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Wipro city debut with payroll bonanza

Calcutta, Dec. 15: Wipro will kick off operations in the city with a development centre that will have 500 employees initially but 6000 over a period of 30 months. At the moment, the firm is gearing up to meet the February 1 deadline set for the inauguration of its hub.

IT secretary G. D. Gautama said senior company officials are in constant interaction with the state government to ensure smooth operational activity. He was speaking at a meet organised by the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry here today.

“Besides Wipro, Satyam Infoway is into talks to set up shop in the city,” said Gautama. “A decision is expected soon regarding the scale of investment,” he added.

IT minister Manabendra Mukherjee will be visiting Bangalore on December 28 to highlight investment opportunities in the state. Gautama also said around 12 BPO companies are eyeing the city to set up operations.

The IT minister has earlier said Reliance Infocomm has proposed to invest Rs 700 crore in a call centre, a network development centre and an institute of technology in the state.

Sridhar Iyengar, president of The Indus Entrepreneur (TiE), Silicon Valley, however, cautioned that Bengal was not high on the list of investment destinations of major companies.

“Bengal does not find a place in a company’s ‘India strategy’,” he said. “The state has to first ensure that there is a change in the mindset and put up role models of companies and successful entrepreneurial ventures,” he added.

PricewaterhouseCoopers managing director Roopen Roy said the state should adopt a three-pronged strategy. “Firstly, an achievement target should be set. Secondly, the state should ‘under promise’ and ‘over deliver’. Thirdly, a target list of companies to be approached should be made and followed,” he said.

The state government plans to aggressively pursue and market Bengal to infotech and ITeS companies through the new IT promotion cell — Advantage Bengal. Around 400 companies are on the must-visit list for the next two months.

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