NTT Data, a global IT and business services provider, is intensifying its focus on India, emphasizing it as an important component of its global expansion strategy. The company’s ambitions for the Indian market include crossing the billion-dollar revenue mark in the next few years, NTT DATA leadership told BW Businessworld.
Priorities in the Indian market for the Japanese-headquartered global company revolve around increasing data center capacity with a special emphasis on high-density power data centers and edge computing. NTT Data anticipates the convergence of multi-cloud environments, edge computing and AI in India, with a focus on serving hyperscalers investing significantly in the domestic market.
With a workforce of 40,000 employees, India stands out as the largest employee base outside of Japan for NTT Data.
While recognizing India’s historical significance as a cost-effective destination, NTT DATA’s leadership has emphasized a shift towards recognizing the country’s exceptional quality of talent spanning from full-stack developers to consultants.
Speaking to BW BusinessWorld, NTT Data (North America) CEO Bob Pryor highlighted India’s important role in the company’s global operations, with around 27,000 employees serving clients primarily in the American market. The focus extends beyond cost considerations to the significant value that the Indian workforce brings across domains including consulting, application integration, infrastructure and business process outsourcing.
“India’s place globally in technology is dramatic and substantial. So, the quality of skills, education and technology-related training and development, is really important to our business.” – Bob Pryor, CEO of NTT Data (North America).
Pryor said NTT DATA’s commitment to employee development in India is clear, with substantial investment in recruitment and training initiatives. He said the company’s strategy includes advanced training not only for programmers but also for data scientists and professionals with advanced degrees in various disciplines.
Meanwhile, Aamir Durrani, Executive VP of Digital Operations at NTT Data emphasized India’s key role in the company’s growth strategy. He highlighted the transformation of the Indian market from primarily a cost-based hub to becoming a source of high-value expertise, noting that niche areas important to the company’s operations are expected to flourish in India.
“As we dive into generative AI, we believe we will continue to leverage more and more skills outside of India. The niche areas we are looking at, we believe we will be able to build those skills more successfully in India. Any other in the world Rather than place,” Durrani said.
The Indian market has also emerged as a hotspot for NTT Data’s data center business, with Durrani noting that demand is so high that data centers often sell out before completion. The company now faces the challenge of meeting the rapid pace of demand in a region where data infrastructure is becoming increasingly important.
Despite the slowdown in global IT spending, NTT Data’s data center business remains a beacon of profitability, investing billions a year to meet the insatiable demand for data storage and edge computing, Pryor said.
Slow year in IT
Credit rating agency Icra recently said it expects a moderation in revenue growth in the Indian IT services industry due to uncertain macroeconomic conditions prevailing in key markets such as the US and Europe. Estimates indicate a range of 3-5 percent in USD terms for FY2024, a significant decline from the 10 percent growth witnessed in FY2023. This slowdown is expected to continue over the next few quarters, contributing to an industry-wide slowdown in hiring activity. The trend appears to persist globally as well.
CEO Pryor acknowledges the subtle impact of economic changes on various areas related to IT. “While North America experienced a slowdown in (IT) spending, business for NTT Data continued to grow in Japan and other areas,” he said.
Industries such as insurance and healthcare proved to be strong, against cutbacks seen in sectors such as banking. NTT Data’s adaptability to various economic trends positions the company to weather the storm, especially in the face of declining discretionary spending and an expanded decision-making landscape, Pryor added.
VP Durrani, focusing on the US market, emphasized the heightened focus on cost management. The company has seized opportunities in outsourcing and automation, using generative AI to deliver transformative solutions at minimal or no additional cost to clients. And despite pressure on discretionary spending, NTT Data said it has identified and capitalized on growth opportunities, particularly in cost containment and efficient management.