Over the years, the Indian information technology (IT) sector has contributed immensely in positioning the country as a preferred investment destination amongst global investors and creating huge job opportunities in India, as well as in the US, Europe and other parts of the world. Clearly, the IT sector has played a pivotal role in weaving the nation’s socio-economic fabric and forging strong bilateral ties with the developed countries. Indian companies, in fact, have cemented their place in this industry and differentiated themselves from the global competition on the back of consistent service and guaranteed results.
While there is speculation that nearly half of the IT services workforce will be rendered ‘irrelevant’ over the next 3-4 years, technology adoption has been on the rise for enterprises globally, in the wake of digital transformation of industries worldwide. It is during such times that the role of IT companies as a partner becomes inevitable, as they can either enable clients in becoming platform-driven or deliver outstanding digital experiences for them with their own platforms.
The India-US technology corridor has played a crucial role in forging strong bilateral economic ties with Indian IT companies, supporting more than 400,000 jobs within the US. Hence, it is vital that India works in close cooperation with the US, and that the changes in the latter’s immigration policy be built on the foundation of the collaborative relationship between the two countries.
At the same time, Indian technology companies have set up a large presence in the UK to serve their market and build lasting relationships. India’s increasing focus on innovation and entrepreneurship renders it an attractive destination from a talent standpoint, and equally in terms of market access. This could benefit the IT sector in India, since the UK currently accounts for about 17% of India’s IT exports worldwide.
The sector is in a transitional phase, where in order to sustain its competitive advantage, it needs to constantly upgrade itself in line with global trends. Given the recent developments in the global market for Indian IT services, especially on account of growing protectionism from consumer nations, it is imperative to think differently and collaboratively.
While I truly believe that the current headwinds for the sector are temporary, it is important that we reposition ourselves as not just a cost-efficient service provider, but also as the global innovation hub. In this day and age of large-scale digitisation, Indian IT, with its sizeable talent pool, can lead the next phase of innovation and continue to contribute to the global economy.
The increasing enthusiasm amongst business leaders across the globe, due to the positive impact being created by digital technologies and disruptive innovation by individuals as well as corporations, will lead to a more collaborative approach amongst the countries, to accelerate and ensure success of this next wave of innovation.
The Indian IT industry has gone through and survived difficult times in the past, such as the dot-com bust of the early 2000s and the 2008 financial crisis. I believe that the sector as a whole understands the need to reinvent itself.
While Indian IT companies have shown strong character and readiness to face present day challenges by upgrading their capabilities and offerings in line with emerging technologies and exploring collaborative opportunities with global manufacturers, challenges of the future must also be foreseen, to prosper in this increasingly competitive global environment and to transform our country into a positive India.
The writer is MD & CEO, Yes Bank, and Chairman, Yes Global Institute