THE federal Government's key export promoter has urged local companies to tap into India's $18.5 billion IT market.
Munish Sharma, Australian Trade Commission senior export adviser for ICT, said the Indian market is ripe for the picking.
"People have the perception that Australian companies have nothing to offer Indian firms and consumers. This is wrong. Local technology companies are highly regarded there," Mr Sharma said.
He said partnerships with India-based companies such as Infosys, Satyam, Tata Consultancy Services and Wipro - which have operations around the world - could lead to Australian technology being used the world over.
"This means the opportunities for your product is not limited to the Indian domestic market," Mr Sharma said.
India's peak IT software and services body Nasscomm is holding its 16th India Leadership Forum in Mumbai next February and Austrade has encouraged local companies to attend.
Austrade and the Australian Information Industry Associationn (AIIA) plan to jointly lead trade mission to the event.
Mr Sharma hopes to attract between 15 and 20 companies to the leadership forum. Last year 10 local companies attended.
Austrade is also organising special pitching sessions for those attending the conference. "We'll take them to meet with systems integrators and resellers in Bangalore and New Delhi as well," he said.
Mr Sharma cited four key areas of focus for local companiess looking to penetrate the Indian market - telecommunications, retail, construction and financial services.
"Technology is used in every facet of life. For example, India has over 230 million mobile phone subscribers and they're adding six million new customers each month."
Austrade and Nasscom were keen on creating more partnerships between Indian and Australian companies. He welcomed Tata Consultancy Services' recent agreement with NSW TAFE to run some of the technical college's courses in India.
He cited the example of Canberra-based ContentKeeper Technologies which sealed an agreement with HCL Infotech, India's largest systems integrator, after a pitching session last year.
India ranks among the top 10 nations in the world for ICT. Its IT software and services market was worth $US40 billion ($46 billion) between 2006 and 2007. Nasscom said that this was expected to grow 31 per cent to reach $US48 billion, by the end of 2008.