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ESC sets up 3 panels to drive exports

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``The committees will help in enhancing dialogue among the industry to create newer ideas for exports on the one hand and to take up industry-related issues,'' Mr D.K. Sareen said.

NEW DELHI, Sept. 29

THE Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council (ESC) has set up three committees to impart a critical push to electronics and IT exports from the country.

The three committees are on IT-enabled services exports, hardware exports and software exports. According to Mr D.K. Sareen, Executive Director, ESC, "the committees will help in enhancing dialogue among the industry to create newer ideas for exports on the one hand and to take up industry-related issues with the concerned authorities in a meaningful and constructive manner, on the other."

The committee on IT enabled services (ITES) exports will be headed by Mr Nalin Kohli, Chairman, Preksha International, and Vice-Chairman, ESC. This committee, according to Mr Sareen, will evolve strategies to maintain India's dominance in IT services against the backdrop of emergence of several other players. There is a concerted effort by countries like the Philippines, Ireland, Israel and even Sri Lanka to enter this field in a big way, taking advantage of their proficiency in English.

"We have to take proactive steps to consolidate and build on our strengths to maintain the lead in the future," Mr Sareen said. Apart from Mr Kohli, the other members of this committee are Mr Prasad V.S.S. Garapati, Chairman and Managing Director, Innosoft Technologies Ltd, Ms Radha Bhatia, Director, Reservation Data Maintenance India Pvt Ltd, Mr Samir Chopra, President and CEO, Cybiz Call International, Mr Pratap Aggarwal, Managing Director, IDS Infotech and Dr S.K. Aggarwal, Director, Software Technology Parks of India.

Mr Asoke K. Laha, President and Managing Director, Interra Software (India) Pvt Ltd, will lead the committee on software services. The committee is to focus on helping Indian software exporters and solution providers to move up in the value chain for realising higher returns from software exports.

To move to "high ended" software exports, greater interface with academia and industry was imperative and the possible areas where they could cooperate and draw from each other's strength should be identified, Mr Sareen said.

Recently, ESC had a joint meeting with IIT Delhi and evolved a plan matrix for enhancing the competitiveness of IT exports from India, particularly to Japan. The committee is expected to develop similar synergies with other premier organisations. The council, Mr Sareen said, was also chalking out innovative strategies for tapping alternative markets for software and IT services exports. It recently launched a scheme for teaching Japanese language to IT professionals and software exporters. Similar initiatives will be launched for teaching German, French, Chinese, Korean and Russian languages to Indian IT professionals and exporters.

The other members of this committee are Dr L.S. Kanodia, Chairman, Datamatics Technologies Ltd, Mr S.K. Ahuja, Country Manager, MTC India Pvt Ltd, Ms Padmaja Krishnan, Vice-President, HCL Perot Systems Ltd. and Mr N. Kannan. Assistant Vice-President, Polaris Software Lab Ltd.

The committee on hardware exports is being chaired by Mr Sandeep Ahuja, Partner, Ahuja Radios, with Mr Sanjiv Narayan, Managing Director, SGS Tekniks Ltd as the co-Chairman. The panel is expected to evolve strategies for putting electronics and hardware exports from the country in the same pedestal as the software sector.

This, according to Mr Sareen, is important in view of the great prospects for export of embedded software. Countries that have a competitive advantage in exporting hardware are trying to develop strengths for embedded software also and it is, therefore, necessary to shore up India's competitive advantage in hardware.

Significantly, some of the South East Asian countries like Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia are trying to relocate their production bases to destinations where the cost of labour is cheaper. The committee will be striving to project India as an ideal location for relocating the production bases.

The members of this committee include Mr V. Jolly, Partner, Avadh Exports, Mr Sunil Vachani, Chairman, Dixon Utilities and Exports Ltd, Mr B.S. Sethia, Director, Elin Electronics Ltd, Mr Raj Kapur, CEO, JCT Electronics, Mr S. Devarajan, Cisco Systems and Mr Yoshio Kubo, Managing Director, Sony India Pvt. Ltd.

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