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Updated: December 21, 2013 11:45 IST

Tech agency to scale up presence in Kochi

M. P. Praveen
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Omkar Rai, Director General, STPI. Photo: Bijoy Ghosh
The Hindu Omkar Rai, Director General, STPI. Photo: Bijoy Ghosh

Looks to promote micro, small, and medium entrepreneurs

The Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) plans to scale up its presence in the city and set up a full-fledged STPI centre.

STPI is a government agency, established in 1991 under the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, to manage the Software Technology Park programme.

Talking to The Hindu on the sidelines of the fourth India IT Summit organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry here on Friday, STPI Director General Omkar Rai said that consultations are on with the State government to obtain land in the second phase of Infopark for the purpose.

STPI is also in the process of creating 40,000 sq. ft of space at Technopark in Thiruvananthapuram dedicated to start-up units. “The project design has been finalised and it is likely to turn operational in two years,” Mr. Rai said.

He said that STPI plans to create 10 lakh sq.ft across the country primarily for promoting micro, small, and medium entrepreneurs and for providing incubation space for innovations.

Mr. Rai said that STPI has been growing at a rate of more than 10 per cent year-on-year and that growth rate is likely to continue if the rupee remains stable.

“STPI units registered exports worth Rs. 2.51 lakh crore during 2012-13 financial year and we are confident of exceeding it in the ongoing fiscal,” Mr. Rai said.

Asked about the best performing STPI centres across the country, Mr. Rai said that Karnataka leads the pack followed by Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, the National Capital Region, and West Bengal.

The Thiruvananthapuram STPI centre is ranked seventh among the 53 STPI centres across the country followed by the centre at Odisha. Thiruvananthapuram centre with about 700 units under the STP scheme has been registering consistent growth with exports worth Rs. 2,300 crore registered during the 2012-13 fiscal, Mr. Rai said.

STPI, he said, has played a seminal role in the phenomenal growth of IT industry’s share in the country’s economy.

From a mere 1.2 per of the country’s GDP in 1992, it has grown to 8 per cent now. Similarly, the exports of STPI units have risen to Rs. 2.51 lakh crore from a mere Rs. 200 crore in 1998.

Mr. Rai said that STPI has repositioned itself in keeping with the changed scenario where there has been a paradigm shift in the IT sector from services to products, plug-and-play to real incubation programmes and even from exports to domestic market.

“Under the National IT Policy 2012, the focus is on taking the fruits of IT industry from tier 1 to tier 2 cities, to support small and medium entrepreneurs to help them remain competitive, promote the creation of products and incubation programme that promote innovation-driven product creation,” he said.

Mr. Rai said that electronics industry needs to be given a thrust going by the projection in the National Policy on Electronics that the exports and consumption of the combined electronics and IT industry would be about $400 billion by 2020.

The need, therefore, is to promote the manufacturing of electronic products within the country. This is crucial for import substitution and job creation.

In fact, the National Policy on Electronics states that if everything goes as per plan, the industry would be able to create 28 million jobs by 2020, Mr. Rai said.

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