IT industry can help raising India’s services exports to $1 trillion a year: Piyush Goyal

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Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

India’s IT industry can play a key role in raising services exports to $1 trillion a year, said Union Minister of Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal.

Goyal said India was on track to achieve its merchandise exports target of $400 billion this year, while services exports were likely to be about $240 billion to $250 billion, which is much lower, but can grow rapidly and catch up with merchandise exports.

“When I look at the trajectory of these – I personally believe this is going to be a race to the top. We can converge $1 trillion. That should be the ambition, mission. You have a little bit of catching up to do. I’ll be delighted if you cross $1 trillion faster than them,” the minister told IT industry leaders.

In the virtual meeting over the weekend, the minister told leaders of the IT industry that they should focus on high-tech products. He said the IT industry had grown spectacularly on its own and many of the top companies grew at a time when India did not focus on creating a favourable ecosystem for start-ups.

Goyal welcomed the IT industry’s proposal to start IT hubs in Tier-2 and Tier-3 towns, which would create numerous jobs and help develop the regions. He said the IT industry should identify the towns, and the Centre would assist them in providing all the necessary infrastructure and facilities.

The virtual meeting was attended by Nasscom President Debjani Ghosh, Infosys CEO Salil Parekh, Tech Mahindra CEO & MD C.P. Gurnani; Srikanth Velamakanni, co-founder and CEO of artificial intelligence technology startup Fractal Analytics; Mphasis CEO Nitin Rakesh; Wipro Chairman Rishad Premji; Genpact CEO N.V. Tyagrajan; WNS Global Services Group CEO Keshav R Murugesh; Mastek CEO Hiral Chandrana and Krishnan Ramanujam, President and Head of Business & Technology Services at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).

IT industry leaders said the sector had seen strong growth last year, and in the past week, strong earnings reported by companies has set a positive tone for the years ahead.