Indian IT industry caught in unpredictable times: Ramadorai

December 14th, 2008 - 8:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Dec 14 (IANS) The global meltdown has plunged the Indian IT industry into unpredictable times and a period of uncertainty looms large, according to a top executive at software major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).“It is impossible to predict what is really happening. We are living in times where everything is unpredictable. Such an event (global meltdown) has not happened in anyone’s living memory. So it is such unpredictable times we are living in,” TCS chief executive S. Ramadorai told IANS on the sidelines of a science conference here Sunday.

Declining to predict how long the crisis would last, Ramadorai said the whole world was living in “uncertain times”, and that he would not like to make any guess.

“Honestly, nobody knows anything. Overall, things are in a pretty bad shape right now. Everybody is guessing. So we have to watch and play it by the game,” Ramadorai observed at the centenary celebrations of the premier Indian Institute of Science (IISc).

“It depends on how the economy will grow. The US is in recession. Europe and Britain are in a similar situation. China has slowed down in growth and its exports are suffering. India’s growth has also reduced, as evident from the industry figures for October. So, I think it is impossible to predict what is really happening, because we are living in an environment where everything has become unpredictable,” he said.

Ramadorai also declined to predict how the Indian IT industry would grow this fiscal.“Let me put it this way - any number anybody gives will be only a guess. And my guess is as good as yours.”

In the wake of bleak market conditions globally, Ramadorai said export-oriented IT firms were discovering India as a potential market.

Similarly, he said, the Indian IT industry is also seeing lot of positives: retention levels have increased, compensation packages have stabilisied, and employees are looking at upgrading their professional capabilities.

“Software engineers can attend to lot more training and look long-term to create intellectual capabilities. As customers will look at optimising cost, we as an industry can relate to it effectively and creatively. As organisations, we may reinvent business models.”

Though conditions were favourable for consolidation through mergers and acquisitions despite the downturn, the TCS chief executive said it was too early to say whether it would happen as companies were wanting to retain cash and unwilling to spend much at this point of time.

“Though we will look for any opportunity for acquisition, we are not shopping around for any thing now. The focus is on internal or organic growth,” Ramadorai added.

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