Trade Analytics

Services Sector in India

Latest update: March, 2018

  • Till the global financial crisis of 2008, India’s services exports was registering a good growth for almost a decade.
  • Services export growth reduced to 11.9 per cent CAGR during 2005-06 to 2014-15 from 21.6 per cent CAGR during 1994-95 to 2004-05.
  • As a result of pick up in some sectors such as transportation and business services, services exports grew by 5.7 per cent in 2016-17.
  • In 2016-17, software services exports, which account for 45.2 per cent of total services, declined by 0.7 per cent due to a challenging global business environment and pricing pressure on traditional services.

Note: CAGR - Compound Annual Growth Rate
Source: Economic Survey 2016-17

  • The share of the services sector is 60.7 per cent of the FDI equity inflows during 2016-17.
  • In the periods 2014-15 and 2015-16, growth of the FDI equity inflows for the top 15 services were 67.3 and 64.3 per cent.
  • In 2016-17, growth rate of FDI inflows reduced to 8.7 per cent (US$ 43.5 billion) due to negative growth in trading, computer hardware and software, construction and hotels and tourism.
  • The Government has brought about a number of reforms such as the abolition of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) and the introduction of composite caps in the FDI policy which permits 100 per cent FDI under automatic route for any financial sector activity.

Note: FDI - Foreign Direct Investment
Source: Economic Survey 2016-17



Last Updated: March, 2018

Services Sectoral Report | March, 2018


The services sector is not only the dominant sector in India’s GDP, but has also attracted significant foreign investment flows, contributed significantly to exports as well as provided large-scale employment. India’s services sector covers a wide variety of activities such as trade, hotel and restaurants, transport, storage and communication, financing, insurance, real estate, business services, community, social and personal services, and services associated with construction.

Market Size

The services sector is the key driver of India’s economic growth. The sector is estimated to contribute around 54.0 per cent of India’s Gross Value Added in 2017-18 and employed 28.6 per cent of the total population. India’s net services exports during reached US$ 57.60 billion April-December 2017.

Nikkei India Services Purchasing Managers Index grew from 47.80 in February 2018 to 50.30 in March 2018, supported by growth in the growth in Information & Communications and Finance & Insurance.

As per Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation’s second advance estimates of National Income 2017-18, services sector GVA is expected to grow to US$ 1,266.10 million in FY18.

According to a report called ‘The India Opportunity’ by leading research firm Market Research Store, the Indian mobile services market is expected to reach $37 billion in 2017 and grow by 10.3 per cent year-on-year to reach US$ 103.9 billion by 2020.

Out of overall services sector, the sub-sector comprising financial services, real estate and professional services contributed US$ 305.8 billion or 20.5 per cent to the GDP. The sub-sector of community, social and personal services contributed US$ 188.2 billion or 12.6 per cent to the GDP.


The Indian services sector which includes financial, banking, insurance, non-financial/business, outsourcing, research and development, courier and technical test analysis, has attracted FDI equity inflows in the period April 2000-December 2017, amounting to about US$ 64.10 billion according to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).

Some of the developments and major investments by companies in the services sector in the recent past are as follows:

  • Private Equity (PE) investments in the hospitality industry rose nearly three-fold to US$ 119 million in 2017 from US$ 43.58 million in 2016. Hotel deals, including mergers and acquisitions, are expected to pick up further in 2018 as many premium hotel properties are up for sale.
  • American fast food chain McDonalds is reopening 84 of its closed restaurants, increasing the total number of operational restaurants across north and east India to 169.
  • National Skill Development Corporation has signed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Tourism and Hospitality Sector Skill Council (THSC) and Airbnb to impart hospitality skills training to hospitality micro-entrepreneurs in India.
  • The domestic and foreign logistic companies are optimistic about prospects in the logistics sector in India, and are actively making investments plans to improve earnings and streamline operations.

Government Initiatives

The Government of India recognises the importance of promoting growth in services sectors and provides several incentives in wide variety of sectors such as health care, tourism, education, engineering, communications, transportation, information technology, banking, finance, management, among others.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stated that India's priority will be to work towards trade facilitation agreement (TFA) for services, which is expected to help in the smooth movement of professionals.

The Government of India has adopted a few initiatives in the recent past. Some of these are as follows:

  • Under the Mid-Term Review of Foreign Trade Policy (2015-20), the Central Government increased incentives provided under Services Exports from India Scheme (SEIS) by two per cent.
  • Ministry of Communications, Government of India, has launched DARPAN - “Digital Advancement of Rural Post Office for A New India” which is aimed at improving the quality of services, adding value to services and achieving “financial inclusion” of un-banked rural population.
  • Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India, launched 'DigiYatra', a digital platform for air travellers that aims to develop a digital ecosystem providing consistent service and a delightful experience at every touch point of the journey.
  • The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has launched a services portal, which aims to provide seamless access to government services related to education, health, electricity, water and local services, justice and law, pensions and benefits, through a single window.

Road Ahead

Services sector growth is governed by both domestic and global factors. The Indian facilities management market is expected to grow at 17 per cent CAGR between 2015 and 2020 and surpass the US$19 billion mark supported by booming real estate, retail, and hospitality sectors. The performance of trade, hotels and restaurants, and transport, storage and communication sectors are expected to improve in FY17. The financing, insurance, real estate, and business services sectors are also expected to continue their good run in FY17.

The implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) has created a common national market and reduced the overall tax burden on goods. It is expected to reduce costs in the long run on account of availability of GST input credit, which will result in the reduction in prices of services.

Exchange Rate Used: INR 1 = US$ 0.015 as on March 01, 2018

References: Media Reports, Press Releases, DIPP publication, Press Information Bureau,

Note: # - according to a report by Google India and KPMG

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.

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