The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Tatas begin by plot-hunt drill
- TCS head honcho inspects sites in Guwahati for potential investments

Guwahati, Aug. 31: He came, he saw and promised to be back before he left. In the five hours that he was in the city, the high-profile Tata Consultancy Services CEO and MD S. Ramadorai raised hopes of major investments in the IT sector in the state.

A little after Ramadorai arrived at Borjhar airport at 9.40am with a six-member delegation, Union minister of state for commerce Jairam Ramesh, Assam industries and commerce minister Pradyut Bordoloi and state IT minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who received him at the airport, lost no time in showcasing what he had come to see.

The team was shown two locations — one near IIT Guwahati and the other close to the Software Technology Park of India — as sites where the IT major could think of setting up its hubs. The plot near IIT Guwahati measures 100 acres while the one near the STPI is 140 acres.

TCS is one of the leading information technology companies in the world, with a workforce of over 74,000 professionals spread across more than 50 global delivery centres.

Ramadorai said he would be happy to make a difference in the lives of the people through their future endeavours in Assam with the help and support from the state government. “I feel moved by the warm hospitality accorded to me and hope to come back soon,” he said.

He said he had come at the initiative of Ramesh to explore the possibility of investments in Assam, particularly in the IT sector.

Ramadorai stressed the need for an ideal location for an IT park with communication facilities for domestic and international customers and underscored the need for a good educational institution capable of producing quality graduates.

He also visited the sprawling IIT campus, which Ramesh said is an ideal destination to set up a centre. Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi requested the company to launch an R&D centre initially.

“He is a very down-to-earth and humble person and that is why he came to see for himself what can be done. During the presentation, he was trying to understand the situation rather than make things difficult,” P.K. Das, director of STPI, told The Telegraph, adding that Ramadorai liked the presentation prepared by his staff.

Welcoming the delegation, Tarun Gogoi promised all help and cooperation to the Tata group to set up an IT park on the outskirts of Guwahati and hoped that Ramadorai’s maiden visit would pave the way for investments in the IT sector.

Ramadorai said he would send a team of experts soon to the state to explore the possibilities for investments. “The team will be here to discuss matters threadbare and to address the concerns with all seriousness. The moment we get the feedback from the experts we will go ahead on our mission.”

Ramesh, who was with the TCS team, later said at a news conference that the company had raised security concerns and said “a secure environment is what they wanted”.

The company would like to start a finishing school to train and groom youths from Assam for the IT sector. “Youths from Assam who were recruited by TCS last year are doing fine but they are shy,” Ramesh said, quoting TCS officials.

Assam IT secretary V.S. Bhaskar gave a PowerPoint presentation on the initiatives taken by the state government as well as the state’s potential in the IT sector.

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