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Plan makes industry withdraw threat to boycott trade show

Special Correspondent

Government, companies resolve to sustain public-private partnerships


  • Infrastructure will be built on priority: Dharam Singh
  • Committee to meet on Fridays to review progress of infrastructure projects
  • Industry should help Government take Bangalore forward: Narayana Murthy
  • BCIC will support Bangalore.IT.in: Koppar



    IN AGREEMENT: Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh (right) greeting Kiran Majumdar Shaw, chairperson, Biocon, at a meeting in Bangalore on Thursday. N.R. Narayana Murthy, chief mentor, Infosys, is seen. — Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

    BANGALORE: Driven by a common objective of keeping "Bangalore on the move," industry captains, led by founder and chief mentor of Infosys N.R. Narayana Murthy, on Thursday held discussions with Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh and his Cabinet colleagues and decided to sustain public-private initiatives.

    Following the discussions, the Bangalore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCIC) withdrew its boycott of Bangalore.IT.in, the annual event showcasing the State's strength in the information technology sector.

    The two-hour interaction, which Mr. Dharam Singh and Mr. Narayana Murthy termed "cordial and frank exchanges," has set the pace for solving infrastructure problems in the city. The meeting decided to put in place a review committee, which will meet on Fridays to review the progress of works.

    Many projects

    Mr. Dharam Singh reiterated the Government's commitment to resolve issues related to infrastructure on priority and outlined several projects, including the Bangalore International Airport, metro rail and flyovers.

    Mr. Murthy said the Government has announced an "action plan" and the industry should not boycott Bangalore.IT.in. The industry and the Government have to cooperate to take Bangalore forward, he added.

    Chairperson of Biocon Kiran Mazumdar Shaw said: "We cannot afford to compromise on the economic advantage Bangalore enjoys today. We have to seek Central assistance and showcase Bangalore to the world."

    Jobs for local people

    On the contentious issue of employing Kannadigas in the IT sector, Mr. Murthy said: "The Government has not asked us for anything like that. As for Infosys, it is committed to the people of the State, and we will ensure that they (local people) are not disadvantaged." Infosys has set up units in Mysore and Mangalore and will explore other towns too, he added. However, he pointed out that the industry follows a "fair" method of recruitment where meritorious candidates are given opportunities, considering that 95 per cent of the revenues of IT companies come from the First World countries which require high competence levels in employees.

    To this statement, Deputy Chief Minister M.P. Prakash (who has said that IT companies should be asked to employ local people) said that though the Government is committed to implementing the Sarojini Mahishi report (which has recommended preference to local people in recruitment), there are "certain exceptions" (implying that the IT industry is one of them).

    Those who attended the meeting included Mohandas Pai, chief financial officer, Infosys; A. Lakshman Rao, chief operating officer, Wipro Technologies; Ketan R. Sampat, president, Intel Technology; Chet Kamat of Accenture; N.V.P. Tendulkar, director, finance, Hewlett Packard India; and Nagaraj Ijari, head, Delivery Centre of Tata Consultancy Services; Shankar Annaswamy, managing director, IBM Global Services, India; R.K. Mishra, vice-president, Flextronic Software Systems; Martin Rebeiro, head, administration, I-Flex; V. Shrinivasan, vice-president, L& Infotech; Subroto Bagchi, chief operating officer, Mind Tree Consulting; Anant Koppar, president, Mphasis Technologies and president, Bangalore Chamber of Industries and Commerce (BCIC); Hari Iyer, vice-president, Sasken Communication; Meena Ganesh, chief executive officer, Tesco; H.R. Prasad, senior vice-president, Satyam Computer; S. Devarajan, managing director, Cisco Systems; B.K. Kulkarni, regional head, Siemens Information; Padma Ravichander, managing director, Perot Systems; and V. Veerappan, vice-president, Tessolve Services.

    `Look beyond Bangalore'

    The BCIC has said that it announced a boycott of Bangalore.IT.in not to "disrupt the event but to draw the attention of the Government and civic bodies to the need for taking immediate action to safeguard the city's infrastructure." Mr. Koppar said the chamber will support the event. He said that the BCIC will continue to work closely with the Government to ensure that the IT industry looks beyond Bangalore and moves to other cities. Mysore, Mangalore, Hubli and Dharwad have immense potential.

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