Nasscom sees IT export growing at 7-8% in fiscal 2018

The industry has grabbed bull by its horns and is well on its journey of transformation to capture opportunities in digital segment R CHANDRASHEKHAR, president, Nasscom

HYDERABAD: Indian IT exports will grow by 7-8%, unchanged from previous year’s growth, despite protectionist voices in major markets like the US, industry body Nasscom said.

The $156 billion Indian industry—the biggest job creator in the organised sector—is also projected to add 1.3-1.5 lakh new jobs during 2017-18 compared to a net hiring of 1.7 lakh in the previous fiscal. In a first, the industry body had deferred giving the growth forecast in February and had instead postponed the same to April-June quarter. Speaking to reporters, Nasscom president R Chandrashekhar exuded confidence that the outlook is positive despite the political and economic uncertainties in key overseas markets that may impact client spending.

“We expect export revenues to grow by 7-8 per cent, not hugely different from last year (7.5 per cent), notwithstanding the headwinds we talked about (H1-B visa curbs in the US, protectionism and Brexit),” he added. The domestic infotech industry is expected to grow at faster pace of 10-11 per cent (in dollar terms) in 2017-18. “We definitely see the industry to be net hirer of as many as 1.3 to 1.5 lakh people in the year ahead. This industry continues to be a substantial hirer and a substantial creator of new jobs. At the same time, there is a churn in the industry too,” Chandrashekhar said. He said as the industry is currently driven by the digital revolution, Nasscom has decided to re-skill about 1.5 to 2 million IT professionals to equip them for future requirements.

“Nasscom is working with its partners, members to establish a comprehensive digital platform. You will be hearing about this more during the months ahead. We expect 1.5 to 2 million people amongst the workforce to be re-skilled in the next 4-5 years.” The size of the Indian IT industry is pegged at $154 billion, including $11 billion incremental revenues added in the previous fiscal, according to Nasscom.

“Uncertainty impacted the businesses. Whether it is BFSI segment or healthcare, all segments confronted by the uncertainty delayed the decision-making in the quest for stability. That translated into low opportunities for IT industry,” the Nasscom chief explained. Chandrashekhar was optimistic about growth of the domestic IT industry, backed by some of the Centre’s initiatives such as aiming for $1 trillion digital economy.

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