Friday, 11 December 2015

Information Technology: The Indian Lion Roaring in Africa


Information Technology: The Indian Lion Roaring in AfricaInformation and Communication Technology (ICT ) is comprehended as a catalyst for development and is high on the agenda of many African governments. The IT companies in India are eyeing $35 billion opportunities in the sprouting African market to grow business as they wish to diminish dependence on the U.S. and the U.K. markets, which currently accounts for about 80 per cent of their revenues.   The African ICT sector is anticipated to triple by 2025, rising in value to $80-95 billion, and Indian companies’ engineering capabilities, experience with thrifty innovation, and ability to train employees at scale makes them exceptionally wellpositioned to flourish in this thriving African industry.


“Africa presents a huge opportunity for us. There are 50 plus countries with a population of over one billion people. Information and Communication Technology (ICT ) is seen as a catalyst for development and is high on the agenda of many African governments,” Shivendra Singh, VP - Global Trade Development, National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) said.   “A lot of large infrastructure projects are coming up in Africa and hence a lot of demand will be created for IT services. It’s a big opportunity for Indian companies and a lot of them are looking at forming partnerships in the region. Besides, there are other verticals such as healthcare and e-governance where Indian IT companies can contribute,” Mr. Singh said. According to Nasscom, the partnership will help Indian companies “de-risk from over dependence on the English speaking markets” and it will enable African countries to leverage the maturity of Indian companies, at the same time given them access to large pool of specialist manpower at the mid management level.  

India-Africa Synergies India's top software services companies are investing big in Africa, enthusiastic to win customers and market share in a continent that is home to fast-growing enterprises and under-developed technology infrastructure. Enticed by the growth potential of African economies and their mushrooming interest in technology, companies such as Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys and Wipro are fast increasing their employee base and delivery centres in a market that was earlier observed as a low-cost, near-shore delivery site to serve large outsourcing customers in Europe and West Asia. Furthermore Indian companies have a first-mover advantage within Africa’s ICT sector, and their moderately long history in Africa has ensued in an expansive Indian ICT footprint throughout the continent.

Indian ICT companies like Bharti Airtel, Essar, Tata and Wipro have a noteworthy presence in Africa, yet much room exists for mid-sized enterprises to enter the industry, usually by associating with local service providers. Recently, Indian software companies Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys and Wipro all prolonged their operations and delivery centers in Africa, implementing low-cost models in strategically situated delivery centers to assist outsourcing customers in Europe and West Asia. While the bulk of Africa’s ICT spending emanates from South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, and Ghana, many Indian ICT companies are expanding to countries like Ethiopia, Uganda, and Malawi. These investments are prompted by Africa’s accelerated ICT needs, the continent’s growing urban middle class, and the increase of Western and Asian multinational corporations into sectors like manufacturing, telecom and natural resources, which demand IT support systems and infrastructure.

Generally, Indian companies with low-cost, innovative business models have been particularly successful in attaining business from enterprises dedicated on mobile technologies, e-governance, skill development and social media.   India's top software services companies are investing big in Africa, enthusiastic to win customers and market share in a continent that is home to fast-growing enterprises. An upsurge in ICT infrastructure excites growth in all African industries and accelerates enterprise innovation, efficiency, and job creation. Indeed, Kenya’s Communications Authority estimates that since 2013, the country’s increase in internet access–which is considerably driven by public-private partnerships–is projected to have created at least 1,000 jobs a month in the business process outsourcing subsector.

One of the main challenges posed by Africa’s ICT sector is the retention and training of skilled workers, yet Indian companies including Tech Mahindra, Infosys, and Wipro have addressed this hurdle by working in partnership with universities and offering internship programs that expand their talent base. If Indian companies can leverage their engineering gift and experience to train African employees at scale, these companies may own a substantial long-term advantage over Chinese companies that oftentimes rely on skilled labor originating from outside of Africa. Read More...

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