TCS, Infosys, Cognizant, Wipro and HCL pulling away from the rest, improve global standing

Indian IT majors like TCS, Infosys, Wipro, HCL and Cognizant continued their fast ascent in the global IT industry, rising fast in the ranks of world’s top IT firms in 2010, with Cognizant the clear leader in growth.

The biggest jump in rank among India’s top five IT firms was done by HCL Technologies — which jumped 12 places to reach 48th overall in global IT business 2010, said Gartner. Thanks to HCL, all five Indian premier IT providers were in the top 50 of global IT companies.

The top 10 India-based IT services providers saw a reacceleration in growth in 2010, according to Gartner. The top 10 Indian providers grew 19.9 percent, compared with 5.8 percent for the worldwide top 10 IT service providers and 3.1 percent growth for the global market.

The highest ranking Indian firm, as expected, was TCS or Tata Consultancy Services, which improved its rank from 24 to 21 in 2010. Infosys, which jumped five places, ended up on 28th rank, followed by Wipro at 31 and Cognizant at 34.

The fastest growing, by far, was the Chennai-based, Nasdaq-listed Cognizant Technology Services with a 40% growth, followed by HCL with a 27% growth. The slowest was Wipro, which grew just 16%.

“Cognizant was able to quickly rebound in 2010 from the recession, and its strategy of continuing to invest through the recessionary times, coupled with strong account management and local presence, paid off in 2010.

“Cognizant’s performance is a reflection of the investments the company has made in the three areas that Gartner considers to be the most important competitive differentiators: operational capabilities (global distribution model); industry and business process capabilities; and relationship management,” Gartner said.

HCL’s growth was due to its aggressive pursuit of contracts that combine infrastructure and application management in a single framework, it added.

“India’s IT services providers are well out of downturn times and back on their growth trajectory. Eight out of these top 10 providers reported revenue of more than $1 billion,” HCL added.

Gartner also noted that the top five players — ending with Wipro — were clearly pulling ahead of the rest of the Indian players, which include firms like Mindtree and Patni.

“The top five providers represented 93.7 percent of the growth achieved by the top 10 as a group, continuing the theme that leaders are pulling away from the pack and that market share gains by the smaller players is more likely to come with consolidation and not organically,” pointed out Arup Roy, principal research analyst at Gartner.

Of the top 10 Indian providers, only Mahindra Satyam reported a decline in 2010 revenue, sliding 10.2 percent in the year.