India's $100-billion IT industry has not just created world-class corporations, it has spawned the savviest of start-ups. On Saturday, November 30, the Indian Express Group will honour several such successful enterprises and also brilliant individuals whose ideas and perseverance have made the Indian IT space what it is today. The first-ever Express IT Awards, to be presented in Bangalore, will recognise and reward innovation; those that have come up with bright ideas and also those that have successfully transformed them into meaningful business opportunities.
The winners — chosen by an eminent jury comprising comprising Nandan Nilekani, Unique Identification Authority of India chairman, Rajan Anandan, vice-president and managing director, Google India, TV Mohandas Pai, chairman of Manipal Global Education, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, chairman and managing director of Biocon and S Sadagopan, director, International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore — don’t all belong to the IT space. On the contrary, many of them are from the services sector, including financial services, and will be honoured not just for ideating but also creating solutions and implementing them across spaces such as corporate social responsibility, environment and human resources.
While Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah will be giving away the awards, Nilekani and Shombit Sengupta, founder & creative strategist, Shining Consulting, will talk to the guests about leadership and innovation. The Express IT Awards, for which nominations were invited in August, attracted more than 400 entries; knowledge support was drawn from PricewaterhouseCoopers.
India’s IT industry, which has 58% share in the global outsourcing market, has undergone a drastic transformation in recent years with innovation a key factor not just for large IT players, but start-ups as well, as they adapt from the prized outsourcing business model to new business dynamics. Industry body Nasscom expects the IT- BPO sector to hit revenues of $300 billion by 2020 by focussing on emerging markets including India.
There are challenges, however; wage inflation the rising cost of infrastructure, lack of qualified human resources and exchange rate volatility apart from increasing competition from newer geographies in South-east Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. India’s IT and IT enabled services (IT-ITeS) sector employs over 3 million people directly, making it one of the largest organised private sector employers in the country, besides indirectly providing job opportunities to about 9.5 million people. Owing to the uptick in demand in the mature markets in recent quarters, and the emergence of newer locations, the people-intensive IT industry is