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The BBC's Marcia Hughes reports
"You cannot afford to be reactive you have to be proactive..."
 real 56k

Tuesday, 24 July, 2001, 15:45 GMT 16:45 UK
India tech sector pitches for UK business
India IT workers
The IT sector has driven growth in the Indian economy
A high-level delegation of Indian businessmen has arrived in London to nurture links with UK companies.

The businessmen represent the information technology sector, which remains one of India's star performers.

It is estimated that the revenue of Indian firms from IT-related services will exceed 62bn by 2008.

The IT industry is also a prime mover of growth in the Indian economy, according to the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), which helped to organise a Commonwealth Indian Investment seminar on Monday.

"The economic growth at 6% (achieved last year) is the second highest in the world but we must grow faster and quicker at 8-9% on a consistent basis to make an impact," said CII president Sanjiv Goenka.

India's advantages

UK industry is increasingly turning to the resources that India can provide in the IT sector.

In particular, British companies are swayed by the availability of local computer programmers, technicians and other skilled professionals who demand lower wages than their UK counterparts.

Infosys Technologies Ltd, India
Infosys has demonstrated India's competitive advantage
The war for talent in the IT sector has provided a golden opportunity for India - home to some of the brightest IT professionals in the world.

Infosys, a global name in the IT sector, says the key to success is to allow high-calibre Indian employees to lead the business, while developing global partnerships at the same time.

"It has used the advantages in India, in terms of availability of talented people, in terms of the global delivery model, in terms of a 24-hour work day and providing value for money for the customers," explained Narayana Murthy, chief executive of Infosys Technologies.

Shared knowledge

Many of India's businessmen visiting the UK hope to share their knowledge and discuss how to build and sustain a competitive advantage in the IT sector.

"I hope out of this, we can continue to build many partnerships among companies to move in the area of labour reforms and reforming infrastructure, particularly the power sector," said Mr KV Kamath, chief executive of ICICI.

They are also promoting their plans to demonstrate how UK financial services companies can outsource their IT to call centres in India, for example.

"You cannot afford to be reactive you have to be proactive," added Mr Kamath.

Information technology has transformed the banking system in India and made banks more competitive, said Mr Murthy during the keynote address at the seminar.

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See also:

20 Jul 01 | Business
Indian firms defy tech slowdown
10 Nov 00 | Business
Global search for IT skills
10 Jul 01 | Business
Infosys profits jump
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