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Country experience: India: estimation of non-response in the survey on exports of information technology and information technology-enabled services

17.40.    In the annual survey of exports of information technology and information technology-enabled services, conducted in India by the Reserve Bank, non-responses occur with a number of small as well as medium-sized companies. The exports figures of the non-responding units are estimated using a well-defined methodology described below:

(a) Using the observed proportions of “nil” and “closed” units, first the number of companies reporting no export of software products, i.e., “nil exports” and “closed”, out of the non-responding companies are estimated. They are then removed from the universe of non-reporting companies to obtain the number of operating non-reporting companies;

(b) Since no information is available on the business activities of the non-reporting companies, they are classified into four groups, namely, information technology services, software product development, business process outsourcing (BPO) services and engineering services, on the basis of the observed proportions corresponding to those four categories derived from the responding units;

(c) As most of the small companies do not have on-site operations and an overwhelming number of non-responding units are small companies, only off-site software exports of those companies are estimated. For that purpose, the off-site exports reported by the respondent companies are used;

(d) The distribution of off-site exports of the responding companies for the above-mentioned four groups are observed to be highly positively skewed and, hence, instead of the mean, the median of the distributions is used to estimate software exports for each group. The estimated software exports for ith group of non-respondent companies are computed using the following formula:


 (e) The total number of software exports of India is then derived by adding the reported software exports of responding companies and the estimated software exports of non-responding companies in each of the four groups.


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