IT industry can double in size in 4-5 years: Vijayakumar

Sector can grow by $200 bn, says HCL Technologies’ CEO

The Indian IT industry has the potential to double in size over the next 4-5 years by capturing about 20% of the projected trillion-dollar incremental spending on technology during this time, according to C. Vijayakumar, president & CEO, HCL Technologies.

“If you look at all the projections, there is at least a trillion dollars of incremental spend in the next 4-5 years,” he said at a Nasscom event.

“I think, as an industry, we should get at least a 20% share, which means $200 billion growth over the next five years,” he added.

“It could potentially double the industry,” Mr, Vijayakumar said speaking at the Nasscom Technology and Leadership Forum 2021.

Infosys CEO Salil Parekh and Wipro CEO Thierry Delaporte, who were also part of the discussions, expressed similar views.

“There’s a perfect understanding of the fact that technology plays everywhere, not only on the IT side, but on the business side, not only in driving productivity but also in connecting with customers, on creating new business, new stream of revenues and so on. And so, the potential is enormous and therefore my view… it is…how able will we be to leverage this potential. That is the real question,” Mr. Delaporte said.

He, however, added that one of the challenges to growth could be around how much talent is available, and hence, there is a need to invest in reskilling people to ensure employees are adapted to the evolution of technology.

“But, the potential is there, doubling in several years seems to be a reasonable assumption,” Mr. Delaporte added.

Mr. Vijayakumar added that for scalability of the industry, it’s very important to look at platform-based services. “I think that’s definitely one trajectory in which we could look at growth…we should recognise that software products is the largest profit pool in the tech sector. I think that’s an untapped opportunity for us as India-heritage companies.”

Replying to a query, Mr. Vijayakumar pointed out that if we look at the total IT services market, 85% of the IT-services spend is focused on 15 countries in the world.

“And if you look at Indian IT services, we may have a fair share in about five or six countries. So, there are many countries where we are under-represented.”

Mr. Parekh added that localisation was a ‘critical element’ of globalisation as clients, especially large global enterprises, were looking for delivery capabilities across multiple geographies.

“That’s the approach we think we should follow in making sure that we support them in those geographies and ensuring the consistency.”

On the growth seen in the IT sector, Mr. Parekh added, “The thing that’s really changing is all large enterprises are looking at digital and cloud transformation, and that, for us, is the key that’s driving all of this growth,” he said.

“What we see today, for example, in the last quarter, we saw digital growing at over 30%, and that’s the critical element for us as we see the enterprises emerging through all of these changes.”

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