Despite wage hikes and currency fluctuations, top tier Indian IT firms managed to keep their profits in fine kettle on a year-on-year basis thanks to better utlilisation rates and a slow uptick in the demand environment. The near term looks promising with pricing remaining stable and operating margins being largely under control
India’s largest IT services exporter, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), is now worth more than R5 lakh crore. It is bigger than the next four biggest Indian IT companies put together. Even with its huge base, TCS continues to generate healthy revenue growth sequentially. In fact among the top three companies—the other two being Infosys and Wipro—TCS was the only one which grew revenues sequentially (2.6%) during the June quarter of the current fiscal and also had the highest growth rate on an annual basis (23%). Infosys reported a decline of 0.8% in revenue growth sequentially while Wipro saw a steeper fall of 10.2% as compared to the preceding quarter.
TCS also has over three lakh employees now, which is almost equal to the number of employees Infosys and Wipro together have on their rolls. Though TCS always enjoyed a higher revenue base but it was Infosys which reported superior operating profit margins (OPM) setting a benchmark for the Indian IT industry. Even this index has undergone a change from the second quarter of FY13 as TCS started to report higher margins. During the quarter, TCS reported an OPM of 26.3% while it was 25.1% for Infosys. Wipro saw a drop in operating margins to 22.8% for the quarter against 24.5% in the previous quarter.
TCS has already stated that it would beat the industry growth guidance of 13-15% in US dollar for the fiscal as projected by Nasscom, while Infosys has retained its revenue guidance at 7-9%. TCS has started FY15 also on a very strong note by recording a 5.5% sequential revenue growth in US dollar terms for the first quarter with volumes growing at 5.7%. Infosys on the other hand grew its revenues only by 2% in the first quarter, with volumes growing by 2.9%. Wipro’s IT services revenue grew by 1.2% and the company does not give full year guidance.
TCS, Infosys, Wipro and HCL Technologies together account for close to 40% of India’s IT services revenues, but the degree of separation between the four have started to tell a story of its own. TCS ended FY14 with a