Indian Software Exports Hit $40 Billion

Industry is facing a talent crunch by 2009.

Indian software exports grew 29% to cross the $40 billion mark in the fiscal year just ended despite global economic turmoil, the National Association of Software and Services Companies said July 9.

IT export growth for the fiscal year ended March 31 was down 4% from the previous fiscal year, with earnings sharply reduced after the rupee gained more than 12% against the dollar in 2007.

The U.S. is the biggest market for Indian software and service exports, which are forecast to hit $60 billion 2010. But the software services industry was able to weather a U.S. economic slowdown down fuelled by a housing loan crisis by diversifying into new areas and growing the domestic Indian market, explained Som Mittal, the president of the industry group.

Last year the domestic software services market grew by 26% to almost $12 billion, taking the industry as a whole past the $50 billion mark.

Software and services revenue is supposed to grow between 21% and 24% in the current fiscal year, a decrease Mittal attributed to the industry's larger base and ongoing global economic uncertainty. "The first round of growth is always easier," he said.. "The next 10 years is going be structurally very different." Additionally the industry would need to compete harder by adopting automation and increasing services in other languages in order to continue to post high growth.

Mittal is also concern about a talent crunch and said the industry would have to increase its training efforts. The industry currently employees two million people but Dun and Bradstreet has estimated that the industry would face a shortage of half a million skilled workers by 2009.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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