Technological Disruptions and the Indian IT Industry: Employment Concerns and Beyond

  • Hastimal Sagara
  • Keshab DasEmail author


Internet of Things (IoT) industry is one of the most dynamic sectors in India. This US$ 150 billion-strong industry employs 3.8 million people and contributes more than 9% to Indian GDP. However, this largest private-sector employer has been experiencing stress due to fast-changing business models, increased competition from other countries, restrictive visa policies, upsurge in anti-outsourcing sentiments and, most importantly, technological disruptions. These disruptive technologies—captured in a moment in the history of technological transformations as the Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industrie 4.0—principally include such developments as cloud computing, big data and analytics, Internet of Things (IoTs), automation, robotics and blockchain. While Industrie 4.0 has rendered conventional engineering expertise and low-end IT services redundant, it has the potential of creating new employment opportunities in a host of sectors including administration, banks, retail trade and online marketing. Disruptive technologies have a strong chance of transforming the nature and composition of the Indian IT industry in a big way, including endangering India’s position as the software superpower in the world. Albeit, the Indian IT industry has historically proved itself to be extraordinarily resilient and fortified during turbulent shocks of the dotcom bubble, the sub-prime crisis and US visa restrictions. Based on secondary data, this paper aims at mapping the changing nature and composition of the Indian IT industry during recent years. It tries to identify contemporary challenges to employment and business opportunities in the Indian IT industry. The paper includes policy suggestions for enhancement of relevant technological and skill capabilities in the country.


IT industry Fourth industrial revolution Technological disruptions Internet of Things Robotics Automation India 

JEL Codes

F14 J23 J24 L86 O33 



We express our sincere gratitude to Dibyendu Maiti (DSE, Delhi) for the opportunity, encouragement and comments in writing this chapter. Towards improving the quality of the paper useful comments, suggestions and technical help were received from Pratap C. Mohanty (IIT, Roorkee), Jaya Prakash Pradhan (CUG, Gandhinagar), Itishree Pattnaik (GIDR, Ahmedabad), Tara Nair (GIDR, Ahmedabad), Fulvio Castellacci (TIK Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo, Norway) and Grace Kite (SOAS, London). Detailed comments from Pralok Gupta (Centre for WTO Studies, IIFT, New Delhi) contributed to improving the content and readability of the paper. We are grateful to all of them. The authors remain responsible for any errors and omissions that might remain.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GLS UniversityAhmedabadIndia
  2. 2.Gujarat Institute of Development ResearchAhmedabadIndia

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