IT industry leaders and top bureaucrats, participating in the three-day IT trade meet IT biz here on Wednesday, emphasised on nurturing and fuelling growth in the domestic market to take the Indian IT growth story to the next level. Besides talk on startups and entrepreneurship to drive this “second wave”, the need for policy interventions was highlighted at the 15th edition of the event, the flagship event of the State government.
In a space where growth has happened even without a concerted policy, the new policy to be released soon plans a multi-pronged approach to increased the IT market from $ 101 billion in 2012 to $ 300 billion by 2020, said J. Satyanarayana, Secretary, Union Department of Electronics and IT.
This requires a strong compounded growth rate of 14.8 per cent — current year-on-year growth is around 10-12 per cent — which is “not at all easy” given the current economic climate, he added.
For this, he proposed a renewed focus on the domestic market, even as Indian IT companies could continue diversifying into newer markets.
“The industry should focus on inclusive growth in sectors such as education, healthcare and e-governance. We need to spread into tier II cities. We have a national backbone in terms of the National Knowledge Network… our ambition is to take a gigabit to every village. We are investing Rs. 20,000 crore on laying optical fibre cable to connect 2,50,000 gram panchayats by 2013,” he said.
He also commended Karnataka on being the first State to submit a proposal and get clearance on its IT Investment Region.
Addressing the inauguration function, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar mentioned the investment region project, saying that it was “another feather in the cap”. He said that the “most ambitious project of the State government for IT development” will commence early next year.
Karnataka contributes about 40 per cent of IT exports of the country, he said and added that 8 lakh of the 25 lakh employed in the industry work in Bangalore. Promoting semiconductor and electronic hardware manufacturing will give a big thrust to the “next wave” of IT growth, he added.
S. Gopalakrishnan, Executive Co-Chairman of Infosys Ltd., said that the “new wave” will be about entrepreneurship and innovation in creating new products and revenue streams. He told presspersons that a revenue hike to $ 300 billion was possible and revenues could improve if the global economic situation changes. But, he emphasised, there was a need to think “out of the box”.
For instance, he commended an education initiative of the Kerala government to award grace marks and waive attendance requirements of students doing start-ups or working with innovative ideas of entrepreneurship. “Such initiatives can make a difference,” he said.
On the domestic market, he said that Indian companies, including Infosys, were focussed on domestic projects such as working with India Post, Income Tax Department and the electricity supply companies. He said that domestic business is growing faster than company average, he said. He emphasised the need to promote hardware to reduce imports and create jobs in the untapped segment.
The event has several plenary sessions on e-governance, animation, electronics and hardware, IT business, High Performance Computing and Mobility devices. Organisers claimed that the number of delegates this time had increased from 400 last year to 1,000, including participants from 11 States.