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August 3, 1999
Narayana Murthy warns Indian IT of global competitionInfosys Technologies Chairman and CEO N R Narayana Murthy has warned India of stiff competition from other nations that are rapidly developing skills in information technology.
He has advised India to continue its aggressive posture in software exports to ensure that its advantage in software development is not eroded.
He pointed out that there are at least seven to eight countries including Israel, Ireland and China that are competing with India for garnering chunks of the global software requirement.
Speaking on 'Software Exports from India - Opportunities and Challenges', he said though there is an increase in the volume of business since the liberalisation process began in 1991, "We have still a long way to go and the government is on the right track."
He stressed the need for improving the domestic software market as a vibrant local market to attract investments and sustain exports.
Murthy said despite boasting of big names within the country, Indian software companies are not able to gain recognition internationally. To achieve this, there should be a high level of transparency and good corporate governance for attracting global investors.
From onsite development, India has moved to offshore markets for foreign companies. However, this is capital intensive and steps should be taken to generate adequate capital as software exports could tremendously help in boosting foreign exchange reserves.
Software exports are growing at the rate of about 40 to 50 per cent in the country and to match this growth, there is a need for more skilled labour.
For increasing exports by a billion dollars, the software sector needs at least 40,000 developers.
Referring to the challenges in achieving higher exports, he said Indian companies need to be proactive and adaptable to changes and should keep pace with the technological developments.
He said that as against global software export potential of $400 billion, India's achievement was only $2.5 billion last year and it is expected to be about $3.75 billion this year.
India should keep pace with the tremendous growth rate and step up exports to $50 billion within the next eight to ten years, he added.
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