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Communications of the ACM

India Region Special Section: Big trends

The Growth and Evolution of India's Software Industry

India map in a floating circle, illustration

Credit: Shutterstock

The development of the Indian software industry is an archetype of how economic liberalization combined with an entrepreneurial spirit can build an industry that today contributes as much as 8% to the GDP of a fast-growing country like India. On the back of thousands of IT services companies that were built over the last three decades, the industry has generated US$177 billion in revenue and more than US$135 billion in exports in FY 2018–2019 alone. The IT industry has also created over four million direct jobs and 12 million indirect jobs in India. A testament to this growth is the fact that the largest Indian IT services company is currently valued at over US$100 billion and generates over US$20 billion in revenue.

Over the years, the Indian software industry has matured from providing cost-effective back office support to driving the digital transformation agenda ahead in global companies. Increasingly, leaders of more than a thousand global enterprises across the U.S., Europe, and other locations have realized India's potential and have set up their own IT or R&D centers to take advantage of the vibrant Indian software ecosystem.


Rudolf Olah

It would be nice to see a Canada Special Section in CACM since it seems like it's a chance for a country to promote its own IT and software development industry, seeing as this article is mainly highlighting the success of the IT industry.

It would have been nice to learn what difficulties, if any, startups in India face in terms of growth and acquisition, and how Indian firms have shifted to a focus on quality in specific details rather than the hand-waving of "we focus on quality, we scored high on CMM capability levels". Are there Indian startups that have turned into market leaders on par with Google, Facebook, Amazon? In Canada for example, we have Shopify and we *had* BlackBerry and Nortel as market leaders at some point.

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