The IT industry is the first and only globally disruptive industry from India. We have created an industry that now contributes 8 - 9 per cent of the country’s GDP. Multi-nationals didn’t notice the growing presence of the Indian IT industry until we were almost a $20 billion industry, but now they have all built an India story which is also good for India.
In the past three decades, we have ridden successive waves on new areas of growth. The next wave of growth is coming through digital transformation and requires new revenue enhancing models, new ideas for customer connect and new business models.
When you look at the future, India will have more product companies. For products business, you first need to have a decent industry size and an entrepreneurial climate, both of which we now have. An entrepreneurial explosion is taking place in the country, with the average age of entrepreneurs coming down steadily.
Another interesting evolution happening is the convergence of products and services. The identity of product and services companies will blur somewhat because, increasingly, many products will be delivered as a service. This represents both an opportunity and a challenge for Indian IT. Two areas which are going to create major disruptions in the future are Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation.
The organic growth rate of the largest Indian IT companies are, inevitably, slowing down as they have become multi-billion dollar entities. Accordingly, there will be many more acquisitions, particularly from large MNCs who need to keep strengthening their India story. Many of the midsize companies’ growth plateaued off early.
Amongst the current mid-size players only MindTree and Hexaware seem to have potential to reach a billion dollar plus, though both will take a few more years to get there than they could have done. Out of the emerging companies MuSigma and Happiest Minds appear to be the only ones with billion dollar plus potential, though it is still very early days for Happiest Minds.
(The writer is Executive Chairman and Promoter of Happiest Minds)