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July 8, 1997


IT industry grows by 38 per cent

The information technology industry has recorded a 38 per cent growth in 1996-97 aided by a whopping 81 per cent growth in hardware export, a survey by infotech magazine Dataquest reports.

The survey - The DQ Top 20 - has reported a decline in the domestic infotech industry growth to 22 per cent, from 40 per cent reported in the preceding years.

Describing 1996-97 as the "FUD year" as it was characterised by 'fear', 'uncertainty' and 'doubt', brought in by political uncertainty, low industry production and funds crunch, the survey pegged the infotech industry at Rs 134.34 billion. Domestic spending on infotech was Rs 85 billion.

Releasing the result here on Thursday, Dataquest Editor L Subramanyam said: "That the Indian infotech industry grew at all in this scenario is a surprise; but for the industry generally used to over 40 per cent annual growth, last year's domestic performance will go down as an aberration."

Hardware exports shot up to Rs 13 billion from Rs 3.5 billion. A large chunk of the export earnings, almost two thirds, was contributed by the Tandon group.

Software exports too reported impressive growth of 55 per cent to Rs 35.82 billion but the domestic software industry grew only 25 per cent to gross Rs 16.46 billion. DQ Top 20 also revealed that significant values of software was bundled with the hardware.

The survey has accorded top honours to the Rs 8.7 billion Wipro Infotech as the number one infotech company in the country for the second year running even though the company was categorised as a laggard.

Tata Consultancy with turnover of Rs 7.2 billion was placed second and Tandon group company JTS technology which reported 566.42 per cent growth to Rs 6.22 billion was ranked third.

Tandon group had three companies including JTS in the Top 20. Tata group companies including Tata Information Systems Limited and Tata Infotech emerged as a force to reckon with.

Others who made it to the Top 20 include infotech training companies - NIIT and Aptech. Trouble-striken PCL retained its position as number four in the listing. Software multinational moved into number 14 position.

HCL group companies, including HCL-HP Limited and HCL Consulting which were among star performers last year, was dropped from the rankings as the group did not provide data for each company separately.

The DQ Top 20 further stated that the total number of personal computers and servers sold in the last year was a little less than 506,000. Pentium-based desktops was the largest contributor to the growth of hardware industry. Sales of Pentium machines shot up 422 per cent to 277,000 in 1996-97 from just over 53,000 sold the preceding year.

Price war unleashed by now cash-strapped PCL was the primary reason for ramp up in sales. During the campaign, PCL received bookings for over 30,000 units. HCL and Wipro sold about 8,000 and 5,000 units each during this period.

Among the multinational PC brands, Compaq sold about 33,452 units valued at Rs 3.59 billion.

Acer was close second with sales of 33,036 units for a total value of Rs 2651.9 million and IBM too the third place.

- Compiled from the Indian media

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