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Home > India > Business > Budget 2008-09 > PTI > Report

West Bengal, fastest growing IT hub in India

February 19, 2008 08:51 IST

With West Bengal aiming to become one of the top three IT states by 2010, contributing 15-20 per cent of the country's total IT revenue, a number of IT majors are today doing significant business in Kolkata.

Announcing the results of a survey report on the state's IT and ITeS sector in Kolkata on Monday, Indian Chamber of Commerce president Harsh K Jha said, "Between 2002-05, West Bengal has been recognised as the fastest growing IT destination in the country with more than double the national average growth rate."

"The ICC carried out the survey by gathering feedback from prominent IT companies operating in the state, including TCS [Get Quote], Cognizant, IBM, Wipro [Get Quote], on issues like infrastructure, investment scenario and future business prospects," he said.

According to the survey, an overwhelming 80.6 per cent of the respondents affirmed that the state was a competitive destination for IT and ITeS companies to set up shop.

"Majority of the companies were thus found to be upbeat about Bengal's prospects as an IT hub owing to the various advantages of the state such as skilled human capital pool, low attrition and government's focus upon IT," Jha observed.

He also asserted that an impressive 58.06 per cent of the respondents felt that the government's ambitious plans to emerge as one of the top three IT states by accounting for 15-20 per cent of the country's IT revenue was achievable.

However, he warned that majority of the companies felt that IT and ITeS remained a 'Public Utility Service' only on paper, with a resounding 74.19 per cent opining that the sector in the state could not operate on 24x7x365 model, as it was being frequently disrupted by strikes and bandhs.

Further enumerating the results of the survey, the ICC president said, "We also prepared a Destination IT Index, after taking into consideration parameters like IT infrastructure, government policy, availability of skilled manpower, cost of operations and potential of software exports."

Jha said that Karnataka continued to dominate other Indian states in terms of attractiveness as an IT destination and Bangalore still seemed to be at the topmost, despite concerns of growing pollution and over urbanisation.

Andhra Pradesh, backed by the emergence of Hyderabad as a major IT hub, ranks second in the index, followed by Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, while West Bengal had ranked fifth among the 17 states into consideration, he added.

"This is quite impressive, particularly because Bengal has ranked higher than Delhi (6th), which possibly offers better quality physical or IT-related infrastructure. Besides, among the top ten states in the index, two more states from the Eastern and Northeastern parts of the country feature -- Orissa (7th) and Meghalaya (10th)," he asserted.

The encouraging investment-promotion policies and focus on IT and ITeS had contributed to Orissa's ranking among the top ten states, while Meghalaya had done fairly well beacuse the sector's potential in the NE was significant, owing to factors like high literacy rate, good English-speaking skills of the youth, employable population and conducive climate, Jha stated.

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