthusiasm for all things related to Indian IT. So instead of adding my two bits based on research and instinct, I decided to go with a professional and expert prognosticator! Here it is, in his own words…..
What can you expect for Indian IT in 2015, and beyond?
- I am delighted that in the past 25 years the Indian industry has grown from almost nil to about USD 120 Billion in revenue. I have a vision that the Indian IT industry will grow to USD 500 Billion by 2025 – in the next 11 years.
- This growth will be driven by next gen entrepreneurs who are brighter, smarter and more ambitious!
- The key to this success will happen not in traditional service model but only with Innovation. I predict that we will have small innovative software product companies spread around the country, similar to the way we have auto garages now!
- These software product companies will be innovative, nimble, aggressive, market savvy. They will offer great products for the world, which will become one large village, connected by Internet Of Things.
- India will become the global software giant, like China has become in hardware!!
“Be yourself, as no one else can.” – Stephen Richards
This image has nothing to do with Indian IT. Or everything! Maybe it is time for the Indian IT industry to rest (a teeny weeny bit) on its laurels, take itself a little less seriously, and enjoy the good times ahead. After all, they have earned it the good ol’ way – through sheer hard work and persistence.