Indian Software Exports – Confusion is good for India


There was a Edit Page Column in Financial Express today quoting Digit Magazine that US Commere Department talks of $ 1+ Billion import from India while NASSCOM, CII and others talk of 5-10 times larger; indirectly it was hinting that software story is all “bogus”.

It is unfortunate that the Magazine, as well as the learned Columnist did not understand the dynamics. Let me explain

We all know for years that Indian IT is getting lot of attention from many serious people; it is all not for nothing. Deep players know that there is a significant under-reporting; no errors, no scams but the very nature of operations is such. Many MNC’s develop software products here; what should be reflected is the value of the software NOT the wages paid. That is why our software revenue is small (2-3% of global software business).

But it is GOOD for India.

We should be in “stealth” mode. It will help to deflect any anger due to job loss; more important, it will ensure that our young software professionals do not develop arrogance. Also, it will avoid any misguided politician or official starting to bleed the industry by false taxation.

In summary, let million people think we are too small; that is the ONLY way to grow big.

Kiran Karnik had the best reaction “Let Americans think that we export ONLY $ 1 Billion. It suits us”

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