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Tuesday, Jul 16, 2002

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`IT bodies should work together'

Vipin V Nair

NEW DELHI, July 15

VARIOUS information technology (IT) associations in the country should synergise their activities and work together in a more cohesive fashion in order to get better international attention, Mr Deepak Puri, the newly elected Chairman of Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council (ESC), has said.

Speaking to Business Line here, Mr Puri, who is also the Managing Director of Moser Baer India Ltd, said it was a matter of concern that various industry associations such as the Manufacturers Association for Information Technology (MAIT), the National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom) and ELCINA were pulling in different directions rather than working together for the cause of Indian IT sector.

``At CeBIT last year, we had separate stalls from Nasscom, ESC and the Andhra Pradesh State Government when we could have put up a single stall under the India name. I don't want to go into details, but the authorities of CeBIT themselves said it was a disaster...'' Mr Puri said.

He said an integrated approach by the industry bodies would not only bring down expenditure on participation in such exhibitions, but also avoid creating confusion in the minds of the international community.

``Nasscom wants to talk on software, ESC on something else, MAIT and ELCINA have other things... and all have different statistical data. That causes a lot of confusion,'' Mr Puri said, adding that he would soon meet the Chairmen of other associations to discuss this issue.

ESC is an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Communications and IT. Mr Puri's Moser Baer is one of the world's largest optical storage manufacturer.

Mr Puri said this year ESC would focus its attention and efforts on the hardware industry and strive to bring in global investments to rejuvenate the sector.

``We are going to focus on four countries: South Korea, France, Germany and the US for getting investments in hardware manufacturing. We plan to hire a public relations firm in the US as part of our efforts,'' he said.

``Let's identify the problems and find out what has gone wrong. We will prepare a white paper on this and I can prove to people that a successful hardware company can have margins of 33 per cent,'' Mr Puri asserted.

``Twenty years back nobody could have thought that India could become a global hub for automobile industry. Today, we have all sorts of companies producing and exporting their vehicles from here. I am sure we can do the same for electronic hardware too,'' he added.

The ESC Chief said he also proposed to make India the partner country for next year's CeBIT, the world's largest technology show held in Germany annually.

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