Someone forgot to tell China that there was a recession in the global economy. Most of the industries of south-east Asia is shifting its base to China. While the IT sector is abuzz with job incision and dearth of sales, China is planning to achieve substantial growth rate of the domestic IT industry. Compared to this, the Indian IT industry, which is heavily software-oriented, is experiencing the effect of downturn in a big way.
In India, when the larger IT companies which were earlier dependent more upon export market, are looking at the Indian domestic industry, the GIS companies are following the other way. They prefer to be more export centric rather than being largely domestic sector-oriented companies. Although this may lead to some compromise on their level in the value chain, but it means dollars in revenue terms. In last three years, we have seen that the companies like RMSI, Infotech Enterprises, HOPE, Infodesk Manipal, etc. who had some domestic focus beside the export focus, have started leaning towards the export markets.
The sale to a government enterprise is a tough exercise, it generates a very slow cash flow which is many a times unsustainable for small organisations and it often translates into the net loss for the company. Still, it is only through these projects, companies enrich their experience in the domestic market, utilise the opportunity of doing some high and value-added works here. This experience makes them mature to take up similar projects abroad. Unfortunately, government is often perceived (and many a times behaves) as box clients rather than solutions clients.
Although, more than two years back, our government announced that the ministries should spend 2% of their budget on IT, but it is yet to be implemented. Now at the time of recession, it may seriously review the situation. The spatial data providing organisations such as the Survey of India, which are basically service provider to the government, must be a service provider to the public. This will facilitate availability of more spatial data in the public domain that will be beneficial for the growth of domestic GIS industry.
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