Indian tech riding out economic storm

But will Nasscom be so confident this time next year?

But will Nasscom be so confident this time next year?

The Indian software and services industry will continue to grow despite the economic downturn, according to the country's outsourcing trade body, Nasscom.

The organisation is predicting a 16 to 17 per cent growth in the market in the 2008/9 financial year, despite the impact of the global economy during the second half of the period.

Nasscom predicts the industry will hit $47bn in export revenue (excluding domestic market and hardware) in the year ending in March 2008. Factor in domestic revenues, and this rises to $60bn.

Looking further ahead, Nasscom predicts export revenue will hit $60bn to $62bn by the end of the 2010/11 financial year, showing a rise of around 30 per cent over two years.

Speaking to silicon.com, managing partner at analyst group TechMarketView, Anthony Miller, said that despite this continued growth, compared to 30 per cent annual growth prior to the downturn, it's a significant slowdown.

Miller feels Nasscom's figures are likely to be fairly accurate. He said: "They probably didn't need to rub the crystal ball too much to come up with those numbers. The big question is what about the next year [2009/10]?"

"In March 2010, [growth] is going to be lower. It might not even reach double digits, although the major players will," he said.

Miller added that recent events at Satyam are likely to have an impact. He said: "The whole Satyam saga does cast a bit of a pall over the Indian offshore sector to be sure and I have no doubt that that will have some impact on customer decisions."

However he added this impact is unlikely to be extensive or long term.

Miller also noted that although growth in the sector is lower than in previous years, it is still likely to be faster than more traditional onshore players.

"In other words, the Indian [players] will gain share in most of the major markets during the next couple of years."

In a statement, Nasscom president, Som Mittal, said: "Due to our strong fundamentals and as a derivative of the value we add to our global customers, the Indian industry will continue to grow in spite of global slowdown."

Nasscom vice chairman Pramod Bhasin, added the organisation will continue to focus on developing talent and building skills as well as green IT and corporate governance.