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Indian Software Exports logs Rs. 8,600 crore turnover in the First Quarterof 2001- 02

NASSCOM, the representative body of the Indian IT Software and Serviceindustry, this week announced the results of its performance survey for thefirst quarter of the financial year 2001-02. The survey revealed that ITsoftware and service exports during this time generated revenues of Rs. 8,600crore (£1.2 billion) against Rs. 5,670 crore (£830 million) for thecorresponding period last year.

This is encouraging news for the Indian IT industry, and shows that althoughthe downturn in the US economy has effected India, it has certainly not hurt newtechnology companies and the software service industry as much as some feared.

Outward investment, and the offshore model

Indian companies have made the offshore supply of services a speciality. Bycontinuing to provide low cost services, utilising the large pool of highlyskilled IT professionals available, more and more organisations throughout theUS, UK and Europe are outsourcing work to Indian companies. The geographicalboundaries and distance is no longer an issue: The Indian telecommunicationsinfrastructure is constantly improving and developing so data can be seamlesslytransmitted. India also has a natural advantage over Japan, China and theemerging industry in Eastern Europe, namely a common language.

The change in perspective by consumers, in conjunction with the global slump,and the inevitable decrease in expenditure, has proved a bonus for India. 18months ago, IT development budgets allowed for crucial development work to becarried out in-house, or sent to bespoke service providers in Silicon Valley orLondon. Now, CTO’s are looking for cheaper options, and this often means thebetter option, as quality cannot be, and is not, compromised.

Labour Market issues

Anyone who has been reading the Times of India, or any Silicon Valleynewspaper, will be familiar with the new concept of ‘B2B’ - it now means ‘Backto Bangalore’!!! While H1B applications from India have reportedly been on theincrease this year, there does seem to be a growth in the number of candidateseither returning to India, or finding that they no longer have work once thevisa has been issued. Great news for the Indian economy, which was in danger ofdeveloping a skills shortage of its own, but not so good for the graduates whowant to live the California dream.

Destination Europe?

So, what options do these guys have? The job opportunities in the US aredwindling, they still want to travel the world before setting up their ownBangalore/Hyderabad/Pune/Noida consultancy, so why not try Europe instead?

Here there are really two markets: the UK, and everywhere else. OK, theskills shortage throughout Europe is still chronic, but the opportunities aredifferent, depending on expertise, experience, and of course, language skills.

The UK is a home for many Indian immigrants, and continues to bring in alarge number of skilled people - Home Office figures state that just under 25per cent of the 29,000 work permit applications submitted in Q1 financial year2001-2002 were from India, second only to the US with 27 per cent. Many of thesemigrants are in key industries: they are nurses, doctors, IT professionals, butmany are in the not so obvious areas of catering, accountancy and the law.Although there may have been a decline in the need for programmers and morejunior level technical staff, as a surplus of European nationals appears (theBrits are getting sent back from the US as well!!!) there is still a need forsenior level project managers, business analysts, network specialists,especially if they already have experience outside of India.

Elsewhere in Europe, there is certainly scope for an IT to professional tofind work, and in places such as Germany and France, the problem seems to be oneof supply. Language will always be a barrier, as will perceptions of attitudestowards foreign nationals, but anyone who had worked in Germany will tell youthat the conditions are good, pay is good, and the lack of German languageskills need not be a major problem. The German government have again announcedmeasures to relax the immigration laws in order to encourage more ITprofessionals, so it does make sense for a programmer to spend his time on thebench in California brushing up his German, before sending his cv off. France isunfortunately not so pro-active, but is getting better, and there areopportunities out there.

Countries that could make ideal destinations are the Netherlands, Belgium,and the Republic of Ireland, often overlooked in the shadow of their biggerneighbours, France and the UK, but certainly in need of skilled people, and withencouraging immigration laws and a good standard of living.

Setting up in Europe?

Y2K saw a large number of Indian companies setting up in the UK, and somehave had their fingers burned with a downturn which has effected the industryeverywhere. Many of these companies had clients in Europe, and many of them haveseen orders decline, as on-site consultancy and development is dropped in favourof offshore, and property prices mean that having UK development centres is notviable. However, companies who are established in the UK still see that it iscrucial to stay both in the UK and in India. The expense of a European operationis counteracted by the ability to put Indian project managers and a team on aclient site at a moments notice, and the crucial factor of a 24 hour work dayfor their development teams, ensuring rapid project completion.

How can help you

If you are a candidate sitting on the bench in California or in a cyber café in Mumbai, can help in a number of ways:

  • We will asses your cv (resume) to make sure that you do qualify for a work permit/ work visa in your chosen country, and write a letter to confirm this
  • As most countries require a job offer before you can get a permit, although we cannot help you to find work, we are happy to speak to potential employers or recruiters who contact us, to reassure them of the ease of the scheme and how we can help
  • Once you have received the offer, we make the application on the company’s behalf, so they do not have to worry about the hassle, the paperwork, and the red tape

If you are looking to set up an office in the UK or Europe, or have alreadycommitted to doing so, will assist every step of the way:

  • We will assess the best kind of visas/permits for you and your staff, according to your needs and timetable
  • We will introduce you to companies who can deal with your company formation, accounting, payroll of your staff, even take on the role of company secretary
  • If you need to put your plans on hold, but have clients in Europe that you cannot let down, through our sister company Sybersolve Solutions, we can ensure that your technical staff can go to client sites and work legally, without the need for you to establish a presence until economic conditions are right for you. staff in India or the UK will always be happy to answer anyquestions you may have about moving to Europe or the UK...or any of the othercountries we deal with. Please see our contacts page for full details of how toget in touch.