In the year 2016, some of the headlines proclaiming that the death of India’s most vaunted Information Technology industry was becoming a commonplace.
“India’s massively successful software services industry… died on Friday after a short battle with newer digital technologies,” Bloomberg columnist Andy Mukherjee wrote in October 2016.
Some of the predictions about the demise of the India IT industry were hardly new though. As they already started appearing a decade or so ago, when it became a clear that the labor arbitrage enjoyed by India’s IT companies was working on vanishing and business was moving elsewhere, to the Ireland and Philippines among some of the others, as some of the western corporations embraced a global delivery model where the vendors located in different time zones maintained and services their system around the clock.
But in the year 2016, albeit briefly, it has seemed much more like the game was up. Some of the market leading company that is Tata Consultancy Services has already announced near-zero growth in its business and Infosys, once the industry bellwether has slashed its full-year forecast for the second time in three months.
Marquee firms were the missing forecasts and reporting a slowing of business. It seemed uncertain if India IT major would be able to keep the utmost pace with the demand for the shift to a new environment where the digital technologies like the mobile, social, cloud and analytics.
“Fundamentally, our customers are responding to disruption in their value chain, since their clients and end-customers have gotten used to the ease-of-use offered by consumer tech interfaces from the likes of Apple, Amazon and Netflix and are demanding similar capabilities from their banks and energy utilities,” says Rajan Kohli, president, Wipro Digital.