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August 19, 1997


The MAIT bait

The Manufacturers' Association for Information Technology has decided to work closely with the Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India to actively promote investment from venture capital funds for hardware manufacture.

The focus will be on country specific funds - such as a fund from Taiwan - for investment in India.

This will be one of the important focus areas for the new team at the helm of affairs in MAIT. Vivek Thadani completed his one-year term in July 1997 and Manu M Parpia, advisor, electronics and communication, Godrej and Boyce, has taken over as the MAIT President for 1997-98.

Ram Agarwal, Wipro Peripherals presidents, has taken over as vice-president. Addressing the press after the elections on August 9, 1997, which was also the MAIT annual day, Parpia said MAIT would continue to work on inviting global manufacturers to India. This would be a key project.

While the focus was on Taiwan last year, it has been extended to include Singapore, Korea and the US this year.

The association will also work on stimulating domestic demand and it has projected that computer sales would cross the one million mark this year.

The new MAIT team has also said that it would stop focusing on obtaining duty concessions/safeguards from the government, since the focus needed to move away from the domestic to the international market.

A MAIT release said 'Manufacturers can no longer hope to be viable by targeting the Indian market but must think global - as economies of scale are essential in order to survive.'

Logistics is an area where MAIT hopes to enlist support. Indian companies which are attempting to enter the contract manufacturing market have found it impossible to clear imports or exports fast enough to meet deadlines.

MAIT has pointed out that the customs would have to work seven days a week, 24 hours a day for India to become a base for global manufacture.

MAIT members pointed out instances of the country losing out on projects due to poor infrastructure such as the absence of good highways linking manufacturing centres and airports or seaports.

Another project for the current year is the creation of a database of component suppliers and contract manufacturers to help overseas investors.

MAIT export and quality awards were also given out on Friday. The printer division of TVS Electronics (TVSE) and the Learning Software business unit of NIIT Limited won awards for quality while Lipi Data Systems and Advanced Tele Devices won awards for export performance.

The awards were given away by Union Commerce Minister B B Ramaiah.

- Compiled from the Indian media

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