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IT Industry upbeat on 2002

V. Rishi Kumar

``In fact, recent developments have been factored in and we are seeing signs of significant recovery. In the next two quarters, we expect more positive outlook,'' says Mr Ranjan Chak of Oracle India.


SHRUGGING off an extremely eventful year 2001 where slowdown was the buzz-word, the IT industry looks at the year 2002 and beyond in a more positive frame of mind to leverage emerging opportunities.

The Chairman of IT services major, Satyam Computer Services Ltd., Mr B. Ramalinga Raju, while cautioning against complacency, said it was heartening to note that Indian companies had carved out a niche for themselves in software development and were now in some cases competing with big five global consulting firms.

The Executive Director of India Development Centre, Oracle India, Mr Ranjan Chak, said that the IT sector had already put behind the 9/11 incident. ``In fact, recent developments have been factored in and we are seeing signs of significant recovery. In the next two quarters, we expect more positive outlook,'' he said.

Mr Raju, who has successfully steered his company through this challenging year creditably, with the second quarter registering a growth of about 100 per cent, said Indian companies would have to watch out the potential threat coming from China. ``If we are complacent, we will lose the competitive advantage,'' he felt.

With regard to the inherent advantage the big five consulting firms had in their ability to handle a broad spectrum of technological excellence, Mr Raju said that it was a matter of time before Indian firms would be in a position to further scale up operations and hone skills, possibly covering range of activities.

On the issue of losing out on cost advantage, Mr Raju said though this could perhaps be the case, alongside, the Indian companies would be able to bridge the technology gap and take on the best in the business. That meant, they would continue to be competitive.

The Managing Director of Wilco India, and member of Wilco International board, Mr Shakti Sagar, said there was a huge untapped business potential out there, particularly with India continuing to provide cost advantage for software development and software solutions.

Ideally, India can play a significant role in terms of remote processing solutions and become a processing solutions hub for global corporations such as ADP Inc. In this context, we are in the process of scaling up our operations, Mr Sagar said.

The Managing Director of PortalPlayer and President of Hyderabad Software Exporters Association (HYSEA), Mr J.A. Choudhary, said that the Indian advantage was recognised globally and the recessionary trend in a way further consolidated its position to make a significant contribution.

Mr Chak said that amongst the biggest gainers in the last quarter 2001 had been the dotcoms which only reinforced the fact that the e-economy was here to stay and all those who had good support network would be able to gain from this. ``The hype is gone, but the e-business is real. Travel, hospitality, entertainment, education and other sectors are all benefitting from this,'' he said.

Referring to certain recent announcements in the Indian context with regard to M&A, Mr Chak said this itself was a big endorsement about the changing perception in the Indian IT sector. As more companies sought to make their systems more efficient to bring savings in cost, the IT sector would be the beneficiary. This could be seen from MNCs talking about growth.

Mr Choudhary said that as companies sought to address cost-related issues, the only way out was to outsource and gain from Indian companies as they were the best-suited to address this issue.

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