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|August 22, 1997||
Y2K experts shortage makes India lose $14m dailyIndia's computer software industry, aiming to create a multibillion dollar fortune from 'Year 2000' conversion projects, is losing $14 million worth business to rivals each day due to a huge shortfall of qualified manpower.
"According to our estimates, we are losing possible business opportunities worth Rs 500 million ($14.3 million) every day to rivals because we do not have adequate manpower to handle the huge volumes of Year 2000 projects," R H Naqwi, executive director of the government-backed Electronic and Software Export Promotion Council said.
Naqwi said a similar estimate has been given to him by IBM.
The Year 2000 problem or the 'millennium bug' threatens to create a global software catastrophe for computer users around the world. Software applications have been built with two-digit figures for the year dates. Users with such two-digit date figures will not be able to operate when the year date is '00' as on January 1, 2000.
"Large companies are refusing prestigious orders because of a crippling lack of manpower and infrastructure," Naqwi said. "The government and industry should sit down and see how we can tackle the shortfall of professionals and the lack of an infrastructure platform."
India's computer software industry, which grossed revenue worth $1.8 billion and exports worth $1.15 billion during 1996-97, hopes to ride a surge in Y2K business to be a global leader in software technology by the year 2015.
According to industry estimates, India has already bagged over $700 million worth of orders in Y2K projects. "The Year 2000 date conversion projects have added to the growth rate of software exports from India," said Dewang Mehta, executive director of the National Association of Software and Service Companies. Nasscom recently announced that Indian firms would tap business worth over $2.5 billion from the global Y2K conversion opportunities, estimated at between $60 billion and $100 billion.
"To reach a $5 billion target of Y2K business, we need over 125,000 high-quality professionals trained in Y2K conversion but the country has only 30,000 qualified people," Naqwi said.
- Compiled from the Indian media
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