IT industry at take-off point in Vizag

Our Bureau Visakhapatnam | Updated on August 23, 2011

vizag   -  Business Line

The IT industry in Visakhapatnam has passed through the nascent phase and is set to take off in the next two-three years, according to Mr Sanjay Jaju, Secretary, IT Department, Andhra Pradesh.

He was addressing the industry representatives here on Tuesday at a meeting convened jointly by the Confederation of Indian Industry, the State IT Department, the Visakhapatnam IT Association and the Software Technology Parks of India.

He said IT exports from Hyderabad amounted to Rs 36,000 crore and from Visakhapatnam Rs 1,000 crore. “Even though these are tough times for the IT industry globally, what with the current crisis in the US, I still feel Visakhapatnam should touch, or cross, nearly Rs 10,000 crore in the next two or three years. It is a realistic ambition and you should strive to achieve it. We will render all help and make it possible,” he assured industry representatives.

Mr Jaju said problems on the infrastructure could be addressed but human resources remained a major problem. Many of the graduates coming out of the 700-odd engineering colleges in Andhra Pradesh were not immediately employable and the State Government had introduced the Jawahar Knowledge Centre (JKC) training scheme for the purpose. But it needed to be modified to make it more effective.

He said the cost advantage of tier-two cities should be exploited to promote IT exports from them. In the State, all efforts would be make to promote Visakhapatnam, Kakinada, Vijayawada, Warangal and Tirupati as attractive destinations.

Mr Lav Agarwal, District Collector, said Visakhapatnam was the best location for IT in Andhra Pradesh. “Our endeavour should be to get five to six major anchor IT industries to Vizag and that will spur growth. The smaller units will not be neglected, but we should have the bigger companies.”

He said 3,000 sft of space in the Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority Building would be made available to the IT industry for incubation centre. More space would be provided if the industry needed it, he promised. The infrastructure at the IT SEZs at Rushikonda and Gambheeram would be improved. “We are going to have a big convention centre, just as in Hyderabad, and it will give a boost to the industry,” he promised.

Atchyuthapuram SEZ

Mr C. Sreedhar, Executive Director of the AP Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC), said the corporation had developed six properties in Visakhapatnam for the IT industry including the SEZs at Rushikonda. He said a hi-tech city along the lines of Hyderabad would be developed in Visakhapatnam in the public-private partnership mode and an incubation centre would also be set up. “A decision has been taken to allocate 250-300 acres in the multi-product SEZ at Atchyuthapuram in Visakhapatnam district for IT industry, especially for hardware units,” he said.

Mr B. Murali Manohar Rao, a member of the VITA and COO of Sankhya Technologies Pvt Ltd, explained about Vision-2015 prepared by VITA and said Rushikonda was the ideal place for developing R&D in the IT sector and for low-cost BPO enough space was available at Duvvada SEZ. He said there should at least be one product company with revenues of $20 million or so in Vizag. The SME investors in the sector wanted faster clearances within a week or ten days. Now, he said, it was taking three to six months.

Mr Shiv Kumar, of Maple Software, explained the difficulties faced by the industry and sought several incentives and concessions mainly relating to bandwidth, to promote IT industry in Vizag. Ms Padmavati, Chairman of Mahati Software, complained that certain Government restrictions and policies were curbing the growth of her company. Otherwise, at least a thousand more jobs could be generated.

A representative of Wipro said the company would start operations in a few months' time in Vizag. He said certain issues were being sorted out.

Published on August 23, 2011

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