Govt support may help only up to a point, says industry

Our Correspondent

The arrival of leading players like Infosys, Wipro, Satyam, HCL, Cognizant etc would help but only low-end activities would be transferred by them

MaduraiMay 1The announcement by the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Mr M. Karunanidhi, that administrative sanction has been accorded for establishing an IT park with 10 lakh sq.ft area at Illandaikulam village in North Madurai taluk, has brightened the scope for Madurai to emerge as a destination for IT and related activities.

However, with tier-II cities in the State getting the focus as part of an overall policy initiative, Madurai will have to vie with them to emerge as a destination. The Government support may help only up to a point.

The arrival of leading players like Infosys, Wipro, Satyam, HCL, Cognizant etc, would help but only low-end activities would be transferred by them. The city and the local entrepreneurship as such will have a lot to do to sustain and grow further, says the emerging IT industry here. Its strength, potential, initiative and the mindset to take on the challenges will be necessary inputs in clinching the place, they point out.

In the last decade, IT and related activities have been gaining strength and recognition. Internet and communication technology services, enterprise software products and solutions, human relations and business process outsourcing services, consultation and services for VAT through Web sites etc have emerged with Madurai as headquarters. Some of them have even spread their wings across the country, as their profiles reveal.

A&T Network Systems Pvt Ltd established in 1996 has all network, voice, data and video application technologies and specialises in voice over IP specialists. Its design and development process has been certified under ISO 9001-2000. It has national presence in six places.

i-Grandee, in the software products and solutions segment since 2001, is also a ISO 9001-2000 certified company for its design and development. Winways Systems Private Ltd operates in the areas of open source/linux solutions, Web solutions, training, human resource and publishing. Aparajitha Corporate Services Private Ltd (ACSPL) is a HR and business process outsourcing unit.

Having started operations in 2002 with a staff strength of 10, the company today has a strength of 250. Its client list includes TVS, ITC, MRF, Nokia, L&T, HLL and BPCL. According to Mr Ashwin R. Desai and Mr R. Sivarajah of the IT panel of Madurai District Tiny and Small Scale Industries Association, the younger generation is willing to break with the tradition and plunge into new areas of activities.

"The keenness was revealed during a seminar on `Setting up and Scope of BPO in Madurai' held in March recently. More than 150 persons turned up. This included aspirants from neighbouring places like Theni and Virudhunagar. A clean and liveable environment in the city and a collaborative entrepreneurship seeking vertical growth with focus on knowledge based activities are the prime requisites for Madurai to take the lead, says Mr R.D. Pandian, President, i-Grandee. He told

Business Line

, that the strength of Madurai is manpower.

The colleges in the region offered a number of computer-related courses. Nearly 15 per cent of those working in the industry in Bangalore are from down South and if other Tier I cities are taken together, the percentage would be more and they would like to return to Madurai.

To drive the industry growth however, top-level functionaries like CEOs and CFOs of leading companies should choose to operate from Madurai. Mr Pandian feels that with infrastructure development taking place in the region in terms of air services, road connectivity, bandwidth etc, there is scope to attract them.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated May 2, 2007)
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