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Nasscom lowers IT sector growth forecast, defers guidance

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15 February 2017

India's IT industry will grow at a slower pace in the current fiscal squeezed by global headwinds, industry body Nasscom said, even as it refused to quantify the expected revenue for the sector.

Nasscom also deferred guidance for the next financial year (2017-18) by a quarter, as the headwinds rise.

Nasscom had, earlier, revised down its fiscal 2017 revenue growth target to 8-10 per cent from an initial 10-12 per cent and growth could be in the lower end of the revised growth target, according to Nasscom.

Nasscom President R Chandrasekhar said the association will come out with its guidance for the IT and the business process management sector in the next quarter, most probably in May, once it is done with "deeper interactions" with customers and other stakeholders.

But he did not quantity the revised number. Nasscom had revised down its fiscal 2017 revenue growth target to 8-10 percent from an initial 10-12 percent as the headwinds started emerging.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the inauguration of the annual Nasscom India Leadership Forum, he said factors like change in policies in the largest market of US under a protectionist Donald Trump regime cold hit the sector hard.

He, however, said positives like an expected doubling of global IT spend to 5 per cent from 2.6 this fiscal year would help the industry grow.

Nasscom had forecast an overall revenue growth of 8.6 per cent in the IT sector to over $155 billion this fiscal year, Nasscom chairman C P Gurnani said, asserting that the sector is still a "growth industry" and has a "good future".

He dismissed notions of uncertainties, but said "the rate of change is unprecedented" which is causing the deferment of the outlook for next fiscal.

Gurnani, who heads the fifth largest firm TechM, said the industry lobby could have given a wider target between 6 and 10 per cent but has chosen to arrive at a better picture.

Speaking about non-linearity, Gurnani said the number of direct employees has grown 5 per cent to 3.8 million this fiscal year as against an 8.6 per cent revenue growth.

Due to the digital disruption taking place in the technology sector, a massive re-skilling exercise will have to be undertaken and up to 1.5 million employees will have to be re-skilled over the next two-three years, he said.

Gurnani maintained that for the industry, digital revenue is growing at 1.5 times faster and now constitutes 14 per cent of the total revenue stream.





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