India A Small Player In IT Sector

New Delhi | Updated: Apr 30 2004, 05:30am hrs
Indias IT services exports are only two per cent of the worldwide IT spending despite the global focus on the countrys offshoring capabilities, merchant banker Goldman Sachs said in its latest report. The report added that the IT workforce of the country could grow to 2 million in 10 years.

Indias software and services export industry makes up only about two per cent of the worldwide IT spending, the report said.

The IT sector contributes only three per cent to Indias GDP but is slated to account for 8-10 per cent of the GDP by 2008, Goldman Sachs said.

Although a small player in global IT services, these exports are crucial for India as they have a profound impact on its balance of payments.

The software and services export clocked an annual growth of 30 per cent in 2003 and constituted 32 per cent of the total exports, it said.

Estimates point out that the supply of IT professionals will outstrip demand by 48,000 in 2008 suggesting that a healthy supply of IT workers will also curb wage inflation pressure, the Goldman Sachs report said.

IT professionals make up only 0.1 per cent of Indias labour force, it said.

Indias knowledge-worker population has increased to 650,000 software and services professionals currently from 6800 in 1986, it said.

Though a significant proportion of the jobs offshored from the US could go to India, it would not be an answer to the countrys broader labour sector woes.

Beyond IT, offshoring opportunities exist in a number of industries including accounting, financial services, medical services and pharmaceuticals. In pharmaceutical sector alone, offshoring opportunities could double by 2007 to roughly $50 billion, the report said.

Estimates of the potential number of US offshorable professional services jobs range from 3-4 million over the next decade, the report stated. Even if this number were doubled to consider potential offshoring jobs from other parts of the world, that would only represent 1.5 per cent of Indias labour pool, a drop in the bucket, Goldman Sachs said.