Nasscom sees IT exports growing 7-8%, addition of 1.5 lakh jobs this year despite headwinds
the Indian IT industry is all set to move beyond the heavy-dependent markets - the USA and the UK - which account for almost 80 percent of export - and expand footprints to newer geographies such as Continental Europe, Japan, China and Africa.
Notwithstanding headwinds, Indian IT export is projected to grow by 7-8 percent - the same rate as last year - while the domestic infotech industry is expected to expand at 10-11 percent in 2017-18, Nasscom said in its guidance today.
The IT-BPM industry is expected to add 1.3-1.5 lakh new jobs during 2017-18, Nasscom president R Chandrashekhar told reporters here. In the previous fiscal, the industry's net hiring stood at 1.7 lakh.
Keeping in view the political and economic uncertainties in key overseas markets that impacted decision-making and discretionary spend, and also the performance of IT companies last year, the industry body expects the future outlook to be positive, he said.
"We expect export revenues to grow by 7 to 8 percent, not hugely different from last year (7.5 percent), notwithstanding the headwinds we talked about (H1-B visa curbs in US, protectionism and Brexit). The domestic segment is actually growing at slightly faster pace - that is 10 to 11 percent in dollar terms. "We definitely see the industry to be net hirer of as many as 1.3 to 1.5 lakh people in the year ahead. This industry continues to be a substantial hirer and a substantial creator of new jobs. At the same time, there is a churn in the industry too," Chandrashekhar said.
He said as the industry is currently driven by digital revolution, Nasscom has decided to re-skill about 1.5 to 2 million IT professionals to equip them for future requirements. "Nasscom is working with its partners, members to establish a comprehensive digital platform. You will be hearing about this more during the months ahead. We expect 1.5 to 2 million people amongst the workforce to be re-skilled in the next four to five years."
The size of the Indian IT industry is pegged at USD 154 billion, including USD 11 billion incremental revenues added in the previous fiscal, according to Nasscom. "Uncertainty impacted the businesses. Whether it is BFSI segment or healthcare, all segments confronted by the uncertainty delayed the decision-making in the quest for stability. That translated into low opportunities for IT industry," the Nasscom chief explained.
Chandrashekhar, however, was optimistic about growth of the domestic IT industry, backed by some of the Centre's initiatives such as aiming for one trillion dollar digital economy.
Replying to a query, he said the Indian IT industry is all set to move beyond the heavy-dependent markets - the USA and the UK - which account for almost 80 percent of export - and expand footprints to newer geographies such as Continental Europe, Japan, China and Africa.
For this fiscal, IT major Infosys expects its revenues to rise 6.5-8.5 percent in constant currency (and 6.1 percent-8.1 percent in USD terms), while Cognizant has guided for 8-10 percent rise in topline in constant currency terms.
Keshab Panda, MD and CEO, L&T Technology Services, said, "Our experience in enabling digital engineering for our clients smart manufacturing, smart products, smart services and operations is in sync with Nasscom's observation of technology being at the forefront of change at organisations." "While the ER&D (engineering R&D) space is different in multiple aspects as compared to conventional IT companies, we are confident of our double digit growth on financial parameters," he said.
A key Congressional committee on Wednesday voted to pass a legislation that proposes to increase the minimum salary of H1B visa holders.
As per the data, of the 30 firms that received H1-B visas, 19 firms were headquartered in the US, with nine in India and two in France
According to this new order drafted by Trump's administration, there could be an overhauling of the work-visa program which technology companies depend on to get workers from abroad to work in the US.