NASSCOM optimistic about software industry

NASSCOM has projected a positive outlook for the Indian IT industry. Dewang Mehta, President, NASSCOM released the Q3 (October-December 2000) results for Indian software exports and announced that the country’s software exports had grown by more than 65 per cent registering revenues of Rs 7160 crore as against Rs 4345 crore for the corresponding period in 1999-2000.

In the fiscal 2000-2001, NASSCOM has projected that software exports will earn revenues in the region of Rs 28,500 crore ($ 6.24 billion) as against export revenues of Rs 17,150 crore ($ 4 billion) earned during 1999-2000. Commenting on the current speculation on the impact of the US economic slow-down and its possible effects on Indian software exports, Dewang Mehta said that the member companies were confident of meeting their export target of $ 6.24 billion during 2000-01 and $ 9.5 billion in 2001-02.

NASSCOM has come out with a five point agenda to propel the growth of the Indian software industry. Increase quality and quantity of knowledge workers, creating a world class telecom infrastructure, enhancing the physical infrastructure, tapping opportunities in communication software and original technology space and continued government support to remove procedural obstacles are some of the issues raised by NASSCOM to catapult the Indian software industry to the forefront.

“Communication software has emerged as a major opportunity for Indian software exports. We expect to earn revenues of Rs 41,000 crore from the export of communication software in the year 2000-01,” Mehta said. The NASSCOM president felt that the telecom industry would be the one key driving factor of the Indian IT industry in the coming years. The telecom industry has emerged as one of the largest and most influential industries globally with estimated revenue earning of $ 1.3 trillion in the year 2002. “Keeping in mind the high level of deregulation taking place in the global telecom markets and the current trend towards convergence of technologies based on new 3G technologies and inoperability of networks, we expect the communication software segment to emerge as one of the fastest and most profitable segment driving the growth of the Indian software industry over the next five years,” he added.

Some of the sectors that are expected to drive the communication software industry ahead are embedded software systems. The global opportunity for such services and solutions is estimated at $ 46 billion in 2000-01. At least 70 Indian companies are providing software in this segment. Protocol development is another sector that is expected to see growth, the NASSCOM report says. The application areas in this space where opportunities exist for Indian companies are internetworking, broadband, ATM, ISDN and frame relay and the provision of gateway and network servers. 

Datacom and telecom are seen as yet another exciting growth sector. The products here range from switches, routers, hubs, gateways, ATM devices and networking equipment. Mobile Internet solutions is a segment which represents a $ 15 billion opportunity by 2003 and India should aim at cornering a large share of this market, Mehta said.

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