With the US economy doing well, Indian IT companies can look forward to a better year in 2018 on the back of growing tech spend and demand from clients, according to senior industry figures.

Noting that the largest market for Indian IT companies is the US, former Infosys CFO V Balakrishnan said the firms’ ability to grab growth opportunities is critical.

“(The) US economy is doing extremely well. I think they are still growing 2-2.5 per cent — a good growth for that economy,” he told PTI.

“If you look at the Gartner report, they talked about overall IT spend going up 4-4.5 per cent this year. I think there is growth. The ability of a company to take on growth is critical. I think growth opportunities are there,” Balakrishnan added.

He said if the world’s largest economy is doing well, Indian IT companies “have hope”.

“They (the US) are talking about raising interest rates because growth is good, unemployment rate is very low and (US President Donald) Trump is talking about cutting corporate tax, so the economy is doing well. As long as the US economy does well, there will be opportunities for Indian IT companies,” Balakrishnan said.

On Nasscom projecting Indian IT export to grow 7-8 per cent in 2017-18 and domestic market expanding 10-11 per cent, he said “it looks okay for the year”.

“But I think the next year should be good if the US economy continues to do well.”

Another former Infosys CFO, TV Mohandas Pai, said he has read many analysts’ reports in the US that indicate that “the work is coming to big system integrators because tasks have become complex.”

Digital growth

“I spoke to industry people and they say digital work for all big companies is growing in double digits. The rest of the traditional business is not growing much. Digital is growing very rapidly, and for the big fellows, digital is 20-25 per cent of the business. So I think there is good growth.” Pai said.

According to Balakrishnan, the overall yearly global IT spending is around $3.7 trillion.

“Of that, one-third is IT services. So there is still a lot of spending happening on the legacy side, which goes into maintenance and building some core applications. That has not gone away.

“The incremental spending is happening in the digital area, and there companies are building capabilities, trying to play to the ecosystem and go to the clients. I don’t think the legacy services are totally gone. A large part of it is still there,” Balakrishnan said.