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  • 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, Bengaluru
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  • Global Technology Summit 2016 Click here for details
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  • Ministry of External Affairs organises India-Latin Americas and the Caribbean (LAC) Conclave in Guadalajara, Mexico to enhance economic cooperation between India and LAC countries.
  • Global Technology Summit 2016 Click here for details
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  • Hon'ble Prime Minister inaugurated investment guides for Indian investors who wants to do business with Kenya and Mozambique during his recent tri-nation visit to Africa. The publication was brought by ED Division with support from Indian Missions in Kenya and Mozambique.
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  • ED Division facilitates meeting of CEO of the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation Mr Gordon Fyfe and Team with Hon'ble Minister of Finance, Shri Arun Jaitley and CEO NITI Aayog Shri Amitabh Kant on 16 June 2016
  • Inter-Ministerial Meeting on Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare Sector in Africa
  • BRICS India 2016
  • Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Minister of Food Processing & Industry briefing representatives of foreign Embassies on opportunities in food processing sector in India in a meeting facilitated by ED Division on 17 March 2016 at Panchsheel Bhawan, New Delhi.
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Advantage India

Services Sector

Last Updated on: July, 2016


The services sector is not only the dominant sector in India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), but has also attracted significant foreign investment flows, contributed significantly to exports as well as provided large-scale employment. India’s services sector covers a wide variety of activities such as trade, hotel and restaurants, transport, storage and communication, financing, insurance, real estate, business services, community, social and personal services, and services associated with construction.

Indian service sector grew at approximately 8 per cent per annum and contributed to about 64 per cent of India's GDP in FY 2015-16#.

Market Size

The services sector is the key driver of India’s economic growth. The sector contributed around 66.1 per cent of its Gross Value Added growth in 2015-16, thereby becoming an important net foreign exchange earner and the most attractive sector for FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) inflows.!

The Indian telecommunication services market is expected to grow by 10.3 per cent year-on-year to reach US$ 103.9 billion by 2020##.

India is the eighth largest services exporter in the world. The services exports have in 2014 stood at US$ 155.6 billion, which constitutes 7.5 per cent of the GDP. The services imports increased at a rate of 3.3 per cent to US$ 81.1 billion in 2014-15.

Out of overall services sector, the sub-sector comprising financial services, real estate and professional services contributed 21.6 per cent to the GDP, and grew the fastest among all sub-segments at 10.3 per cent year-on-year in 2015-16. The sub-sector of trade, hotels, transport, communication and services related to broadcasting contributed 12.6 per cent to the GDP. The third-largest sub-segment comprising public administration, defence and other services contributed nearly 12.6 per cent to the GDP.


The Indian services sector has attracted the highest amount of FDI equity inflows in the period April 2000-March 2016, amounting to about US$ 50.79 billion which is about 18 per cent of the total foreign inflows, according to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).

Some of the developments and major investments by companies in the services sector in the recent past are as follows:

  • Meru Cab Company Pvt Ltd, the Mumbai-based radio cab service, has raised Rs 150 crore (US$ 22.24 million) from Brand Capital, the investment arm of Bennett Coleman and Co, which will be used to fund advertising and provide user incentives including discounts and loyalty schemes.
  • SSG Capital Management Group, a Hong Kong based Private Equity (PE) investor, has acquired a 40 per cent stake in the logistics company Future Supply Chain Solutions (FSC), for Rs 580 crore (US$ 86 million) from existing shareholders including Future Retail (FRL) and Fung Group, promoted by billionaire Victor Fung.
  • Vistra Group Ltd, a Hong Kong-based professional services provider, has acquired IL&FS Trust Company Ltd, India’s largest independent corporate trust services provider, which will enable Vistra to expand the platform to provide a broader suite of corporate and fiduciary services and thereby gain a foothold in the Indian corporate services market.
  • Pink Blue Supply Solutions Pvt. Ltd, a clinical supplies provider, has raised Rs 1.5 crore (US$ 0.22 million) in a seed round of funding from TermSheet.io, a transaction-focused service provider for start-ups and investors, which will be used to ramp up technology, improve customer experience and operational capabilities, put in place smart supply chain management across hospitals and clinics, and hire larger teams.
  • Icertis Inc, a contract management software maker for enterprises based out of Pune and Mumbai in India, has raised US$ 15 million in series B round of funding from Ignition Partners and Eight Roads Ventures, which will be used to invest in marketing and expand its global operations.
  • OfBusiness, an online marketplace for business-to-business (B2B) commerce, has raised US$ 5 million in series A funding round led by Matrix Partners India, which will be used to expand the team and build a technology platform for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
  • Taskbob, a Mumbai-based home services start-up, has raised Rs 28 crore (US$ 4.15 million) in Series A funding from investors such as IvyCap Ventures, Orios and Mayfield. The funds will be used to boost growth and expand its services to other cities in India.
  • Credit Analysis and Research (CARE Ratings) has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Japan Credit Rating Agency, Ltd (JCR) to collaborate with each other as strategic business partners.
  • Shuttl, an Indian bus aggregator platform headquartered in Gurgaon, has raised US$ 20 million in Series A funding from Lightspeed, Sequoia India and Times Internet Ltd.
  • Indian logistics platform Rivigo has raised US$ 30 million in debt and equity in Series B financing round, led by SAIF Partners. The firm aims to use the raised funds to achieve its target of scaling 10 times in the next 12 months.
  • India had the strongest activity in office leasing space in Asia and accounted for half of Asia’s total office leasing in third quarter of 2015, with Delhi being the most active market@.
  • Fairfax India will look to acquire controlling stake in collateral management and weather advisory firm National Collateral Management Services (NCML) where the deal size could be $150-180 million.
  • Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, plans to invest Rs 31,700 crore (US$ 4.7 billion) in India in addition to the US$ 2 billion investment it committed two years ago, in expanding its network of warehouses, data centers and increasing its online marketplace, besides launching an instant video and subscription-based ecommerce services for high-end buyers, called Amazon Prime, later this year.
  • The private security services industry in India is expected to register a growth of over 20 per cent over the next few years, doubling its market size to Rs 80,000 crore (US$ 11.86 billion) by 2020.

  • The Government of India has awarded a contract worth Rs 1,370 crore (US$ 203.09 million) to Ricoh India Ltd and Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd (TCIL) to modernise 129,000 post offices through automation.

  • Taxi service aggregator Ola plans to double operations to 200 cities in current fiscal year. The company, which is looking at small towns for growth, also plans to invest in driver eco-system, such as training centers and technology upgrade, besides adding 1,500 to 2,000 women drivers as part of its pink cab service by women for women.
  • JP Morgan Asset Management (UK) Ltd, JP Morgan Investment Management Inc and JP Morgan Chase Bank NA, have together acquired 4.11 per cent stake in Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services Ltd for Rs 113.75 crore (US$ 16.86 million).

Government Initiatives

The Government of India recognises the importance of promoting growth in services sectors and provides several incentives in wide variety of sectors such as health care, tourism, education, engineering, communications, transportation, information technology, banking, finance, management, among others.

The Government of India has adopted a few initiatives in the recent past. Some of these are as follows:

  • The Government of India plans to significantly liberalise its visa regime, including allowing multiple-entry tourist and business visas, which is expected to boost India's services exports.
  • The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology has announced plans to increase the number of common service centres or e-Seva centres to 250,000 from 150,000 currently to enable village level entrepreneurs to interact with national experts for guidance, besides serving as a e-services distribution point.
  • The Central Government is considering a two-rate structure for the goods and service tax(GST), under which key services will be taxed at a lower rate compared to the standard rate, which will help to minimize the impact on consumers due to increase in service tax.
  • By December 2016, the Government of India plans to take mobile network to nearly 10 per cent of Indian villages that are still unconnected.
  • The Government of India has proposed provide tax benefits for transactions made electronically through credit/debit cards, mobile wallets, net banking and other means, as part of broader strategy to reduce use of cash and thereby constrain the parallel economy operating outside legitimate financial system.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has allowed third-party white label automated teller machines (ATM) to accept international cards, including international prepaid cards, and has also allowed white label ATMs to tie up with any commercial bank for cash supply.

Road Ahead

Services sector growth is governed by both domestic and global factors. The sector is expected to perform well in FY16. Some improvement in global growth and recovery in industrial growth will drive the services sector to grow 7.4 per cent in FY16 (FY15: 7.3 per cent) ###. The Indian facilities management market is expected to grow at 17 per cent CAGR between 2015 and 2020 and surpass the $19 billion mark supported by booming real estate, retail, and hospitality sectors. The performance of trade, hotels and restaurants, and transport, storage and communication sectors are expected to improve in FY16. Loss of growth momentum in commodity-producing sectors had adversely impacted transport and storage sectors over the past two years. The financing, insurance, real estate, and business services sectors are also expected to continue their good run in FY16. The growth performance of the community, social and personal services sector is directly linked with government expenditure and we believe that the government will remain committed to fiscal consolidation in FY16.

Exchange Rate Used: INR 1 = US$ 0.0148 as on July 11, 2016

References: Media Reports, Press Releases, DIPP publication, Press Information Bureau, India budget 2015-16, Central Statistical Organisation


A study has been done by Ernst and Young India with the intention of providing an overview of the investment climate, taxation, forms of business organisations, and business and accounting practices in India.

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