Industry will have to adopt frugal engineering, innovation, says Som Mittal

With the IT sector tipped to grow four times in scale over the next decade, National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) will push for earmarking more SEZ space for small and medium IT players, Nasscom President Som Mittal said here on Friday.

Addressing the Nasscom Emergeout conclave, an interactive platform for the SME segment on the theme “Nurturing the IT DNA in India's growth sectors”, Mr. Mittal said the association had initiated State-level talks on framing broad guidelines to address the space requirements of small and medium enterprises (SME) that would facilitate formation of ecosystems in Tier-II and Tier-III cities. While SEZs could still have a big firm as anchor customer, it could allocate space for SMEs around that. Smaller players would need at least 80 per cent of the carpet area, he said.

At present, 95 per cent of the IT and BPO-related work is being executed across seven major cities and by 2020 Nasscom expects 43 smaller towns to join the ecosystem.

According to Mr. Mittal, the government had been responsive to the need to provide some form of support to the SME segment in the eventuality of the Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) being withdrawn.

Nasscom expects to launch its e-governance portal ‘egovreach' in July that would encourage anyone with solutions for e-governance.

The next decade would be one of big opportunities and the industry would have to adopt frugal engineering and innovation where solutions are cheaper, quicker and work for high volumes, Mr. Mittal said. The business models in the days ahead had to change and the course of growth was likely to be along uncharted areas, unexplored verticals and untouched customer segments, he said.

Stressing the need for industry to evolve multi-tier models of delivery and the need for “ancillarisation” on the lines of the automotive sector where smaller units grew around a major, Mr. Mittal spelt out the five-point agenda as catalysing growth beyond core markets (the U.S., the U.K. and the rest of Europe) and across new verticals (public sector and healthcare), build India as a trust-worthy destination, harness ICT for inclusive growth and work with government to develop an ecosystem, supplement the quality of talent pool and develop an innovation hub in India.

Keywords: NasscomSEZIT sector

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