NASSCOM lauds tech industry for 2 lakh new hires despite economic slowdown
India's technology sector is projected to grow 7.7 percent to $191 billion in this financial year ending March 31, 2020, NASSCOM revealed in its annual strategic review on the sidelines of the ongoing Technology and Leadership Forum in Mumbai.
While it is a slight dip from last year's 8.1 percent growth, the industry body reckons that a 7+ percent growth is "strong" and "commendable" in times of an economic slowdown. The sector also generated exports revenues of over $147 billion in FY20.
Businesses driving the industry growth are IT services and tech-led startups, mainly in ecommerce (which recorded the highest growth of 25.6 percent), SaaS, AI and deep tech. India is currently home to 9,000+ tech startups, the third largest hub in the world.
It has four SaaS unicorns and over 1,600 deep tech startups. SaaS revenues crossed $1.5 billion last year, while deep tech revenues have surged 65 percent in five years.
On Wednesday, NASSCOM President Debjani Ghosh told select media,
"The industry has created two million direct jobs in the last decade, with a 3x multiplier effect on indirect jobs. Over 10,000 tech companies were born between 2009 and 2019. India now has 8.84 lakh digitally skilled employees, with 2.05 lakh net new hires in FY20."
India's tech workforce now stands at 4.36 million, and the country continues to be a preferred destination for Gulf Convergence Council (GCC) countries. Not only this, but 20+ global unicorns have also set up their R&D centres here.
These international companies are strengthening their innovation pipeline by filing patents in India and also making investments in new-age startups. Domestic startups raised $4 billion in collective funding in FY20, NASSCOM stated.
On Wednesday, Electronics and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad praised the sector's performance and termed it a "great beginning" for the next decade.
Digital transformation and skilling for growth
Digital acceleration and transformation emerged as a key growth driver for the industry in FY20. Digital now accounts for nearly a third of any organisation's overall revenues, registering a 23 percent growth last year.
Enterprises spent over $2 billion domestically to accelerate digital transformation.
Re-skilling and upskilling have been identified as key focus areas going ahead for organisations to align their business models to modern digital practices. About 1.5 percent of learning and development budgets of companies was deployed on skilling.
NASSCOM pointed out that almost 50 percent of total deals in the sector in FY20 had "some or the other digital component". Essentially, tech is driving new business.
"We often hear about how AI is killing jobs. But, that is not true. AI is changing jobs and creating new jobs. The focus on re-skilling and upskilling is to ensure that as jobs change, we are prepared for it."
"People are the biggest asset of this industry. The more we invest in our people, the more we stand to gain," she added.
India's top CEOs have identified three core areas for increased digital spending in 2020 and beyond. NASSCOM hopes to "evangelise innovation" in these sectors through its initiatives.
These include cloud computing (to enable digital at the core of the enterprise), data / AI / ML (to augment customer experience) and cybersecurity (to improve efficiency and transparency).
NASSCOM is also taking measures to drive policy advocacy to advance trust, innovation, and ease of doing business in the country. "Our role continues to be that of transforming the industry. When the world thinks digital, they have to think India," Chairman Keshav Murugesh said.
Given India added a staggering 500 million+ internet users in the last decade, that may not be a very difficult goal to achieve.
(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)