NEW DELHI: With growth in the US and the UK –the Indian information technology industry’s biggest markets –slowing due to mounting protectionist sentiment, the software services industry body is now trying to tap countries closer home, starting with China.
The National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) and the Consulate General of India in Shanghai co-hosted an event with the Nanjing government earlier this month to promote trade ties between Chinese companies and Indian IT firms. “China and Japan are the second-largest economies and the second-largest IT spenders in the world. We need to shift from our over-reliance on the US and UK,“ Gagan Sabharwal, director of global trade development at Nasscom, told ET.
Nasscom has been trying to expand the industry’s presence outside of the two main markets and planned a series of engagements in different countries last year to act as matchmaker between its members and potential customers. Over the past two years, Nasscom has studied opportunities in China, with some companies already having an established base in the country . Among the issues that hinder progress are misconceptions about China being closed to foreign companies.
“When you go to China you see eve ry good company that has made investments in that geography is making a big mountain of revenues out of China,“ said Sabharwal. “It is not as if China doesn’t buy from outside.China buys from everyone whether Apple, McDonald’s or carmakers.The only difference is that they accept products which are made out of China.“
Sabharwal said the Indian IT industry has made the right start in China.
“We employ 25,000 employees in China, based on industry aggregate. I believe 90% of all those employees are all Chinese today. So we are doing the right thing. We are not trying to serve China outside of China. We are serving China from China…These investments will pay off,“ he said.
The event, which took place on January 13, was attended by about 50 Chinese companies from sectors such as intelligent equipment manufacturing, aviation engineering, smart grids, energy saving and environmental protection technologies, new generation IT, health and big data cloud computing. The Indian IT industry included representatives from Infosys, Wipro, TCS, HCL, Tech Mahindra and covered sessions on artificial intelligence, IT application in the time of internet plus and ecological construction of intelligent industry , the Consulate General of India in Shanghai said in a statement. “It helped us showcase strengths of the Indian IT industry to key of the Indian IT industry to key Chinese stakeholders from the corresponding sectors and provided a platform for regular dialogue between Indian and Chinese IT companies,“ Prakash Gupta, the consul general in Shanghai, told ET.
Nasscom is eyeing the opportunity to service Chinese companies in manufacturing, retail, healthcare and aviation. Within manufacturing, it is looking at automobiles because of the larger IT and technology spending as well as hardware equipment manufacturers. “We are proposing to add on a smart layer of those China-produced products by partnering with an Indian company ,“ Sabharwal said.