It's the 60th year of our Independence, and look at what we have achieved. We have an extremely prosperous technology sector, and mind you, it doesn't show any signs of slowing down. Our economy in general benefits from our advancements, with every vertical now becoming IT enabled.
Back in the late 60s, we didn't have much to offer. However, much has been done since. We've now moved up the value chain with premium services, and everyone knows of our achievement, and our perseverance.
"IT is turning out really well. We currently offer close to $30 Billion of software export, and I definitely think that in the next ten years, we should be doing $300-400 Billion in exports," said Ganesh Natarajan, vice chairman, NASSCOM.
The IT industry, as is apparent, is also creating immense opportunities. According to Natarajan, the industry employees close to 20 lakh people, and when you speak of indirect employment, the employment figure becomes ten fold. Natarajan expects the industry to employ close to a crore in next few of years
F C Kohli, considered by many to be the grand father of IT in India believes that IT has had more than a significant effect in enabling India to become a global player. "One has to realize that the technology is out there not in India, and yet we have to work with that technology at an equal level as everyone else in the world and also provide better delivery and services. The thing is, the quality of human mind in this country is great. We are habituated to learning and absorbing fast. In '68-'69 there was no such thing as a software job, there weren't many computers here. However, we made an effort, got initiatives running and look at where we are now. In order to get where we are, we primarily did two things. We established contacts with universities/educational institutions in the United States and secondly, we worked with professional bodies in order to constantly update our skills. This way we got momentum, and also gained valuable knowledge at the same time," explained Kohli.
Although we've come this far, there is still work that needs to be done. Kohli expects domestic software opportunities to form a major part of software providers' incomes in the coming few years. As of now we still need to work on computerizing more and more Indians, and this is not a distant reality. More and more state governments are implementing technology for the benefit of their citizens, than ever before.
Once the domestic market builds up to the right point, vendors will begin to focus more on this market, and begin offering services and creating products locally. Kohli believes the government will also be a major source of revenue, considering it is now opening up to technology.
" We are now looking at products because we now have a lot of expertise, however when we started it was a different story all together. One cant just come up with a product without industry expertise. But now things are looking up, we already have a great banking product, TCS, also has created software for
for depositories which is currently being used by the South African, Hong Kong and Canadian depositories. Products are coming in, and they will keep coming in. Smaller organizations will come up with lots of interesting products," mentioned Kohli.