Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, Aug 06, 2002
Kerala can play bigger role in IT: Karnik
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, Aug 5
KERALA has been able to assure a place for itself on the IT map of the country with its new policy initiatives, according to Mr Kiran Karnik, President of the National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom).
Speaking to newspersons in the company of the State Industries Minister, Mr P. K. Kunhalikkutty, after curtains were formally drawn on the four-day IT Kerala 2002 show, Mr Karnik said that he would not have ventured to make this observation anytime during as recently as the last couple of years.
"Things are beginning to happen now and there is definite shift in the perception about the State.''
Nasscom would not have to think twice before recommending Kerala to big domestic players who are looking to expand operations within the country.
"We are trying to find new growth centres in the country and Kerala has been recognised as one among them,'' Mr Karnik said.
"I see that the political commitment is there and bureaucrats are getting the support they deserve. If you look at the story of States like Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, you will realise how important this aspect is.''
Terming IT Kerala 2002 a success, he said that it would hopefully touch the right chords and generate the desired impact beyond the State and even abroad.
Software exports had grown by 29 per cent last year grossing a turnover of $7.7 billion, braving the general economic recession.
With the right policy initiatives and single-minded devotion in pursuing its stated goals, Kerala could contribute a great extent to help the country achieve this year's target.
IT-enabled services, especially in the health and education sectors, hold significant potential for the State. It should not fail to take advantage of the enviable wealth of international connectivity provided by the two major undersea cable landing points in Kochi, he added.
According to Mr Karnik, the dynamics that drive the IT industry can be made to work in favour of Kerala through the right kind of initiatives. For instance, the NRIs in Silicon Valley should be wooed vigorously and encouraged to invest in the State.
"The technology culture that permeates the atmosphere of a place is also something that drives the industry. This goes much beyond conventional work culture. In such places, you find things happening, things moving forward.''
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