China Is India’s Only Possible Threat
Posted by iBlog on May 13, 2008
India’s trade body and chamber of commerce of the IT-BPO (business processing outsourcing) industry, Nasscom was established in 1988 to facilitate business and trade across the country’s software and services industries. The association has over 1,200 members, which include 250 global companies.
In an e-mail interview with ZDNet Asia, Natarajan discussed the challenges facing the Indian IT-ITES (IT and IT-enabled services) industry, and underscored the need for local companies to innovate and reinvent themselves for India to remain the preferred outsourcing destination.
Q: Congratulations on becoming the chairman of Nasscom. What are your top priorities as the new chief?
Natarajan: We have identified six key themes. Our agenda for this financial year includes issues like tapping opportunities through innovation, building communities of best practices, adopting green IT, societal development, and education and skills building.
Today, the IT industry is well on its way to make the transition to process quality and innovation. We believe these themes will help chart the way forward and maintain a steady growth for the industry.
These are all challenges of growth, and therefore, a good problem to have at hand. The U.S. slowdown and Rupee appreciation are short-term challenges.
In the long term, the Indian IT-ITES industry will continue to maintain a healthy growth rate, and is well on its way to achieve the US$60 billion mark.
Do you think the U.S. slowdown is hitting Indian IT-ITES companies hard? What can the industry do to counter the impact of the slowing U.S. economy?
The U.S. slowdown is impacting the industry in the short term. But in the long run, the Indian IT-ITES sectors will continue to maintain a healthy growth rate.
While the companies are making firm level efforts to counter the challenge, the key is innovation. As the traditionally successful sourcing model comes under strain, companies need to reinvent themselves and innovate for India to remain the preferred sourcing destination.
Commoditization of IT services, advent of new disruptive technologies and the blurring of the distinction between hardware, software and services, indicate the need for the Indian IT industry to move toward a more consumer-centric business model. And the only way to do that is through innovation. While it often means a new technology or product, it is equally applicable to processes or services.
With rapid economic growth, skill scarcities have been on the rise. Is this an area of serious concern?
The large and growing talent pool remains a key differentiator for India as a global sourcing destination and the fundamental driver of its IT-BPO growth. However, as the IT sector continues to grow and develop new competencies, talent suitability is becoming a concern.
So far, companies have adequately addressed these challenges through their own efforts around recruitment and training. But, as demand continues to grow exponentially, it is becoming difficult for the industry to address this challenge.