What I Found Out at NASSCOM India Leadership Forum 2014 | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

Posted On March 6, 2014

Conversations at the recent NASSCOM India Leadership Forum 2014 in Mumbai were injected with a dose of confidence and optimism — but were also guarded in their outlook for India’s growth in the global services market this year.

Central to the message is that the industry is on an upswing. I noted that the services players showed more confidence this year than in 2013. NASSCOM projects a range of 13-15 percent overall growth for the services work coming into India this year. (The number includes work sent to Global In-House Centers/captives, BPO and ITO.) That number is slightly up from last year’s guidance of 12-13 percent, so they’re guiding up for the industry in 2014.

What’s Changing?

From an IT perspective, I think the providers’ hope is that discretionary spend will return to the marketplace, driven mostly out of the United States, Canada and the UK. They also believe that there is a strong secular shift in the Nordics and Germany not dependent on discretionary spend, as those economies reach for arbitrage partners to manage their structural talent challenges.

Shaping their Future

I also noted a lot of focus on cloud functions. At last year’s forum, there was a lot of exuberant talk about the cloud. This year cloud talk was backed up by more use cases and growing confidence that the cloud/automation trends can be turned to the Indian players’ advantage.

Specifically they belief that this will result in significant additional systems integration and project work and that the low-cost Indian players are well positioned to capture a disproportionate share of that work.

Most memorable to me is that, for all the enthusiasm evident at this year’s forum because of the Indian players’ capabilities, the topic that captured a significant amount of attention was differentiated growth strategies. There is much interest in how to grow faster. My sense is that the driver for this focus is a trend I’ve blogged about before — the increasing cost of growth efforts in a maturing marketplace.

That said, NASSCOM leaders and India’s services players projected guarded optimism about growth opportunities in 2014.


Photo credit: NASSCOM

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