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The Indian information technology (IT) services sector has evolved over the last two decades from being a provider of talent and capabilities to partnering with clients in driving critical business decisions and digital transformation, top IT executives said.

“Client expectation has changed over the years from driving operational efficiencies and cutting costs," Thierry Delaporte, chief executive officer and managing director, Wipro Ltd, said on Thursday at a panel discussion at Nasscom Technology and Leadership Forum 2021.

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Covid-19 has accelerated digital transformation across industries and Indian IT services companies have the advantage to lead this wave in helping clients adopt cloud and digital, according to the executives.

“People, passion and innovation are the among the biggest differentiators," said C. Vijayakumar, president and CEO, HCL Technologies Ltd. “As a lot of us work for multiple industry segments, our ability to bring cross-industry expertize is also unique."

Riding on the demand for digital and cloud, IT services companies are also ramping up their large deals portfolio to accelerate revenue growth and more of such deals or contracts are expected as businesses gradually bounce back to pre-covid levels.

For instance, Infosys achieved the highest large-deal win, $7.1 billion, in its history during the third quarter. Infosys signed a large-deal estimated at $3 billion with German automotive major Daimler AG in December, which followed the $1.5-billion Vanguard deal in August.

“We have the advantage in terms of capabilities in digital and cloud as well as skill-sets of the people," said Salil Parekh, chief executive and managing director, Infosys Ltd.

Wipro recently signed a contract with German retailer Metro AG for an estimated $1 billion for over nine years, to drive Metro’s digital transformation agenda. Wipro chief executive Delaporte had said that he will be appointing a chief growth officer, a new role focused on driving the large deal momentum.

Given the rise in demand for technology services, the industry is in a high-growth trajectory and is expected to double in size in the next 4-5 years, said HCL’s Vijayakumar. Much of this growth will also come from products and platforms that help drive innovation and create differentiation. “Software products are an untapped opportunity and are part of our focus areas," said Vijayakumar.

“Infosys is seeing tremendous uptick from clients in the products and platforms space, be it in banking with Finacle or insurance with McCamish Systems," Parekh added.

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