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“IT services industry’s main customers stabilising”

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Staff Reporter

Increased investments in sales, marketing expected to yield results

CHENNAI: Export revenues of the Indian IT-BPO sector are expected to grow by 4 to 7 per cent in 2009-10, according to NASSCOM, the trade body and chamber of commerce of IT-BPO industries.

The export revenues stood at $46.3 billion in 2008-09 and were expected to increase to $48 billion to $50 billion in 2009-10, said Pramod Bhasin, chairman, NASSCOM, speaking at a press conference here on Wednesday.

The core markets, North America and the BFSI (Banking, Financial services and Insurance) segment had “certainly hit the bottom,” he said. This would mean that the IT services industry’s main customers had begun stabilising.

Increased investments in sales and marketing were expected to yield results, he said, adding that the investments in research and development had also been increased.

The prediction for 2009-10 comes in an environment that made it difficult to estimate possible scenarios, said Mr. Bhasin.

Worldwide IT spending and growth was expected to come down further in 2009-10, he said.

As the decision process from the client-side was shortened, it affected the ability to see far in to the future. Given this, it was harder to make estimates accurately.

Within the export segment, IT services grew by 14.7 per cent between FY08 and FY09, and BPO exports had gone up by 16.5 per cent. Engineering services and product exports grew by 11 per cent.

The domestic market was expected to register a growth of 15 to 18 per cent in 2009-10, said Mr. Bhasin, growing from Rs.570 billion to Rs.655 billion to Rs.672 billion.

Education, retail, and healthcare in the domestic market are relatively unexplored.

The small and medium businesses also could be tapped into, he said. Gross revenue in 2008-09 was $58.8 billion, comprising export and domestic revenues.

The industry added two lakh jobs in 2008-09. As hiring from colleges would be lower compared to previous years, many aspiring to get into the IT industry may not be able to do so.

Candidates could obtain higher skill sets, said Som Mittal, president, NASSCOM, adding that the industry, academia, and the government had to work together on a programme to ensure that people were engaged gainfully.

The best and the brightest candidates had opportunities even today, he added.

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