India has been experiencing a boom in information technology since the late 1990’s, making IT a significant industry in the country. However, this growth in information technology is not a fluke; India’s government has actively promoted the IT boom by investing in education and product development, and in structuring tax incentives to benefit those companies which have embraced IT as an industry. Although the worldwide economic slowdown has impacted the growth of information technology, the industry shows no signs of deterioration.
IT, which is a field of constant innovation, benefits from having a rigorously educated and versatile workforce. To this end, India’s government has sponsored Software Technology Parks, which produce cutting edge software designed by homegrown engineers. There are twenty-three software technology parks spread across India, including Jaipur, Delhi, Noida, and Gandhinagar. The parks were initially set up by the Department of Communication & Information Technology in 1991, and have achieved the stated goal of boosting software exports. In the fiscal year of 2008-09, the total value of software exports was estimated at between $48 to $50 billion dollars.
India’s highly trained fleet of math and science college students, of which approximately 135,000 graduate each year, forms the backbone of India’s information technology support services, which has brought the country a tremendous amount of business from overseas. Fluent in English, trained in a variety of software, and capable of troubleshooting in real time, India’s IT support is world-renowned. Despite the amazing numbers of students who graduate each year, some firms predict that India will actually experience a shortfall in labor. This surprising prediction is based on the fact that many college graduates leave India for positions overseas that allow them a higher quality of life. However, the sustained growth of the IT industry has produced a middle class in India, making the increased retention of graduating students a greater likelihood.
The world economy, which experienced a notable drop at the end of 2008, has slowed but not stopped the growth of India’s information technology industry. Indeed, instead of the double-digit growth that the industry was showing in the previous few years, growth is now predicted to remain in the single digits. While most nations struggle with dismal cuts in their industries, India’s ability to still grow, albeit at a slower rate than before, is notable indeed.
Because India’s government and private industry are united in their goals to further promote and grow IT as a major part of the industry, India is likely to become the major innovator in global information technology. As stated earlier, India is already posting incredible record exports, and the influence of so much concentrated effort will undoubtedly have an impact on future hardware design. Because IT is so highly changeable, with no one company able to truly monopolize the field for any longer than 18 months to 2 years, India’s investment in brain power and technical expertise will only serve to benefit the country’s information technology industry in the future. Look out, Microsoft and Google; India is on its way!