The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

November - 2002 - issue > In My Opinion

Playing to Win

Gurcharan Das
Monday, July 7, 2008
Gurcharan Das
THE STUBBORN PERSISTENCE of our software exports is a source of some embarrassment to our armchair intellectuals who have been regularly predicting their crash. Instead, they have kept growing by an amazing 50 per cent a year for more than a decade, and even in this worst year in the industry's history they will grow 30 per cent. Any other industry would die for this sort of constancy, and so would our cricket team.

Critics of the industry contemptuously described its work as “body shopping” and surely how could such lowly activity last? Then, it was the Y2K bug that was keeping it afloat; well, the bug went away, but our software industry refused to slow down. Next, they said, the American recession will surely stop it; the recession has hurt, but not to the extent that everyone predicted. Finally, September 11 would be its death knell, but the industry seems to have quickly recovered from this crisis as well.

What accounts for its resilience, I think, is that India has emerged as the only serious candidate for outsourcing software. Philippines is not an option. Ireland has out priced itself. Israel competes in a different segment. China is at least three to five years away. The only thing that could stop India is a war with Pakistan, which would raise the risk of outsourcing to unacceptable levels in our customer's eyes.

The major American companies have doubled their outsourcing budgets, reports the latest Forrester survey. Another report says, “185 of the Fortune 500 companies are now doing offshore work with Indian companies.” Giga expects offshore outsourcing to grow 23 per cent in 2002.

All the major software suppliers in the U.S. (including Accenture and EDS) have recently announced that they are coming to India, which raises the prospect of fairly vigorous acquisition activity.

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