Wednesday, September 06, 2006

From A Cyber Coolie to Cyber Czar

One field where India's progress has been phenomenal in the less than last two decades is the IT industry. In 1980s and first part of 1990s, India's slow pace of growth had earned a dubious nomenclature 'Hindu growth rate' from some critics. Nobody not even Indians could believe in their wildest dreams that within such a short span of time, it would earn the honour of becoming a global leader in IT sector. Thanks to web 2.0, the whole world knows that India has one of the highest It professionals - its poor resources notwithstanding.
Firstly India enjoys the advantage of having English-speaking skilled workforce. In addition, the wage structure is heavily tilted in its favour. The bureaucratic red-tape which is the bane of slow economic development was circumvented by imaginative private sector torch-bearers like Infosys and Wipro. They spearheaded against heavy odds the penetration to US and other foreign markets. It is true that in the beginning only work requiring low technical skill such as data entry was available to the then IT professionals - an euphemism for cyber coolies going by the nature of work.
But slowly India has consolidated its strength in BPO, KPO and software development work. A news report in Times of India gives a glimpse of the scenario for the IT industry. "While US tech services firms are likely to post an average profit growth of 7% this year, the growth rate is pegged at 22% for their Indian counterparts, Goldman Sachs said in a report. The analysts anticipate an average growth of 30% for large-size Indian IT companies in 2006 and 2007, as against 8% for their US rivals."It has made IT giants like IBM, EDS, ACCENTURE and ORACLE sit up and pull up their socks to face the challenge. Some even want to be partners of Indian IT companies and are planning investments to the tune of $15 billion. So it is music to the ears of Indian citizens that at least in IT world, the cyber coolie is waiting in the wings to become the cyber czar.
Is it not an incredible achievement?

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