STPI to set up business centre in the US
Fakir Chand in Bangalore
The Software Technology Parks of India, an autonomous body of the Union Ministry of Information Technology, has announced the setting up of a 'business support centre' in the Silicon Valley, USA, to promote small and medium enterprises in the global marketplace.
Located in San Jose, California, the business support centre (BSC) -- or the India InfoTech Centre -- will help incubate small and medium software companies in India by providing entrepreneurial assistance, trade promotion and support services, infrastructure and communication facilities, market research, and facilitate joint ventures.
BSC director Riaz H Naqvi told about 100 members of the Bangalore-based STPI that the US centre would help Indian SMEs to strengthen their business as well as technology ties with the Silicon Valley IT companies.
"The game plan is to enable Indian technocrats and IT whiz kids based in the US, especially in its Silicon Valley, to come back or set up their start-ups for incubating or mentoring their ideas and concepts into project companies. They can leverage their skills with the immense talent and human resources available in India for developing software solutions, applications, or even products by taking advantage of the converging technologies," Naqvi asserted.
Giving an account of the global IT prospects in terms of market potential, Naqvi said the world market in the coming decade was estimated by various reputed studies and surveys to be $1,200 billion, with the US market alone constituting $600 billion, growing at an average rate of 6 per cent per annum.
"In India alone, the IT industry has witnessed an explosive growth during the last one year with the number of IT companies shooting up to a record 6,000 at the end of March 31, 2000, from a mere 1,200 companies at the end of March 31, 1999. Among them, export companies were 1,300 against 1,000 firms at the end of the last financial year."
According to Bangalore-based STPI Director B V Naidu, the Silicon Valley BSC will facilitate the growth of IT-specific SMEs in India, which is most conducive for outsourcing global software requirements on long-term basis.
"The Centre will assist SME to export software and services to the hot markets of the US, Europe, Far East, and the Asia-Pacific region. STPI-USA will provide not only service to Indian exporters, but also enable access to market information on technology companies, financial institutions, venture capital firms, specialised service providers, and trade organisations," Naidu claimed.
The basic objectives of the BSC would be to facilitate joint ventures, partnerships, and strategic alliances, said Karnataka government IT secretary Vivek Kulkarni on the launch occasion.
STPI-USA has tied up with various global alliance partners to provide one-stop end-to-end services and solutions for any trouble-shooting. Among the partners for marketing and IT are: Indo-US eTech Forum member companies; Gartner Group; Meta Group, and Forrester Research.
For finance and venture companies, the alliances are with: Silicon Valley Bank and Software Development Forum, and for institutional partnership: with the California Trade and Commerce Agency; the American Electronics Association; the US-India Business Council; and the USA Small Business Administration.
The membership fee has been pegged at Rs 40,000 with an inaugural discount of 10 per cent for those registering before August 31, 2000. Prospective members can register online at : www.stpi.soft.net/bsc or at www.stpi-usa.net.