Slowdown makes it difficult to project IT industry’s growth

Slowdown makes it difficult to project IT industry’s growth

Bangalore: Growth projections for the Indian information technology industry this fiscal could at best be a guess as recession deepens in the US, the world’s largest technology market, according to S. Ramadorai, chief executive of Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS), India’s largest software services company by revenue.

“I think it is impossible to predict what is really happening, because we are living in times where everything is unpredictable," Ramadorai told reporters on Sunday.

In July, India’s main software industry lobby, the National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom), had projected software and business process outsourcing (BPO) exports to grow between 21% and 24% this fiscal, slower than the 28% growth in 2007-08.

India’s software and BPO exports reached $40.4 billion (about Rs1.96 trillion) last fiscal. Since then, the US has witnessed a collapse of financial institutions such as Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., and the world’s biggest economy has tipped into a recession.

India’s own economy, which has grown at an average annual pace of 8.9% in the past four years, is also slowing under the impact of the global turmoil, hurting corporate profits and forcing companies to put investments on hold.

On 4 December, S. Gopalakrishnan, chief executive of Infosys Technologies Ltd, India’s second largest software exporter, said the industry would grow by around 15% in FY09.

“I cannot say anything right now, because of the current situation in the marketplace. Any number anybody gives, let me tell you, is a guess," said Ramadorai. “Overall things are in a bad shape. Right now, nobody knows anything... So we have to watch and play it by the day," he said.