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A US$ 200 billion opportunity in core ICT awaits India

IBEF:  January 04, 2021

While addressing the Digital India Awards 2020, President Mr. Ram Nath Kovind stated that it was the technical advancements that enabled the country drive through the challenging hours in the pandemic. “Technological developments are sometimes referred to as 'disruptions,' but they enabled us towards a significant extent address the great disruption in 2020.”

The country has been able to reduce pandemic challenges by proactively introducing platforms such as Arogya Setu, e-Office and video conferencing facilities enabled by a strong ICT infrastructure. He also said that, even in the most remote corners of our world, we must harness technology and ICT-driven transformative solutions to help economic inclusiveness and social transformation.

In 2020, IT services companies and B2B tech startups in India drove digital transformation in the operations to boost the unprecedented growth across industries. Supported by NASSCOM, the Indian government and service providers ensured uninterrupted "work from anywhere" and generated optimism in actively supporting and implement new applications from offshore locations. Business process major Hinduja Global Solutions, for example, succeeded in transitioning 40,000 employees to “work from home” model in the US, UK, Jamaica, Philippines and India within two weeks. Smaller companies such as KaarTech continuously delivers broad SAP deployments and integrations Almost entirely from offshore locations. Tech Mahindra CEO and industry veteran Mr. CP Gurnani said, “Companies were used to working from more than a dozen offices, as, now they are active from a hundred thousand offices, i.e. homes of people!”

In 2021 and beyond, this new reality offers an amazing vision of development for service providers. with previous implications data and application protection having been resolved, people are working from hundreds of locations in India and partnering with several global locations to deliver customer applications, processes and technical solutions as the demand is accelerating across geo locations.

In the third quarter of 2020, CLSA estimated that technology investment at five major US banking and financial services firms increased by more than 5% and global telecom companies' statements are upbeat with commercial 5G network deployments on track for 2021 with significant population coverage, including in India planned for 2021. The deal pipeline is strong for players in overseas services such as Globant and EPAM as well as the major Indian adopters and will continue to expand as the post-Covid recovery takes place. The new US administration would also ease the pressure on visas helping Indian companies encourage consulting and offshore services at a faster rate.


A robust digital reengineering service demand is expected to emerge from clients, globally and in India. There will be a place for all creative players in 2021, with open ecosystems of large and start-up players being the theme. By 2025, the service sector will be well on its way to a potential market opportunity for a US$ 300 billion market. To complement the US$ 300 billion in services, the target is to establish a US$ 200 billion capacity in the country. Core ICT will include semiconductor design and manufacturing, optoelectronics, IoT sensors and new server groups and server blades to encourage the large-scale 5G implementation, investment in industrial electronics to allow the movement of autonomous, connected and electric vehicles.

With the Productivity Linked Incentives (PLI) allowing major investments by national and global players, 2021 is the time to place this industry segment on a positive track that will push a strong "Atmanirbhar" movement and allow the country to switch from just software to hardware along with integrated software and firmware and be a strong contributor in the global core ICT industry of multi-trillion dollars.

Industry players are also focusing on accelerating Artificial Intelligence investments across all segments of the economy, along with the comprehensive ICT emphasis. Industry players are aiming to create new collaborative models for manufacturing, healthcare, telecommunications and agriculture through robust frameworks and ground-breaking innovations. With the active participation of the industry players along with supporting government initiatives, the next financial year is expected to establish an environment of open innovation and progressive public-private collaborations to provide the industry with US$ 250 billion opportunity. Post this, there will be a US$ 500 billion in ICT and a trillion dollars in digital India within scope.

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