There is enough headroom for the Indian technology sector to grow. Adoption of technology will keep increasing to give the industry enough opportunity to grow in future, according to Mr K. Natarajan, Vice-Chairman, Nasscom.

There have been scepticism, especially in the media, in the recent past that the ‘time is over’ for the Indian IT industry.

“There may be short term challenges, including global economic turmoil. However, I am optimistic that the industry has the potential to reach nearly $500 billion in a few years,” he said.

According to research firm McKinsey, the Indian IT industry is likely to grow nearly three times to reach $300 billion by 2020. Very few industries have such large headroom to grow, he said at Surge 2012, leveraging IT for growth, an initiative of Nasscom Emerge.

“Tell me one industry, which has grown from $100 million to $100 billion in the last 15 years,” he said.

Mr Natarajan, who is also the Managing Director and CEO of MindTree Ltd, said the key for entrepreneurs in the IT industry is to know their customers and try to solve their problems using technology. “You need to be innovative and know your customers well,” he advised the large number of start-up entrepreneurs present in the audience.

There is huge opportunity for small companies to build technology around cloud, mobility and big data, he said.

Three challenges

In his welcome address, Mr Som Mittal, President of Nasscom, said that there are three main challenges for the industry. The first is that there is a global turmoil, and the industry need to live with it. However, this will create a new business environment and new emerging markets.

The second challenge is creating standarised products for customers and the third is to focus on customers. This is the world of ‘hyper-specialisation,’ he said. All these challenges give new opportunities for small and medium-size enterprises to leverage technology, which has a multiplier effect on the industry.

“We also need to refocus our energy on the India market and bring in the global learning here,” he said.

This year’s event has been renamed as Surge (last three years it has been EmergeOut) to represent the changing times, he said.

In his keynote address, Mr C.K. Ranganathan, Chairman and Managing Director, CavinKare, advised the young entrepreneurs to continuously innovate and come out with ‘leading edge’ technologies.

raja@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on June 26, 2012)
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