Change in government ignites IT sector hopes

The Indian IT sector has welcomed the astounding victory of BJP led NDA (National Democratic Alliance) and its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in Lok Sabha elections 2014. In a statement NASSCOM has said that it welcomes the new NDA government at the centre and reiterates its commitment to work closely with the government in catalysing a technology-led transformational agenda for India.

Calling the 2014 elections as a landmark for India, NASSCOM stated that NDA's victory reflected the democratisation of politics through usage of social media, high voter engagement, youth participation and the consensus of the Indian voter to provide a stable government over the next five years.

According to R Chandrasekhar, President, NASSCOM, the Indian IT-BPM sector is a key driver for India’s exports and employment and has demonstrated robust performance over the past two decades. The recent emergence of a rapidly growing ecosystem for innovation driven by young, tech savvy entrepreneurs is a powerful new complement to the existing global reach of the industry, Chandrasekhar noted.

Banking on these strengths, Chandrasekhar said, “These strengths should be used strategically to achieve many of the critical national goals for the country. We look forward to working with the new government to build policies and programmes that enable the industry to play its destined role globally as well as in the development of the country and while doing so, enable the industry to grow to its full potential and contribute even more.”

IESA (The India Electronics and Semiconductor Association) has also extended its full support to the NDA's vision of development, growth and e-Governance, making India a manufacturing and innovation centre for domestic and global players in the electronics industry.

“We envisage encouragement to the industry and focus on building fab units and electronic manufacturing clusters with an investment potential of over Rs75,000 crore in the short term and cumulatively employing 2.8 crore people by building the local ecosystem within the next 10 years,” said Ashok Chandak, Chairman, IESA.

“R&D needs a boost to make way for more patents and products made in India. Additionally, declaring electronics as a priority sector, addressing the disabilities ranging from 7-26%, strengthening the fabless product ecosystem and encouraging domestically manufactured electronic products are important initiatives the industry is looking forward to,” said MN Vidyashankar, President, IESA.

MAIT, the IT manufacturers' association, also has high hopes of the new regime. “MAIT would like to congratulate Narendra Modi for steering the BJP to victory. The new government will have new demands, new expectations and a fast-growing array of new technologies and tools. The BJP has to span resources and expertise to spur ICT growth in the country. Narendra Modi has always advocated increased use of technology in governance and digital literacy,” MAIT said in a statement.

“With the BJP in power, they can aggressively promote technology adoption among different stakeholders, foster technology enabled e-governance initiating the citizen-government interface, which has direct synergies and linkages to manufacturing spurring market growth, employment and standard of living,” the statement said.

Given the tech savvy image of Narendra Modi, IT industry bodies have high expectations from the prime minister-designate. According to Rajat Jain, MD, Xerox India, elections this year have been unprecedented and people have given their mandate for a strong and stable government, and corporate India is looking forward to a decisive government that can fast forward the process of reforms.

“These reforms are to do with simplifying the processes in doing business in India – easing fiscal situation and tax issues, FDI in multiple sectors, more banking licences and creating an ecosystem that makes India an investment-friendly destination as well as create more jobs for the youth,” Jain said.

Pointing at the positive vibes and signals in stock markets with rupee appreciation coupled with growing optimistic sentiment among the business community, Jain added, “We all look forward to a scam-free, corruption-free socio-economic and political environment that promotes businesses and makes India a developed super power by 2020.”

Given the clear mandate that the NDA has won and the relative political freedom with which the new government can drive its agenda, the industry as well as Indian citizens will not only have high expectations—but they would want those expectations to be met in double quick time.