Information Technology (IT) is the most influential sector in the Indian economy and its contribution is growing rapidly. During fiscal year 2014-15, the IT sector overall in India represented more than five percent of the nation’s gross domestic product, and was the largest donor in export of services. Today the IT sector employees nearly 35 lakh employees.
According to the most recent Economic Survey by the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), IT-BPM (Business Process management) industry revenue grew 12 percent last fiscal year to $119 billion (U.S.) with the export market alone accounting for $100 billion (U.S.). It is expected that industry revenues will continue to grow between 12 and 14 percent during this fiscal year. India’s technology start-up and software product landscape is also experiencing a time of “hyper-growth.” Over the last 12 months, India was ranked the world’s fourth-largest start-up hub, with more than 3,100 new business ventures.
During the past 25 years, India has become the world’s outsourcing hub. Between 1991 and 2001, the share of export in overall IT production increased from 19 to 45 percent. In 2008 it climbed to 67 percent, and reached 81 percent last year. This level of growth didn’t just happen. It was brought about by some clever individuals and groups who saw opportunity and worked hard to achieve success. Below are a few of the success stories in the Indian IT sector.
Launched in 1981 by tech-pioneer NR Narayana Murthy and a few friends, with a meager start-up capital of $250 (U.S.), Infosys has grown to become a world leader in consulting, technology and outsourcing. Infosys is now India’s second-largest IT services organization. The company initially had just seven employees and one client — they now have hundreds of clients and 180,000 employees around the world.
Infosys’ founders were frugal as they grew the company — they didn’t use cars and avoided expensive hotels. The company grew parallel with the Indian IT industry over last three decades, but it was essentially after the reforms of the 1990s that they saw exponential growth and were able to grow the business with ease, including imports, travel and client acquisitions. Infosys is now headed by Dr. Vishal Skava and has a market capitalization of more than $42 billion (U.S.) with annual revenues of $9 billion (U.S.). Infosys has a global presence, with offices spanning Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa, and the United States. In 1997, Infosys became the first Indian company to be listed on the NASDAQ exchange.
As an innovation-driven company, Infosys has a well-diversified product and services line. Their products and services are directed mainly toward digital consumers, emerging economies, new commerce, and healthcare. Their new applications are based on the latest technologies, including cloud computing, mobility, big data, rich media and social media.
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)
Headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra, TCS is one of the world’s leading companies in IT services and digital and business solutions. TCS was founded in 1968 as a division of the reputed Tata Group (founded in 1868 by the legendary “Father of Indian Industry,” Jamsedhji Tata). Since 1968, TCS has grown into a multinational juggernaut operating across 46 countries and employing more than 320,000 people.
Measured by 2013 revenues ($80 billion U.S.), TCS is India’s largest IT services company and the second-most valuable technology services company in the world. In 2014, TCS was listed as one of the “Top 10 Global IT Companies.” TCS is presently headed by N. Chandrasekaran, one of the most well-known faces of the Indian IT industry.
TCS offers a vast range of products and services. They’ve leveraged their growth with technology-based products such as Exegenix Intelligent Document Conversion Solutions, Support Central — Business Social Productivity Platform, digital certification service, knowledge management software, certificate validation server, and solutions related to call management and file authentication. TCS also provides various customized solutions for banking and other financial companies, and different kinds of infrastructure service and IT services for small and medium scale enterprises.
TCS has established itself as one of the fastest growing brands in the United Sates. In May, 2015 TCS was ranked as the 57th leading brand in the United States. The ranking was given by Brand Finance in its second annual Top 500 U.S. Brands Survey where companies are evaluated on the financial value of their brand name, intellectual assets and trademark.
Established in 1945 in Mumbai, Wipro was the brain child of Mohamed Premji who began operations as a manufacturer of vegetable and refined oils. (The company logo still has a sunflower, reflecting their original business.) After Premji’s death in 1966, his 21-year-old, Stanford-educated son, Azim Premji, took over and began shifting the company’s focus into India’s nascent IT and computing industry. The company name was officially changed in 1977 from Western India Vegetable Products to Wipro.
Today Wipro is a renowned multinational IT consulting and system integration services company. Their emphasis is providing IT solution services, system and network integration, and software solutions for various corporates and SMEs. With a market cap of $35 billion (U.S.), Wipro is one of India’s largest publicly traded companies, and the world’s seventh-largest IT services firm. Established in 175 cities across 67 countries, Wipro employs almost 160,000 workers, and services more than 900 of the Fortune 1000 companies. Revenues for fiscal year 2015 were $7.5 billion (U.S.) and are expected to increase during the coming year.
Wipro’s IT division is divided in two main parts; Wipro Technologies, a global service provider, and Wipro InfoTech, which acts as a strategic integrated IT solution partner for various clients throughout India, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region.
Wipro has achieved a number of milestones and awards including Asia’s 2014 IP Elite for developing and rolling out world-class IP strategies. 2015 has been a year of accolades winning the Gold Award for Integrated Security Assurance Service (iSAS) at the 11th Annual Info Security PG’s Global Excellence Awards,” the Best Managed IT Services, and Best System Integrator in the CIO Choice Awards in India. Wipro’s future also looks bright, In October of last year they signed one of the largest IT services deals in history, a $1.2 billion (U.S.) agreement with ATCO, a Canadian Energy & Utilities Corporation.
HCL Technologies Ltd. (HCL)
Often called Hindustan Computers Limited, global IT services company HCL offers solutions in consulting, enterprise transformation, infrastructure management, business process outsourcing, engineering and R&D. Headquartered in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, HCL spans the globe with offices in 31 countries and industries ranging from aerospace and defense to logistics and hospitality.
Established in 1976, HCL is a classic corporate success story. IT Pioneers Shiv Nadar and Arjun Malhotra, along with 4 of their other batch mates, left well-paid jobs to chase their dream. Raising money for the venture was a challenge, and they initially funded HCL with a mere ₹ 187,000 ($2,815 U.S.).
HCL’s big-break occurred in 1977: The Janta Party came to power and implemented controversial regulations that resulted in IBM and other foreign multinational corporations exiting the country. HCL rushed in to fill the vacuum left by IBM. In 1979 HCL’s worth grew to Rs. 3 crore as they entered the realm of international business by expanding into Singapore, and they haven’t looked back since.
HCL’s main emphasis is on “transformational outsourcing” with modernization and value creation for its customer. The HCL enterprise consists of well-known subsidiaries HCL Technologies, HCL Info Systems, HCL Healthcare and HCL Talentcare. HCL is India’s fourth-largest software firm and currently employs more than 105,000 professionals in 31 countries with annual revenues in excess of $6.5 billion (U.S.).
ITC INFOTECH (ITC)
ITC is a relative newcomer to the list of successful home-grown Indian IT companies, launched in 2000 as a fully-owned subsidiary of the U.S. conglomerate ITC Limited. Headquartered in Bangalore, ITC’s success is based on an outsourcing model of delivering end-to-end solutions and services in such areas as banking and financial services, consumer packaged goods, retail, manufacturing, airlines, hi-tech and hospitality.
With fewer than 6,000 employees ITC might be thought of as a relatively small fish swimming in a big pond. They have an impressive services-delivery footprint, however, in more than 140 countries. Such an impact would not be possible without highly-motivated and skilled employees. ITC nurtures their employee development through well-established training and development programs. Their objective is to ensure each individual “a wholesome and challenging job profile, thereby constantly aligning individual aspirations to organizational needs.” In 2009, ITC became the first Indian IT company to receive the prestigious Social Accountability (SA) 8000:2008 certification. SA8000 is widely accepted as the most viable and comprehensive international workplace management system.
ITC is considered as one of the Top 100 Global Outsourcing Organizations in the world and is ranked among the top 10 Specialty Application Development Providers by Global Services, CMP Media. Apart from that, ITC is also listed as a leading player in the field of CRM and CPG space.
The major Indian IT players above currently earn significant portions of their revenue from foreign clients, and export volume continues to grow at a rapid pace. However, India is also fast becoming a prime destination for e-commerce which will result in more jobs and an increase in GDP. Look for these home-grown companies to once again be on the leading edge of that new opportunity.