The Telegraph
Friday , February 21 , 2014
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Tech leaders mull shops
- Focus on e-commerce & e-classrooms

Software giants are ready for soft landing, at last.

The two-day national-level IT meet, “e-Bihar: an emerging IT destination”, seems to have succeeded in bringing in investments to the state by multinational companies operating in varied fields of the software industry.

From IT data security giants like US-based SafeNet Inc. to Intel and Educomp, numerous firms have planned to open shops in the state.

SafeNet has already associated itself with the ambitious Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS) in Bihar. It would provide security to critical data related to crimes and criminals from police stations across the state. The project is likely to be launched within the next three-four months.

Braj Bhushan, regional manager (India), government business, SafeNet, expressed his willingness to open a regional resource centre of the firm in Patna as well. “SafeNet is the global leader in data security and we provide our services even to the US Federal security agencies. Lately, the Bihar government has been doing various e-governance projects, including e-Shakti under the MGNREGA, electronic payment gateways, electronic city surveillance and data centres among others. Considering the vast business opportunities here and our operations in neighbouring states as well, we are open to the idea of starting a regional office in Patna,” said Braj.

Several top-notch IT companies operating in the education sector, including Intel and Educomp, are also mulling their entry in Bihar.

“Intel Education Initiative is mulling to set up an e-learning centre in Bihar. Intel is already in talks with BIT and IIT Patna to start Intel Education programmes at the two institutes. A Microsoft delegate also expressed to make some venture here in the near future. Educomp Solutions has also proposed to set up a 150-seat content development centre in Patna, for which they have asked for free space from the state government. We have asked all the companies, who have shown interest in setting up their units here to give a detailed proposal to us and we would act accordingly,” said Atul Sinha, managing director, Bihar State Electronic Development Corporation Limited (Beltron), an undertaking of the state IT department.

Srinivas Tadigadapa, director (enterprise solutions), Intel South Asia, said on Thursday: “We provide e-learning kits to educational institutions to promote innovations in multi-core curriculum. We are in talks with IIT and BIT Patna for beginning similar programmes under our e-learning initiatives.”

Shantanu Prakash, managing director, Educomp Solutions, also lauded the gradual awakening of the IT industry in Bihar. “The state has an IT-friendly policy and there is abundance of skilled talents as well. With the kind of support extended by the state government to the IT industry, I believe firms would definitely consider the possibilities here,” he said on Wednesday.

Sanjay Nayak, CEO and MD, Tejas Networks, Bangalore, speaking during the concluding day of the IT meet on Thursday, said: “The state government should create incubation centres and other entrepreneurship support mechanism to promote IT in Bihar. There are immense possibilities of e-commerce and telecom in rural areas and the government should create sufficient market access for the entrepreneurs.”

P.K. Sinha, treasurer, Bihar IT Association, suggested the delegates to set up small ventures initially. “Big companies are at times apprehensive of taking risks in setting up units at new destinations and the employment generation is also considerably low as they mostly come with tie-ups with local companies,” said Sinha.

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