Survival Is The Key

DQW Bureau
24 May 2002

There is an old
saying which goes like this--tough times don't last, tough guys do. But the way
the market is behaving, even the tough guys are having the toughest time. This
recession seems to be a never ending one.

But is the
industry still going through a bout of recession? Doesn't look like if you go by
the various figures as given out by the companies themselves and also by market
research agencies. There seems to be all round growth across the entire

As it is, the
fiscal year 2001-02 results announced by almost all the vendors have been
extremely good. And this comes at a time when there were a host of factors
working against the very existence of the industry. Perhaps the foremost factor
was that US which is India's prime market, was itself going through a pretty bad
time. As a result, the software industry was supposed to be in dire straits.
Secondly, due to the ongoing war scare, buying has gone down considerably.

Combine all these
factors and you had a perfect recipe for disaster. Prefect because whenever
there is a war, in all likelihood the country's economy goes into shambles. This
didn't happen this time, maybe due to efficient fiscal management on the part of
the finance ministry.

So despite the
war and other uncertainties, the PC market--which can be taken as a barometer of
the industry's health--is expected to have remained flat in the last fiscal
which in itself is pretty good. An estimated 17 lakh PCs were sold. Now this is
very creditable by any standards. Then the software exports are expected to have
grown by close to 30 percent despite September 11 and the all-round scare after

If the industry
could grow by such a margin despite a number of hostile factors, this means that
we are in for a great time in the 2002-03 financial year, something which used
to be the norm in the early to the mid nineties. Combine this with the fact that
we have reached the bottom of the barrel as far as the recession is concerned
and the overall feel good factor, you have a perfect recipe for an explosive
growth. And growth not only in software exports, but also in the domestic market
which should hit the magic mark of two million PCs. That would mean just one
thing--no matter how tough times are, tough guys will go on and on.

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