IT industry eyes SMEs for expansion
New Delhi: While the domestic market for Indian IT industry is logging into big times with nearly 28% growth per annum, the IT industry is now chalking out plans to expand their base in the SME sector. Since it’s the fastest growing segment in a developing economy and has a critical impact on regional dispersal of industries, promoting entrepreneurship and employment generation. Having realised their potential, the IT industry is now working towards spreading IT adoption through the softwareas-a-service model (SAAS). ‘‘Under this model, IT will become like a utility service just like cable TV or power supply across the SME segment,’’ says Rajdeep Sahrawat, V-P, Nasscom. The model is already successful abroad. There companies pay for IT systems based on usage, just like they pay for utility services. Experts say, this model will be able to take care of the IT needs of the SME sector. It will be affordable and payments can be made on a monthly basis. This will make it simple and hassle free to use. Nasscom is in the process of identifying SME clusters and plans to take SAAS forward through manufacturing associations and big IT players. ‘‘We plan to create 8-10 reference sites in the next 18-24 months,’’ Sahrawat says. And this will be done with the help of the local state government and big IT players. The problem is although the Indian SMEs are willing to invest in IT, adoption is still very low. This has emerged from a yet to be released study by Nasscom and ACMA on IT adoption in the Indian automobile component manufacturing sector. Hence, Nasscom is gearing up to accelerate IT adoptions among SMEs. It has already partnered a pilot project with Satyam Computer Service in Mallapur, an industrial cluster in Hyderabad. The IT company provides the application platform, host and maintain it, and also provide end-user helpdesk support. The SMEs will only need an Internet connection and a browser to plug in and operate the system, says Subu D, Director and Senior VP, Satyam Manufacturing and Automotive Business. Another similar project has been piloted by Nasscom with Tatas in Adityapur industrial cluster near Jamshedpur.