Information technology (IT) and internet can enable india to "leapfrog over the development path taken by industrial nations, accelerate growth and catch up with them provided reforms move faster and infrastructure problems are overcome," top US economists have said.
For Indian firms, opportunities to expand business ties with foreign firms could be enhanced through the internet, even though its use has remained relatively constrained, Guy Pfeffermann, director of the economic department and economic adviser of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Robert R. Miller, an IFC consultant and author of a paper on the subject said.
One rapidly expanding business for Indian companies, they note, is the provision of back-office services to international clients. The task involves a wide number of industries, including, airlines, banks, insurance companies and medical establishments.
Currently, India employs between 50,000 and 100,000 people in what are termed "internet-enabled services," producing $500 million in export earnings. Growth has been so rapid in this segment that experts anticipate employment of well over one million within ten years, generating income of $10 billion.
According to the paper, venture capital in Indian high-technology firms has increased steadily year after year-from 20 million dollars in 1996 to 750 million dollars in 2000, Reliance Industries gets special mention among companies and institutions which have realized the value of the new communications technologies.
Also lauded are India's Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) and ICICI.