The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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East talent pool on IT radar

Calcutta, Nov. 15: The National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) will present a proposal to the governments in the eastern and northeastern states to spend more on training of manpower.

“Everyone recognises that there is a huge English-speaking talent pool in this part of the country. But they are merely raw materials and the governments must take initiatives to make them semi-finished products and ready for employment in the industry,” said Nasscom president Kiran Karnik.

Talking to The Telegraph a day before the start of Infocom 2003, one of the “biggest IT shows” in the region, Karnik added that the IT-enabled services sector will fuel growth in the region in the short run.

Arun Shourie, Union minister for disinvestment, information technology and communication will inaugurate the international business exhibition and conference, organised by Nasscom and Businessworld, an ABP Group publication, on Sunday.

“As part of our strategy to promote this region, we are urging the companies to start recruiting from these states and then use Calcutta as a base in the region. But for the desired results, the state governments will have to spend more resources on training,” said Karnik.

Nasscom will formally present this observation at the chief ministers’ round-table on the second day of the four-day meet in the city.

Besides chief ministers and senior government representatives from the eastern and northeastern states, over 600 representatives from 75 leading infotech companies will take part.

“The region has the potential to contribute more than 10 per cent to the country’s IT export kitty and we will try to identify what needs to be done to realise the potential,” he added while outlining the broad agenda for Infocom 2003.

Referring to the performance of Indian companies, he said the infotech industry has shown signs of resilience and is on a growth trajectory. Despite recessionary trends in the global economy and increasing resistance to IT outsourcing in the developed world, Nasscom’s forecast suggests that export earnings in the next fiscal will grow by around 26 to 28 per cent. In the last fiscal, the export earning was to the tune of $9.5 billion.

As part of its objective to promote the “Made in India” brand, Nasscom is carrying on a host public relations exercises — with help from an agency, Hill & Knowlton, in US and UK, the two major markets for Indian infotech companies.

Besides, Nasscom is also partnering with organisations like the US Chamber of Commerce and IT Association of America to increase acceptability of Indian companies.

“We are not really worried about the backlash on outsourcing as we think economics of competition will drive companies to locations, where value is created. India creates value in terms of costs in IT projects,” explained Karnik.

From creation of value to impact of politics on policies and e-business transformation to future of technology trends, industry leaders – both from within and outside the IT industry – will share their views on the entire gamut of issues that the IT industry faces today at the meet. The list includes Harris Miller of IT Association of America, Rajat Gupta of McKinsey, M. S. Banga of HLL, Y. C. Deveshwar of ITC, Suresh Vaswani of Wipro and Keith Budge of Oracle.

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