The top five Indian providers grew 13.3 percent to reach $34.3 billion in 2012, exceeding the IT services industry growth of 2 percent according to Gartner. The growth decelerated for both industry groups, from 21.8 percent and 7.7 percent, in 2011.
“Cognizant displaced Infosys to become the second-largest Indian IT services provider and Cognizant experienced the highest growth rate among the top five providers with an increase of 20.1 percent in 2012,“ says Arup Roy, research director at Gartner. ” TCS closed in on the top 10 worldwide market share leader, with less than $1.5 billion separating it from the 10th ranked provider, Hitachi.” Cognizant was followed by Infosys followed by Wipro and HCL technologies.
The growth rate of India-based providers has been slowing for some years, but in 2012 this trend was more pronounced. This growth rate is still quite high compared with the IT services worldwide, or the growth of the top 10 global IT services providers. The global top 10 providers are larger in their base revenue and more diversified than the India-based providers. “The top five Indian service providers have continuously chipped away market share from the large multinational corporation providers. In the past five years, they have been winning large outsourcing deals (those with a total contract value of more than $100 million).
Their target customer segment still remains the Fortune 1000 companies. Most of these firms have a large-deal pursuit sales team that goes after deals of more than $35 million in contract value,” says Roy. “There is a strong focus on, and investments in, cloud, analytics, mobility, infrastructure and knowledge processes. India-based providers have become much more aggressive in infrastructure management because it offers them the potential to grow bottom-up within accounts.” Revenue contribution from project-based and staff augmentation deals has continued to decline for the top five Indian-based providers, and the outsourcing service line component has steadily increased. They have also made significant strides in developing industry-specific BPO services through acquisitions and/or organic growth. There is an increasing focus on "integrated services play."
Indian providers use an integrated approach of applications, infrastructure and BPO, thereby allowing them to get a better handle on their clients' IT-business process leveraging, through which they can deliver greater cost savings and drive business value. This allows them to expand their margins as well. All these providers also have a strong focus on infrastructure services, particularly remote infrastructure management services, which account for 65 percent to 70 percent of their infrastructure services revenue. Gartner views Indian players as providers that predominantly have an India-based delivery model and management that is largely India-based. Most are headquartered in India, but there are some exceptions, such as Genpact, Cognizant, Syntel and iGate, which are headquartered in the U.S. However, the delivery, management, operating style and behavior of these companies are like those of other Indian providers.
This success is due to the fact that multinationals commonly adopt a “cookie-cutter” approach to infrastructure services, which are more tailored around the needs of fortune 500 corporations. However, in a market as diverse as India, local knowledge and varying business methodology practices within the market, allow local players to have a competitive edge over the multinationals. Operational costs are also much lower for local providers, even if the multinational hires on the ground, stringent reporting and revenue recognition requirements which is mandatory for multi-nationals, reduce the flexibility which local providers enjoy. Traditionally, in markets such as India, there was a perception that international brands and services meant better quality, however, as indian companies become more competitive and focused on delivery, this brand perception is not so important.
By Angela Sutherland