Indian IT outsourcing market continues to boom

The Indian IT services and software continues to grow at a phenomenal rate, with the top 20 companies generating almost $6bn last year

The top 20 Indian IT services companies generated $5.77bn from exports in 2003/2004,  a year-on-year increase of 31 percent, according to a report published by the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) and the Indian chamber of commerce.

The growth of the Indian IT services market has been stimulated by multinational companies, such as Microsoft, IBM and HSBC, taking advantage of the abundance of cheap and highly skilled workers. Combined with a business-friendly and stable government, India is quickly growing into one of the outsourcing capitals of the world.

According to the report, which was released on Tuesday, Tata Consultancy Services continues to lead the field; it generated 55bn rupees (£65m), followed by Infosys with 47bn rupees, Wipro with 39bn rupees and Satyam Computer Services with 25bn rupees.

Jerry Rao, chairman of NASSCOM, said the Indian IT software companies are "truly turning global" and represent some of the highest growing sectors in the Indian economy.

"A growth of around 30.5 percent during 2003-04 by the software and services industry has placed this sector amongst the highest performers within the Indian market. The top 20 software and services exporters continue to account for nearly 65 percent of the total IT software and services exports," Rao said.

However, the figures are slightly exaggerated because the US dollar's value has declined significantly over the timeframe. But even when measured in rupees, the overall increase is around 25 percent.

Kiran Karnik, president of NASSCOM, said it is not only the very large Indian firms that are doing well: small and medium sized firms have also shown strong growth. But he expects some of the smaller firms to break into the "billion-dollar export league" sooner rather than later.

"Two Indian companies are now in the billion-dollar export league, and we expect a few more to join them in the near future," Karnik said.