India puts on a brave face

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Nasscom’s leadership forum is one of the most important events in the Indian offshoring calendar. Industry leaders from all the top Indian companies gather to chew over the current issues of the market and gain an insight into the nitty gritty of India’s biggest market.

However the landscape of the outsourcing market has changed significantly since the last event. India in particular has been front page news for the wrong reasons and this, twinned with a recession, has caused some to take quite a reserved and calculated stance at this year’s conference.

Nasscom has predicted India’s software and services industry to grow approximately 17% and this has caused a murmur of cynicism amongst industry analysts. Although no one expects India to loose its position as market leader, many believe the predicted growth is a little ambitious. IT spending cuts have been well reported since the start of 2009 and as more focus is placed on keeping jobs at home we will surely see a slowdown in offshoring deals.

This is not to say that the Indian outsourcing market is on the brink of collapse, far from it. However it does appear as if those at Nasscom are being a little optimistic. Our offshoring director, Mark Kobayashi Hillary has already commented on how board level execs from TCS, TPI, HCL and Infosys danced around the issue of the recession and potential impacts.

We all understand the importance of giving up beat, positive speeches at events such as these, after all there is no point in instilling worry amongst shareholders and clients. However I do feel India needs to offer a bit more reality in the way they have approached the issue of the recession and other industry changing events.

Nasscom’s main event should be a time when people can truly thrash out what the industry holds for both India and the market as a whole. It would be disappointing if all we get from this year’s event is “spin”, in other words selected statistics and overly optimistic predictions.

The NOA’s research team is investigating a confidence index for outsourcing, the results will be available later in the year and it will be interesting to have a thoroughly researched perspective.