Karnataka logs $17-bn software exports despite meltdown

Karnataka logs $17-bn software exports despite meltdown

"The export performance of the IT industry in the state, especially Bangalore, demonstrates the knowledge sector remains unaffected by the global meltdown and decline in IT spending overseas," state Information Minister Katta Subbramanya Naidu told reporters here.

As India's tech hub, Bangalore accounted for Rs.72,506 crore or 97 percent of the state's total exports, while the remaining Rs.2,423 crore are from tier-two cities such as Mysore, Mangalore and Hubli-Dharwad, registering 45 percent year-on-year (YoY) growth.

India's combined software exports -- spanning services, products and business process outsourcing (BPO) -- grew 21 percent to $50 billion (Rs.2.22 trillion) as against $41 billion (Rs.1.84 trillion) in 2007-08.

Karnataka accounted for 34 percent of the country's total software exports last fiscal.
"The growth is substantial especially in the current economic scenario. The state retains its top position in the sector, including exports," Naidu said.

Naidu said the state had set a target of $20 billion (Rs.1,000 billion) this fiscal. Incidentally, the industry's representative body, National Association of Software Services and Companies (Nasscom), has forecast India's software exports this fiscal to be around $48-50 billion.

According to R. Rajalakshmi, director of the Bangalore chapter of the Software Technology Parks of India (STPI), Karnataka's software export revenues are from the 1,200 firms registered with the STPI and software-related special economic zones.

Eighty-four software units will be set up in the state this fiscal, including 35 with foreign equity, two Indian majors and 47 small and medium enterprises, with a combined investment of Rs.465 crore.

In spite of voluntary attrition and lay-offs in the BPO sector, employment in the software industry in the state increased by 34,000 to 554,000 in 2008-09.

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