Top officials of tech giant Microsoft have said that the company will be focusing more on government and small business segment to grow its India revenues.
“The SMB (Small and Medium Businesses) segment and the segments around digital India (and) government would be clear areas of focus for us in addition to all the work around enterprise and consumer that we have been doing,” Microsoft India president Anant Maheshwari told PTI.
Maheshwari estimated that the overall information technology opportunities in India stand at USD107 billion. He, though, refused to break down the contribution of the government and small businesses in it further declining to reveal the revenue contribution from India.
He said India is one of the top 14 priority regions for Microsoft and a ‘faster-growing market’.
Microsoft has over two lakh enterprise customers in the country apart from 9,000 partners and also works with 5,000 startups while the government serves the centre as well as 29 states, he said. When asked about home-grown IT companies’ reservations about working with the government, especially with the way contracts are structured and also with regard to timely payments, Maheshwari acknowledge that there are ‘challenges’ in every market.
“In any exciting geography in the world, there are always challenges to do business and India is no different,” he explained. “The government has recognised that over the last couple of years with all the focus on ease of doing business, there are some improvements,” he said. When asked about the implementation of GST (Goods and Services Tax) resulting in some tax notices to IT players, Maheshwari said Microsoft sees the indirect tax reform as a big opportunity.
“There may be some challenges as the tax regime transitions, but broadly for me, I would think of GST as a massive opportunity for anybody who is trying to do digital transition,” he said. The company employs over 8,000 people in the country who work out of nine offices in various cities. Apart from serving the local market, its staff, the largest in any country outside of the US, also serves the global needs, especially on delivery, research and innovation.
(With PTI inputs)