Indian IT sector gears up for growth opportunities in 2021
Shows resilience even as Covid-19 throws curveballs in 2020
New Delhi: Covid-19 may have thrown curveballs this year but the $191 billion-Indian IT sector has shown resilience and 2021 promises more growth opportunities as digital spends go up to tackle the challenges amid the 'new normal'. Rapid rise in corona cases at the beginning of the year led to governments enforcing lockdowns in various countries, including India. This posed twin challenges for Indian IT firms - how to ensure business continuity for customers and how to ensure safety of their own staff. IT firms like Infosys, Wipro and Tech Mahindra booked chartered flights to bring home employees and their families, who were stranded overseas due to the pandemic and visa issues. And almost overnight, IT companies - big and small - embraced work from home. There were initial hiccups but almost 98 per cent of the IT workforce was working from home at the peak of lockdown in India. Internal meetings, customer engagements and townhalls moved online.
"2020 has been a year of a lot of change and uncertainty... (but) technology is no more being seen as just an enabler, it has become much more integral. "We were able to transition to a new hybrid operating model with very less downtime for our global customers that has enormously proven the capability of the Indian IT industry," Nasscom Senior Vice-President and Chief Strategy Officer Sangeeta Gupta said. She added that customers appreciated the resilience of the industry and IT companies too continue to be agile and hungry for business.
There were concerns that the pandemic might have an impact similar to the one seen during the 2008 financial crisis. The global health calamity had sparked concerns that clients could cut down on their IT budgets to save costs. As the new fiscal began, IT majors - right from Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys to Cognizant - presented a cautious outlook. They said that all campus offers would be honoured but salary hikes and promotions were put on hold. Infosys and Wipro suspended their practice of providing revenue growth outlook citing an uncertain business environment.
Unlike the 2008 financial crisis, where technology and the economic crisis were in intertwined and technology spending dipped amid economies slowing down, year 2020 saw technology adoption growing much faster than economy and businesses. "The linkage between technology and economic downturns has got decoupled. This reiterates that technology is going to be integral for future growth," Gupta said.