Benefiting from a boom in offshore outsourcing, India's software and services exports are expected to grow by 33% to more than $31 billion (£15.6bn) in the Indian fiscal year to 31 March, according to data released Tuesday by the National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom).

India’s top outsourcing companies – Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys, and Wipro – have all reported strong revenue and profit growth for the quarter ended 31 December, mainly on increased volumes of business. And the country is on course to achieve $60 billion in exports by 2010, Nasscom said.

IT services including software development are expected to contribute $18 billion to exports in the year to 31 March, while business process outsourcing (BPO) and call centres are likely to contribute a further $8.3 billion, according to to the trade body. Engineering services, research and development (R&D) services, and product development work are expected to contribute $5 billion.

The data includes exports by both Indian outsourcing companies, and Indian operations of multinational services and technology companies like IBM, Dell, Oracle and Accenture.

The total Indian software and services industry, including sales to the domestic market, is expected to grow during the fiscal year by about 31 percent to $39.7 billion, Nasscom said. And employment in the country's software and services sector is likely to reach 1.6 million by 31 March, up from 1.28 million in the previous year.

India is riding a boom in outsourcing. A report released by McKinsey & Co. and Nasscom has forecast that the country's outsourcing industry can grow at an annual rate of over 25% to generate export revenue of about $60 billion by 2010.

To achieve this, however, India will have to improve the quality of education and train more staff to counter an expected shortage of 500,000 staff by 2010.