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|April 29, 1999
Chief executives of top information technology companies have met to discuss the impact of the political situation.
But all this seems to be at a crossroads now because the government has lost mandate and been forced into a role of a caretaker.
The CEOs that met in New Delhi yesterday deliberated on the constraints of a caretaker government in pushing through fresh initiatives.
They were attending the national conference of the Confederation of Indian Industry.
After the closed-doors meeting, NIIT Vice-Chairman and Managing Director R S Pawar told reporters that the deliberations took stock of the task force initiatives that could be implemented right away and those that would have to wait until the installation of a new government.
CEOs of India operations of companies like SAP, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Tata Infotech, Microsoft, Tata IBM and Intel participated. Department of Electronics Secretary Ravindra Gupta and Planning Commission Member Montek Singh Ahluwalia also attended the meeting.
A McKinsey presentation discussed the newer opportunities in the information technology industry over and above those already identified by the task force.
The task force had envisaged business opportunities for the Indian IT industry to be about $100 billion by 2008.
The McKinsey presentation, however, believed that with emergence of IT enabled services like call centres, the opportunities could be double the estimates made by the task force.
The CEOs also discussed venture capital in the IT industry. Some banks have established separate venture capital wings but ironically, they still insist on collateral!
''This is not venture capital in the real sense of the meaning,'' Pawar pointed out.
The problem is that there are overseas companies willing to enter India and help entrepreneurs through venture capital, but the key question is: Are Indian entrepreneurs prepared to absorb venture capital? In this context, CII intends to take several education initiatives in the coming months.
The meeting also discussed the task force's second report that relates to the hardware sector. It deals with the issue of bringing duties down to zero, even ahead of the international agreement on telecommunications.
The second report of the task force is yet to be implemented and is pending with the finance ministry. It is to go to the cabinet only after the finance ministry clears it.
The deliberations and the outcome from the CEO meeting would form the inputs for the new CII-IT sub-committee that is to be constituted today.
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