Herald: Existing IT companies urge govt to treat all with same yardstick

Existing IT companies urge govt to treat all with same yardstick

03 Nov 2018 04:55am IST
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03 Nov 2018 04:55am IST
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While the State govt’s effort of make Goa an IT hub is lauded by all, the local companies are feeling left out vis-à-vis the additional incentive offered to new entrants. VIKANT SAHAY attended the Goa Technology Association press meet where this concern was emphatically raised as well as spoke to several local stake holders who have worked for several years without any support to get to their current stage

With the arrival of Visteon in Goa, the Goan companies while welcoming the new entrant have expressed their anxiety in a press conference addressed by the Goa Technology Association (GTA) on the very same day when inauguration of Visteon office was happening. 

During the inauguration of Visteon office in Goa, the IT Minister of Goa, Rohan Khaunte said, “To IT companies which are trying to set shop in Goa, the message is very clear. Government is very serious as far as business and investments are concerned particularly with non-polluting industries. We have an understanding with Visteon that under their CSR activity they will also look at skilling the people and getting them on rolls with a start of 18-30 people. We will extend whatever support is required by such companies, which want to move and expand in the State. The bottom-line is to get the right employment and the IT sector has gone through a phase where people have been having issues where there were opportunity gaps. This high skilled company will give good opportunity to freshers with a good salary package and will also draw Goans who are outside the State to come back.”

While supporting the state government’s move on IT Park and lauding its efforts on helping create the IT ecosystem in Goa, the President of the GTA, Mangirish Salelkar said, “Today, we hear that the State cabinet has given a nod to grant special incentives of Rs 5 crore over and above the IT policy to Visteon which is starting is anchor unit in Goa. We welcome the initiative as this is how the new companies would like to consider Goa for their expansion. We would at the same time, requests the Goa Government not to forget the Goa-based companies that have sustained in the absence of the policy and has been seeking support to expand and create jobs.”

Salelkar further added that, “While we support the initiative to get new international companies to setup shop in Goa, the existing companies that are doing well internationally and creating hundreds of jobs for Goan talent are feeling ignored. It is important that the Goa government showcases the success stories of Goan companies and support them fully rather than making them run around and they subsequently look to expanding outside Goa. We have come a long way during the last 18 months and are hopefully that the government will give the same treatment to the local companies. GTA continues to assure support to the Goa government for infrastructure development for the IT ecosystem and job creation for local talent.”  

Salelkar is also the CEO and co-founder of Umang Software Technologies which employs nearly 35 people of which 90% are Goans and is a 100% export oriented company. 

Goa’s information technology (IT) ecosystem is primarily built by those who are working in Goa and are contributing not only to Goa but for the entire globe through their products, primarily software. Majority of the well-known Goan IT companies are into exports of software and some of them are exporting their product to the tune of 90 per cent and above. 

Genora Infotech Pvt Ltd employs nearly 35 people and 96% of them are from Goa. The company is heavily into export of software and 90% of their products are outbound, ranging from Europe, USA, Australia etc. 

The CEO of Genora Infotech, Milind Prabhu who is also the vice president of the Goa Technology Association (GTA) said, “IT industry in Goa has found a strong hold in Goa. We started and survived in tough times and maintained the name for the industry that already employs more than 5,000 people. While I totally appreciate the efforts of the government to generate fresh vacancies, emphasis has to be given to the existing local players who have created the industry. With competition we will need better incentives than the fresh entrants to survive through the challenges.” 

Sapna Technologies has been in Goa for over 16 years and they are a 100% export oriented unit servicing clients across the globe. Our current team is of nearly 45 employees who work on leading technologies like internet security, mobile app development and web applications. Nearly 100% of these employees are locals and from local Goan colleges who have honed their skills at the company for more than 10 years.

Director of Sapna Group, Nilesh Nayak said, “We are planning to expand to new premises very soon so that we are not constrained by space limit for future growth. Financial help from the Goa government will help us grow fast and also help us leap into newer technologies like AI (artificial intelligence), ML (machine learning) and Blockchain. This in turn will provide direct employment to many Goan IT graduates who can get exposed to the latest technology trends in the market.”

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