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September 8, 1997


Techna to set up software centre in Calcutta

Techna Digital Services Private Limited, a company belonging to the Rs 750-million turnover Techna Group, is setting up a software development centre at the SaltLake Electronics Complex in Calcutta at an estimated cost of Rs 125 million.

Revealing this at the launch of Webtek, an Internet-based electronic commerce network, Dr Alo Ghosh, president of Techna International Corporation, said there are plans to form a joint venture company with Nippon Techna of Japan to cater to the software needs of the Japanese market.

Techna Digital will hold 60 per cent of the equity in the proposed joint venture and the Japanese partner will get the balance 40 per cent. In fact, in Nippon Techna, Nippon holds 60 per cent of the equity while the balance is held by Techna International Corporation of the US.

The joint venture company is expected to begin operations by October 1.

"We have been developing software for the Japanese market for the last three years and have, since, felt the need for offshore software development for the Japanese market," Dr Ghosh said, adding that the idea was to double the group's turnover during the current fiscal.

A new software development centre is being set up on a four-acre plot leased out by the state government. The education-cum-development centre in Calcutta would provide jobs to over 1,000 people "who will also get the opportunity to travel abroad for onsite software development".

Explaining the concept behind Webtek, Dr Ghosh said the Internet-based electronic commerce network at New York had been developed for a large number of US corporations to facilitate multimillion dollar sourcing of a wide range of goods and services worldwide. This network is expected to grow exponentially in the US, Japan and Europe on the demand side of commerce, with its technology and operations managed by Techna from its headquarters at Silicon Valley.

Dr Ghosh called upon companies based in West Bengal to register themselves with Webtek so that their goods and services could be on display on the Internet. Full details of six (foundry, leather, textiles, tea, tourism and software) out of the 64 identified principal industries in West Bengal have been put on the Webtek site for the benefit of prospective business transactions.

Efforts are on to put details of the rest of the principal industries in the state on Webtek.

In the first stage, Webtek would take up on itself the onus of marketing the goods and services of companies registered with it to prospective clients. Later, Webtek will find the buyers and effect the sales, too. This involves invoicing, financing, shipping, insurance and delivery. For all the services rendered, Webtek will charge a percentage of the total sales order as its fee.

- Compiled from the Indian media

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