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July 10, 1998


TCS zips past Wipro, HCL to breast the tape

A Staff Writer in Bombay

Email this story to a friend. The National Association of Software and Service Companies has reported the 1997-98 performance figures for the industry. But the big surprise lies beyond the numbers. TCS has become the first software company, ever, to scale the peak of the top 20 chart.

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Till now, that glory among the top 20 IT companies was monopolised by those having business interests in only hardware or both hardware and software.

'This feat has been achieved by Tata Consultancy Services with its 1997-98 revenues of Rs 1,083.63 crore (Rs 10.83 billion),' a NASSCOM statement said.

Overall, the industry grossed a revenue exceeding Rs 100 billion for the year. This meant a growth of 58 per cent. Software exports accounted for Rs 65.3 billion and the domestic market fetched Rs 35.1 billion.

The growth in exports calculate to 67 per cent in rupee terms and 55 per cent in dollar terms over last year's figures of Rs 39 billion or $1.15 billion. This growth rate is also the highest ever recorded.

This has been mostly possible because of a surprise shift towards India by companies that globally outsource. Over 158 of the Fortune 500 companies outsourced software requirements to India, the report said.

Exports from Software Technology Parks have increased from Rs 17 billion in 1996-97 to Rs 33 billion in 1997-98.

Also, of the software exports worth Rs 65.3 billion, almost 59 per cent were to the US, 22 per cent to Europe, 5 per cent to Southeast Asia, 4 per cent to Japan, 2 per cent to West Asia and 6 per cent to the rest of the world.

Onsite software exports to US were quite dependent on availability of H-1B visas. The study said that the exhaustion limit of H1-B visas during May 1998 would adversely affect some of the onsite projects.

There has also been a noticeable shift from onsite services to more offshore services in the software exports sector. The offshore services increased to over 41 per cent of the exports, while onsite services contributed to about 59 per cent.

Though the software exports sector did well during the year, the study noted that the domestic software market could not catch up with the revenues of the export market.

The NASSCOM statement blamed political uncertainties, slow economy and several other factors for the relatively slower growth of the domestic market.

The domestic software market aggregated revenues of Rs 35.1 billion as against Rs 24.1 billion in 1996-97.

The study indicated that the major increase in the domestic market came from increased sales of operating systems and office automation packages. The highlights of the year were a 58 per cent increase in sale of ERP packages; 25 per cent in RDBMS sales; 44 per cent growth in the CAD/CAM market and 35 per cent increase in financial packages.

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