Nearly 20 IT companies in Kerala specialising in cyber security, bioinformatics, three dimensional imaging, embedded systems, ERP systems, Web based applications, wireless technologies and solid waste management could soon have business partners in the Nordic region of Europe, thanks to an initiative launched by the Group of Technology Companies (GTECH), a strategic grouping of IT/ ITES companies in Kerala.

Efforts are on to organise a business delegation to work out partnership deals with companies in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland. The team is expected to visit the region sometime in March 2011. The delegation would also hold talks with Nordic Government officials and representatives of industry associations.

GTech had zeroed in on the Scandinavian countries primarily because of their outward looking economies that are not wary of the outsourcing model of doing business. The new approach represents a move to tap fresh business opportunities and reduce dependence on the US market.

According to V K Mathews, President, GTech and Chairman and CEO, IBS Group, the decision to engage stakeholders in the Nordic region is part of a `market connect’ strategy aimed at helping domestic companies, especially small and medium enterprises, to touch base with new markets and potential customers.

“Nearly 20 IT companies in Kerala are participating in this initiative. The profiles of these companies with their domain competencies have been forwarded to the Government agencies of Denmark and Sweden. They would do the match making in consultation with GTech. We would also hard sell the state of Kerala to potential investors in both Denmark and Sweden”.

A senior delegation of the Government investment promotion agencies in the Nordic region had visited Technopark and Infopark recently to hold discussions with the companies and to create a structural framework for deeper engagement. The agencies involved were Invest in Denmark, Invest in Sweden and Innovation Norway. “We hope to forge some business alliances on the return visit”, Mr.Mathews added.

According to a recent study published by NASSCOM, the IT Services market in the Nordic Region is worth US $ 10-12 billion and is growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 5 percent. Apart from being open to offshoring, the other factors that favour the region include high IT adoption, easy acceptance of English and large public spending on IT. Similar to Kerala, SMEs comprise 65% of the industry in the Nordic region.