Wednesday, December 17, 2014

E-Commerce Comes to Pakistan

Guest Post by Monis Rahman
Founder, Chairman and CEO of Rozee.pk

Pakistan is late to the party. E-commerce is booming throughout our immediate region. India's leading e-commerce website, Flipkart, recently raised a record $1 Billion in new investment, handling 5 Million shipments each month. The website sees so much potential in mobile shopping that it has a stated goal of becoming "the mobile e-commerce company of the future".


To our north, China's e-commerce leader, Alibaba, set a global record when it listed its shares on the New York Stock Exchange in September. Alibaba's Initial Public Offering raised a staggering $25 Billion, making its record-breaking IPO the biggest in the world. Today the Chinese e-commerce giant's market capitalization is over $250 Billion exceeding that of Wal-Mart, the world's largest old economy retailer. The market value of e-commerce companies in Pakistan's immediate vicinity including Turkey, the Middle East, India and China exceeds half of a trillion dollars.



But the party has indeed finally started in Pakistan as well. By 2017, the size of our e-commerce market is expected to reach over $600 Million from it's current size of $30 Million spent on online purchases annually. There are several factors driving this growth, which will dramatically change the way we buy things over the next several years.
Growth of Internet Penetration

Pakistan's Internet penetration rate historically exceeded that of India until 2009. In 2009, India launched 3G and its Internet penetration sky-rocketed. The same hockey stick growth took place in Sri Lanka's after its 3G launch in 2006. With Pakistan's long awaited entry into the 3G club a few months ago, there will be a similar burst of Internet accessibility which will further catapult online purchases.



Following the pattern of our neighbors, Pakistan's Internet enabled population will increase from 30 Million users today to 56 Million in 2019. Over the next five years, 28% of the country's citizens will have Internet access. This unprecedented reach will transform not just how consumers purchase goods, but will also significantly impact several other industries. My own online jobs classifieds site, ROZEE.PK, today processes 40,000 job applications a day and has helped over 1 Million people find jobs. Social media sites including Facebook and Twitter are transforming how we consume news and shape opinions.

Ubiquity of Access through Mobile

Along with the rise of Internet accessibility through 3G, Pakistan is simultaneously witnessing a surge in smartphone usage. There are an estimated 9 Million smartphone users in Pakistan, using handsets that are fully equipped with web browsers and online connectivity. Smartphones have become increasingly sophisticated, not only substituting many functions previously only capable through desktop and laptop computers, but also greatly increasing the ease of going online. Not only is the Internet becoming more accessible to consumers, consumers are also becoming more accessible to Internet merchants through the ubiquity of the smartphones in our pockets.

While the growth of smartphones in Pakistan is linked to the rise of Internet penetration, it is more so driven by the declining cost of increasingly sophisticated devices. Chinese companies which have traditionally manufactured devices for the world's leading mobile phone brands including Apple and Samsung, are now OEM'ing their own handsets for a fraction of the cost powered by Google's Android operating system. So significant is this trend that Samsung's third quarter profits fell by 50% as its mobile business continued to lose ground to low-cost Chinese smartphone makers.

The sub Rs. 5,000 price point of relatively powerful smartphones in Pakistan is enabling online accessibility to penetrate a lower untapped income strata of society. My cook now downloads recipes from the Internet on his smartphone.

India's Flipkart sees so much potential in mobile shopping that it has a stated goal of becoming "the mobile e-commerce company of the future".

Online Payment Initiatives Are Mushrooming

While over 95% of online purchases are fulfilled through Cash on Delivery (COD) in Pakistan, several promising initiatives are underway which will make it easier to pay directly online. Many banks and telcos alike have launched branchless banking and m-commerce initiatives ranging from MCB Banks's MCBLite, Telenor's Easy Paisa, Mobilink's Mobicash, Zong and Askari Bank's Timepay, UBL's Netbanking and others. The number of branchless banking agents which facilitate offline payments for online purchases tripled from 41,000 in 2012 to 125,000 in 2013, making it increasingly easier and more convenient to transfer money.

One of the most frequent complaints from Pakistan's online sellers of not being able to get merchant accounts that allow them to card payments online, has been abated. While Citibank Pakistan was once the only bank in the country to offer online merchant accounts, it was also notoriously difficult for businesses to get approved. When the bank wrapped up its consumer banking operations in 2012, it left its approximately paltry 14 approved merchants high and dry without an online card processing facility. However, UBL has since launched its Go Green Internet Merchant Account product for businesses which is far more reasonable in its on-boarding criteria. Online merchants can now potentially collect payments electronically from 12 Million debit cards in Pakistan.

Perhaps the most successful online payment solution currently available in the country is Inter Bank Fund Transfer (IBFT). A large volume of payments are made by consumers directly going to their bank's website to electronically transfer funds to online stores. Most banks are now offering their customers net banking IBFT payment facilities through their websites, bringing a majority of the country's banked population into the fold of electronic payments.

Maturing Logistics and Parcel Delivery Infrastructure

Currently 95% of online purchases are paid for through COD at the time the parcel is delivered to customer. TCS, BlueEX, Leopards and other couriers are providing COD delivery services across over 150 cities in the country. This becomes especially relevant when considering that approximately 35% of the the country's monthly 70,000 COD shipments are delivered to cities outside the three main urban centers of Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. While urban shoppers are more online as a percentage of population, the value for rural shoppers is higher as many products are not available in their local markets. This implies a huge untapped segment of the population that will increasingly transition to online shopping.


Growing Trust in Online Storefronts

One of the main obstacles to the growth of e-commerce is the lack of consumer trust in purchasing from the "cloud". As a dotcom entrepreneur in Silicon Valley during the 1990's, I recall the prevailing conventional wisdom at the time: people would never give their credit card information on the Internet to buy items. Today, over 72% of Internet users in the US are digital shoppers. This contrasts sharply with less than 3% of Pakistani Internet users who have bought goods online. Although we have a long way to go, there is correspondingly huge upside potential as well.

After initial hesitation, an inflection point in consumer behavior was reached in the US during the late nineties with strong online storefront brands such as Amazon taking to mainstream media. The large amount of investment these sites were able to raise, coupled with highly professional teams, led to positive shopping experiences for the risk averse early adopters who ventured to buy online. We will see this same pattern in Pakistan.

For the first time in the country's history, we are seeing online brands deploying significant advertising budgets for mainstream media advertising. Deep pocketed general classifieds sites like OLX, funded by the South African mega media group Naspers, and Asani, a Schibsted funded company from Norway, have embarked in our online industry's first media war with ads competing for our eyeballs. Rocket Internet, which runs Daraz and Kaymu in Pakistan, recently completed an $8.2 Billion IPO in October of this year. Daraz and Kaymu are well funded and will be pouring capital into the Pakistani e-commerce market in a magnitude not seen here before. Several other Pakistani online players will be launching their TV ads in the coming months, giving new credibility to the online medium and e-commerce.

All of these developments will lead to a rapid increase in trust as first time online shoppers experience e-commerce and generate acceptance through word-of-mouth.

Pakistani E-Commerce Companies


Big foreign investors are a swooping in to become first movers in key verticals in the world's sixth most populous country with the goal of claiming online thrones. Visionary local players like Home shopping, Shophive and Symbios are organically emerging from our ecosystem and bootstrapping to success. This is a winner-takes-all market: the largest marketplaces grow the fastest making it unviable for new entrants as the industry heats up. And this industry has a voracious appetite for capital. The e-commerce party has started.


The Author is Chairman and CEO of Naseeb Networks and is one of Pakistan's most prolific Internet entrepreneurs. He runs leading online job classifieds sites ROZEE.PK in Pakistan and Mihnati.com in Saudi Arabia. 

This post reflects the author's assessment of the e-commerce scene he sees in Pakistan. The owner of this blog does not necessarily agree with the contents of this guest post. 

Here's a couple of video clip on e-commerce company leaders in Pakistan:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehNY5GuY8Vw



http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1aoyc7_daraz-pk-co-founder-farees-shah-on-ecommerce-in-pakistan-at-ptvworld-part-1-4_tech


Thursday, December 11, 2014

High-Tech Startup Investment Opportunities in Pakistan

Guest Post by Khurram Zafar

I believe that the technology entrepreneurship ecosystem in Pakistan is at a tipping point! There are a number of factors at play that make Pakistan so ripe for both local and international investors looking to invest in the tech space:
  • Quickly growing internet adoption currently estimated to be 25 million internet users and 15 million mobile internet users;
  • Cheap smart phone devices costing under $50;
  • 3G and 4G rollouts;
  • Massive amounts of marketing and media spend by companies like Rocket Internet, Schibsted, and Naspers that’s targeted to make Pakistani consumers comfortable transacting online;
  • Development of platforms like The Foundation at LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship and Plan9 that are supporting passionate entrepreneurs during their formative years;
  • Slow but steady investments flowing into startups at seed (e.g. Kima Ventures investment into Eyedeus Labs) and early stage (Frontier Digital Venture’s US$3.5 Million investment into PakWheels.com) from local and foreign angels as well as early-stage funds;
  • Tens of millions of dollars being poured into developing pervasive electronic and online payment infrastructure in Pakistan (you have to take my word for it, but telcos and major banks will soon start announcing these plays);
  • Successful entrepreneurs returning from abroad and providing mentoring to startups and building bridges for them outside of Pakistan;
  • Gradual realization by seasoned businessmen and young aspiring entrepreneurs alike that internet has a massive equalizing power and they can tap into a global market of billions through online channels;
  • Low cost of starting a technology business due to easy access to cloud computing platforms; massive distribution channels like the PlayStoreAppStore and Facebook; ability to create very targeted online marketing campaigns; inexpensive outsourcing of development tasks to freelancers; and quick feedback from customers to iterate and improve the products and services;
  • Ease of doing a tech business in Pakistan compared to the red tape and bureaucracy that has to be dealt with while setting up an industry (in fact, software exports still enjoy a complete tax holiday in Pakistan);
  • Excellent leverage on HR that tech (product) businesses provide compared to any other business and we all know that good HR is a constraint anywhere in the world;
  • And lastly, because tech businesses are not as widely impacted by security, electric power shortfalls, gas load-shedding and others infrastructure issues plaguing the rest of the industries in Pakistan.
You inject a bit of capital to catalyze all this further in the 6th most populous (196 Million) country in the world, and we can have a perfect storm that can turn the Pakistani technology startups of today into the giant global businesses of tomorrow!
How long will you keep pumping money in sugar and textile mills? Let me share something that might shed some light on the opportunity that I am ranting about. The following chart compares the annual profit before taxes of a single games company based in Finland, a country with half the population of Lahore, employing only 120 people (which recently took over Nokia’s old R&D facility) with multiple publicly listed companies in Pakistan belonging to various industrial segments. Here are some eye opening inferences in case they are not readily evident:
  • One mobile gaming company in a country with half the population of Lahore makes more profit before taxes than ten of the largest cement companies in Pakistan
  • One mobile gaming company in a country with half the population of Lahore makes more profit before taxes than two companies that distribute natural gas to the entire Pakistan
  • One mobile gaming company in a country with half the population of Lahore makes more profit before taxes than five power generation companies and two oil refineries combined
  • One mobile gaming company in a country with half the population of Lahore makes more profit before taxes than nine of the top textile mills, five automobile companies and 5 sugar mills combined
Mobile Gaming vs Multiple Industries
Comparison of profit before taxes (FY2013) of a single mobile gaming company with various industries in Pakistan
Here is another chart to drive home the point.
  • One mobile gaming company in a country with half the population of Lahore makes more profit before taxes than any one of the largest banks in Pakistan
  • One mobile gaming company in a country with half the population of Lahore makes 6 times more profit before taxes than National Bank of Pakistan
One Mobile Gaming vs Multiple Banks
Comparison of profit before taxes (FY2013) of a single mobile gaming company with various banks in Pakistan
Alright, so I have used one of the most successful games development companies for comparison, but that is besides the point. The point is, the next big games development company could be Mindstorm Studios based right here, in Lahore. The fact that it’s based in Pakistan does not minimize its chances of success. It’s as good an investment opportunity as Supercell of Finland!
One of the incubated companies at the LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship, interaCta, has developed tech to make all TV and radio broadcast interactive without the need of additional hardware, just requiring smart phones. Imagine the implications! It can disrupt the TV, Radio, Advertisement, Ratings industries just to name a few. A potential acquirer wouldn’t care whether the tech was developed at Xerox or LUMS. Eyedeus Labs, another team of LUMS students, recently raised money from Kima Ventures. They are looking to disrupt online video advertisement market by introducing non-intrusive advertisement methods in the videos that do not distract the viewer. Then there is SavareeBizCloutBurq SolutionsJewelryDesignProP for Plan and the list goes on. All of these are great investment opportunities seeking capital. And these are just a few of the seed stage investment opportunities.
I repeat. This is a great time to enter Pakistan. Equity in technology companies is relatively cheap, assets are portable (predominantly intellectual property) in case one gives too much weight to country risk, operations are already on cloud platforms outside of Pakistan for many, and exit opportunities exist globally. The fundamentals of the on-ground businesses are already very strong. The Karachi Stock Market index has been growing north of 40% for the past few years (30%+ in $ terms) and broke the highest ever 32,000 KSE 100 index points barrier a few days ago. Most of that is driven by foreign investment into rock solid businesses by investors who can see past the FOX news propaganda and realize that the nation, that is often deemed to be on the brink of extinction since its founding in 1947, is as resilient as it is resourceful!
It is time local investors join the party as well. Pakistan is a gold mine of opportunities for the truly visionary, local investors with large balls and an appetite for risk looking for big rewards – people who can consider and invest in the opportunities lurking underneath the veil of ‘mostly perception based’ geo-political and security issues. If you are it, sign up as an investor at http://lce.lums.edu.pk/contact-form for starters.
Disclaimer: The author advises, mentors or has some sort of a non-compensatory advisory relationship with almost all the local startups listed in this article. This post reflects the author's assessment of the tech startup scene and the investment opportunities he sees in Pakistan. The owner of this blog does not necessarily agree with the contents of this guest post. 

The author is Executive Director, LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship.
This post was first published on techies.pk

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

China-Pakistan Industrial Corridor Will Boost FDI and Exports

Industrial parks and special economic zones are part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor memoranda of understanding recently agreed between the leaders of the two countries. The key pre-requisite for  the establishment of these zones are resolution of the energy crisis and building of a competitive infrastructure in Pakistan.

Energy and Infrastructure:

The first phase of the economic corridor is focused on $45.6 billion worth of energy and infrastructure projects. China's state-owed banks will finance Chinese companies to fund, build and operate $45.6 billion worth of energy and infrastructure projects in Pakistan over the next six years, according to Reuters. Major Chinese companies investing in Pakistan's energy sector will include China's Three Gorges Corp which built the world's biggest hydro power project, and China Power International Development Ltd.



Under the agreement signed by Chinese and Pakistani leaders at a Beijing summit recently, $15.5 billion worth of coalwind, solar and hydro energy projects will come online by 2017 and add 10,400 megawatts of energy to the national grid.  An additional 6,120 megawatts will be added to the national grid at a cost of $18.2 billion by 2021.

The transport and communication infrastructure—roads, railways, cable, and oil and gas pipelines—will stretch 2,700 kilometers from Gwadar on the Arabian Sea to the Khunjerab Pass at the China-Pakistan border in the Karakorams.

Starting in 2015, the Chinese companies will invest an average of over $7 billion a year until 2021, a figure exceeding the previous record of $5.5 billion foreign direct investment in 2007 in Pakistan.

Special Economic Zones:

Beyond the initial phase, there are plans to establish special economic zones in the Corridor where Chinese companies will locate factories. Extensive manufacturing collaboration between the two neighbors will include a wide range of products from cheap toys and textiles to consumer electronics and supersonic fighter planes.

The basic idea of an industrial corridor is to develop a sound industrial base, served by competitive infrastructure as a prerequisite for attracting investments into export oriented industries and manufacturing. Such industries have helped a succession of countries like Indonesia, Japan, Hong Kong,  Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan, China and now even Vietnam rise from low-cost manufacturing base to more advanced, high-end exports.  As a country's labour gets too expensive to be used to produce low-value products, some poorer country takes over and starts the climb to prosperity.

Once completed, the Pak-China industrial corridor with a sound industrial base and competitive infrastructure combined with low labor costs is expected to draw growing FDI from manufacturers in many other countries looking for a low-cost location to build products for exports to rich OECD nations.

Key Challenges:

While the commitment is there on both sides to make the corridor a reality, there are many challenges that need to be overcome. The key ones are  maintaining security and political stability, ensuring transparency, good governance and quality of execution. These challenges are not unsurmountable but overcoming them does require serious effort on the part of both sides but particularly on the Pakistani side. Let's hope Pakistani leaders are up to these challenge.

Summary: 

Pak-China economic corridor is a very ambitious effort by the two countries that will lead to greater investment and rapid industrialization of Pakistan. Successful implementation of it will be a game-changer for the people of Pakistan in terms of new economic opportunities leading to higher incomes and significant improvements in the living standards for ordinary Pakistanis. It will be in the best interest of all of them to  set their differences aside and work for its successful implementation.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Apple iPhone 6, 6Plus Launched in Pakistan

Pakistani cell phone service operator Ufone has partnered with Apple to launch iPhone 6 and iPhone 6Plus smartphones in Pakistan. Ufone customers can register online for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus at the company’s website.

Smartphone sales have accelerated in recent months after the roll-out of 3G and 4G services in Pakistan. The number of 3G subscribers has reached 4 million mark, apparently surpassing all other broadband technologies in the country, within the first three months of the issuance of 3G and 4G licenses in the country. There are around 3.7 million broadband subscriptions in Pakistan for all technologies combined including WiMAX, DSL, EvDO, FTTH, Satellite, HFC and others till May this year.

Total number of mobile subscribers in Pakistan is over 150 million. A growing number of these subscribers are smartphone owners who are using web services like e-commerce and social media. Gertjan van Laar, an app developer who recently published a report on smartphone usage in Pakistan, told Tech in Asia that smartphone penetration has reached between 7 and 10 percent of the population – in contrast to the general mobile penetration rate of 80 percent.

Here are some of the highlights of the report on smartphones in Pakistan:

1. Android is Pakistan’s top smartphone OS with 68 percent share just among smartphone users

2. Apple iOS is second with 24 percent share; Windows Phone is third at eight percent

3. Samsung is the top brand; iPhone is second; homegrown phone-maker QMobile is third

4.  35 percent  of smartphone users in Pakistan own a low-cost phone.

Growing availability of smartphones  and 3G/4G services is enabling Pakistani apps developers to build and offer a wide range of apps, including everything from the most-used messaging apps to social networking, games, entertainment, government, banking, business and finance, navigation and utility apps, such as budgeting and data backing, according to a report in The Express Tribune newspaper. In addition to software houses, an active community of mostly self-taught freelance app developers is also bidding for projects listed on global online platforms, such as oDesk, Elance, Guru and Freelancer, the paper adds.

Increasing access to advanced smartphones and mobile broadband augurs well for innovation and investment in Pakistan.

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Friday, November 28, 2014

US BEA Explains Why US IT Import Figures 20X Lower Than India's IT Export Figures to US


A GAO study showed that U.S. data on offshoring of services to India are more than 20 times smaller than India’s data. What’s the story?
The GAO study showed that U.S. imports from India of business, professional, and technical (BPT) services as published by BEA are substantially lower than India’s data on exports of BPT services to the U.S. (chart 1, left panel).1 However, when adjusted to a similar conceptual basis using information from the GAO report, the difference is actually quite small (chart 1, center panel).

The large gap between the U.S. and Indian data mainly reflects differences in how BEA and India define BPT services. BEA data are consistent with international standards for balance of payments accounting; India’s data, which are based on data from an Indian trade association, do not conform to international standards.  In fact, a 2005 study published by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) showed that computer services exports (a large component of BPT services) to the U.S. based on international standards are much lower than India’s published data (chart 1, right panel).2 In addition, a 2004 report by the OECD found that 97 percent of India’s exports of computer services to large OECD member countries were unaccounted for in those countries’ data on imports.3

Depending upon how one adjusts for important definitional differences, the gap between the U.S. and Indian estimates either entirely disappears or is substantially reduced.
Chart 1: U.S. and Indian Data on Trade in BPT Services, 2002
Chart 1: U.S. and Indian Data on Trade in BPT Services, 2002
Source: GAO; calculations by BEA
1 Government Accountability Office, “U.S. and India Data on Offshoring Show Significant Differences,” October 2005.
2 Reserve Bank of India, “Computer Services Exports from India: 2002-03,” Reserve Bank of India Bulletin, September 2005.
3 Organization for Economic Co-operation and DevelopmentInformation Technology Outlook 2004, October 2004.


 
What are the reasons for differences between U.S. and Indian data on trade in business, professional, and technical services?

The U.S. and Indian data on trade in business, professional, and technical (BPT) services are not directly comparable because of substantial definitional differences.  When the U.S. and Indian data are adjusted for definitional differences, the difference in estimates either entirely disappears or is substantially reduced.  Some major definitional differences are:
      Indian workers in the United States.  India’s data on trade in BPT services include services provided by Indian nationals who reside in the United States.  BEA follows international standards for balance-of-payments accounting by excluding the compensation paid by U.S. firms to U.S. residents.  Foreign workers who are in the United States for less than one year are considered to be foreign residents, and typically their earnings are included as compensation of employees (under “income” in the balance of payments accounts).  Workers who are in the United States for more than one year are considered to be U.S. residents, and so their earnings are excluded from the balance of payments accounts.  According to the GAO study, Indian officials acknowledged that temporary Indian workers in the U.S. have accounted for about 40 to 50 percent of their data on exports of BPT services.

b)      Sales through affiliated companies.  India’s data on services exports to North America include sales of services to affiliates of U.S. companies located in India or another foreign country, as well as sales by affiliates of Indian companies located in the United States to other U.S. residents.  According to international standards, BEA excludes these sales from U.S. trade in services because the transactions did not occur between a U.S. resident and a non-resident.  A U.S. company’s foreign affiliate that is located in India is an Indian resident, and so its transactions with other Indian residents should not be included in the balance of payments.  Similarly, an Indian company’s affiliate in the United States is a U.S. resident, and so its transactions with other U.S. residents should not be included. According to the GAO study, an Indian official stated that inclusion of sales to affiliates of U.S. companies is “likely a significant factor” accounting for differences between U.S. and Indian data.

c)      Sales of goods.  India’s data on trade in BPT services include some sales of goods, such as prepackaged software and software embedded on computer hardware.  The U.S. data on trade in these products are included in the goods trade data, not in the services trade data.  According to the GAO study, Indian officials stated that embedded and prepackaged software account for about 10-15 percent of India’s estimate of exports of BPT services to the U.S.

d)      Sales of technology-enabled services.  India’s data on trade in BPT services include some technology-enabled services (such as some financial services).  BEA includes these services in other services categories.

e)      Intrafirm trade.  Through 2006, U.S. data for trade in services are collected separately for cross-border trade between unaffiliated companies and for intrafirm (or affiliated) trade.  The surveys that BEA uses to collect data on unaffiliated trade are detailed enough to allow BEA to identify trade in BPT services vis-à-vis India.  Affiliated trade, however, is collected on separate surveys, and data for individual foreign countries that separately identify BPT services are unavailable.  Therefore, reported BEA data for BPT trade with India cannot be directly compared with the Indian data, because BEA’s data for BPT services include only unaffiliated trade and India’s data on BPT services include both affiliated and unaffiliated trade.


 
How did BEA calculate the adjusted data shown in the chart above?

BEA adjusted both its own estimates and the Indian estimates to eliminate definitional differences between U.S. and Indian data.

BEA adjusted its own data to include an estimate of affiliated transactions, which are collected on surveys that do not allow for BPT services to be separately identified by individual foreign country. In order to estimate affiliated imports of BPT services from India, BEA used a ratio calculated from global affiliated and unaffiliated imports of BPT services. BEA used the same procedure to estimate affiliated imports of computer services (table 1).


Table 1: Adjustments to BEA’s data, 2002
[Millions of dollars]
 
  BPT ServicesComputer Services
    
Published BEA estimates (based on reported data)  
    
a.Global imports33,4884,315
b.   Affiliated imports23,9402,800
c.   Unaffiliated imports9,5481,515
d.Ratio [b/c]2.511.85
    
e.Unaffiliated imports from India 288201
    
Implied estimates (derived from global ratios)  
    
f.Affiliated imports from India [d*e]722371
    
g.Total imports from India [e+f]1,010572

Source: BEA.


Data from India on BPT exports to the U.S. were adjusted to remove the definitional differences with BEA data and international standards as described above. BEA based the adjustments on information provided in the GAO study. Not all differences were quantified in the study, so some differences remain (table 2).


Table 2: Adjustments to India’s BPT services data, 2002
[Millions of dollars]
 
  High estimateLow estimate
    
I.Exports of BPT services (published by India; chart 1, left panel)6,4646,464
    
II.Adjustments for definitional differences (derived from GAO report):  
 a. Indian workers in the U.S.40%50%
 b. Sales through affiliated companies20%30%
 c. Sales of goods10%15%
    
III.Total [a+b+c]70%95%
    
IV.Adjusted Indian estimate of exports of BPT services [I*(1-III)] (chart 1, center panel)1,939323

Source: GAO; calculations by BEA.


The ranges for adjustment factors (a) and (c) were provided by Indian officials and published in the GAO study. The effect of factor (b) was estimated by BEA at 20-30 percent, because the GAO study said that Indian officials thought the effect of this factor was “significant” but that the effect of factor (c) was “insignificant” at 10-15 percent.

The September 2005 RBI study on Indian sales of computer services provided data that corrected for some definitional differences but the estimates still were not directly comparable to U.S. estimates because the Indian estimates were presented based on trade negotiation categories (i.e., GATS rules) that included sales by Indian-owned companies in the United States to U.S. residents, sales by Indian workers in the United States, etc. BEA used data from the RBI study to calculate a ratio of Indian exports of computer services using balance of payments definitions to total (broadly defined) deliveries of Indian computer services using GATS rules at the global level; this ratio was 39%. In addition, the study provided data on the delivery of Indian computer services (broadly defined) to North America. BEA used the global ratio to estimate balance-of-payments basis exports of computer services to North America. BEA then estimated the portion of exports to North America attributable to the U.S. using information from an Indian software trade association (table 3).


Table 3: Adjustments to RBI’s Computer Services Data, 2002
[Millions of dollars]
 
  India's exports of computer services
a.Global delivery of services - broad definition31,133
b.Global exports - balance-of-payments basis12,077
c.Ratio [b/a]0.39
   
d.Delivery of services to North America - broad definition4,046
e.Exports to North America - balance-of-payments basis [c*d]1,569
   
f.Ratio (U.S./North America)0.82
   
g.Exports to United States [e*f] (chart 1, right panel)1,287

Source: RBI; NASSCOM; calculations by BEA. 


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