According to Indian Brand Equity Foundation, India’s IT industry is the world’s largest sourcing destination on account of its cost-competitiveness. The latest export figures suggest that India’s IT export was 117 billion USD in first three quarters of FY 2017. IT sector has grown significantly since the 1990’s to form a market share of 7.7 % in 2016. It has substantially altered the face and nature of Indian economy since then. India does not only have the skilled manpower in IT sector but is also building an intellectual capital in IT with several global IT firms setting up their innovation hubs in India. With increased digitization and booming of tech startups, India is in a position to lead the world in IT sector.
The importance of IT sector lies in its widespread application across various fields. Once the sufficient IT infrastructure is built, it can contribute significantly to sectors like energy, water purification, transportation, general infrastructure, e-commerce, e-governance, telecommunication, banking etc. The Arab countries have traditionally been oil economies. In the wake of macroeconomic instability due to fluctuating oil prices, there is an urgent need for diversification. A study by McKinsey suggests that MENA region is on the verge of massive digital disruption. The e-commerce is booming in the region. This transformation is led by consumer demand. Countries like UAE are among the top ranks of smartphone penetration. However, there is a huge scope for adoption of digital technologies at general business level. This opens ups a gate of opportunity for India with its IT skill capital for cooperation with the Arab world. An IT vertical at IACCIA is designed to act as a catalyst for furthering this cooperation.