IT export may grow at 8%; 1.5 lakh jobs in offing: Nasscom

"We expect export revenues to grow by 7 to 8 per cent, not hugely different from a year ago (7.5 per cent), notwithstanding the headwinds we talked about (H1-B visa curbs in USA, protectionism and Brexit)".

In a first, the industry body had deferred giving the growth forecast in February and had instead postponed the same to April-June quarter.

India's software exports are expected to grow 7-8% in 2017-18 as against 8.6% past year, according to IT industry lobby group National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom).

"Manoeuvring through an uncertain phase over the past year, the industry has maintained its status as a key net hirer in the country and global technology and services hub", claimed Nasscom President R. Chandrashekhar at the news conference.

A leading lobby group for India's IT industry on Thursday forecast the sector's export revenues to grow at 7-8 percent for the year to March, around the growth levels seen last year, as the industry faces continued headwinds from the USA market.

Last November, Nasscom had lowered its annual forecast from 10-12 per cent, due to an adverse impact from Brexit in the United Kingdom, the U.S. elections and stressed financial services spending.

Nasscom expects software export revenue to be between $124-125 billion in the current fiscal year to March 2018.

The size of the Indian IT industry is pegged at United States dollars 154 billion, including USD 11 billion incremental revenues added in the previous fiscal, according to Nasscom. According to Nasscom, export growth has started to pick up slowly with improvements in financial services and the high potential in digital businesses. It also said that it is looking to establish a digital skills platform along with its members to re-skill 1.5-2 million people in the industry's workforce in the next 4-5 years.

The industry association, however, admitted that it was imperative for new and existing talent to reskill to prepare for emerging job roles which required new skillsets.

Speaking on the industry growth outlook Mr. Raman Roy, Chairman, NASSCOM, said, "The IT-PM industry in India continues to demonstrate a sustained growth index. I think the industry has grabbed the bull by the horns and is well on its way on the transformational journey to capture the new opportunities in the digital revolution globally", he said, adding that over 50% of the employees of the top firms are already trained in areas related to digital such as cloud, mobility and analytics. This is attributed to a relatively fast adoption of digital solutions by Indian enterprises.

"India's share in the global IT sector is not only steady, but also growing", Chandrashekhar said.

The US and the United Kingdom account for nearly 80 per cent of the country's IT export revenues. It is working to expand opportunities in newer markets like Continental Europe, Japan, China and Africa.

  • Zachary Reyes