India has now become the fourth largest country in terms of Internet users. The country’s Internet subscriber base has crossed the seven-million mark. An accelerated 29 per cent growth in Internet connections has led to an addition of 1.6 million Internet connections.
The Internet subscriber base of the top 10 Internet service providers crossed the seven-million mark, even though it fell short of the three million new Internet connections target set by the industry, according to the findings of a recent survey on the Indian IT industry by leading industry journal ‘Dataquest’. The survey was part of its four-part annual survey.
The industry attributes high installation charges for the slow increase in Internet proliferation. Of the Top 10 ISP providers, only VSNL recorded a drop in Internet connections and revenues during the year.
The personal computer industry maintained its 24 per cent growth with sales of over four million computers. A low cost PC under Rs 10,000 piece became a reality in the year. HCL, HP and IBM/Lenovo were the top PC brands selling nearly 38 per cent of the personal computers in the year.
A drop in laptop computer prices to below the Rs 35,000-mark saw sales grow by 168 per cent, led by HP, Lenovo and Toshiba.
According to the survey, the Indian IT industry logged in total IT revenues of Rs 164,652 crore ($37.3 billion) in the year ended March 31, 2006, recording a growth of 33 per cent in rupee terms. The industry showed a remarkable growth across all segments. The IT services and BPO industry exports grew 33 per cent to record revenues of Rs 87,951 crore. The domestic IT industry went up 28 per cent to report revenues of Rs 56,141 crore.
The Top 5 IT companies – Tata, Wipro, Infosys, HP and HCL – collectively grew by 29 per cent, thus accounting for a third of the total Indian IT industry. The growth of the top five IT groups in the previous fiscal was 41 per cent.
The IT training industry recorded a growth of 14 per cent to log in revenues of Rs 1,453 crore. NIIT strengthened its leadership as the No.1 IT training company with revenues of Rs 450 crore and recording a market share of 31 per cent.
External potable storage devices, external hard disks, and pen drives, drove demand for storage devices led by corporate executives. Non-traditional storage devices like digital cameras and MP3 players got the push from the consumer side.
Led by 59 per cent growth during the year, Indian consumers bought 232,265 digital cameras from Kodak, Sony, Canon, Olympus and Nikon. Prices of digital cameras have dropped to below Rs 10,000. According to Dataquest estimates, the grey market accounted for nearly 30 per cent of the total digital market during the year.