The Telegraph
Sunday , December 9 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bengal centre on Microsoft menu

Calcutta, Dec. 8: Microsoft India is in talks with the Bengal government to set up a Microsoft Innovation Centre here. The software giant intends to set up 100 such centres across India in the next 12-18 months.

“Currently it is under discussion. At the moment there is nothing on the cards. Normally we like to report one once it’s definite…it is difficult to say. We are working at it,” said Bhaskar Pramanik, chairman of Microsoft Corporation (India).

He was speaking on the sidelines of Infocom 2012, organised by Businessworld, an ABP group publication.

The objective of such centres, part of the company’s market development activity, is to impart training, skill development and foster innovation and a spirit of entrepreneurship.

It has set a target to train 5-6 lakh people a year.

The centres are usually set up through joint investment made by respective state governments or academic institutions and Microsoft.

On the verticals to be covered in the training curriculum, the chairman said, “We have recommended banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI), tourism and travel, retail and consumer. All are exciting verticals.”

He added that investments went into real estate, equipment, networks, bandwidth, people, classrooms, curriculum, promotion and events.

“The idea is to create an environment where trained people can find jobs,” he said.

Microsoft yesterday announced the launch of 14 Microsoft Innovation Centres in India, signing MoUs with leading academic institutions across four states.

The 14 cities that will host the first centres will be Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Rajahmundry, Khammam, Bapatla, Guntur and Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh, Raipur in Chhattisgarh, Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, Trichy, Vellore, Coimbatore, Madurai and Salem in Tamil Nadu.

The Microsoft programme is aimed at developing a product-based software economy by supporting product development and over 500 start-ups.

On its phone business in India, Microsoft is looking at “dramatically” enhancing its portfolio and driving scale and volume.