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State's software exports to cross $8.5-billion mark

Staff Correspondent

34 per cent of the country's software exports are from Karnataka

India's software exports expected to cross $60 billion by 2010Shortfall of half a million IT professionals likely by 2010 Software exports from 38 companies in Mysore to total Rs. 500 crores this year

MYSORE: Software exports from the State during 2005-06 are poised to cross the $8.5-billion (Rs. 37,800 crores) mark, Director of the Software Technology Parks of India (STPI), Bangalore, B.V. Naidu has said.

Speaking at the inauguration of the first phase of SPICity, a mega IT complex, in Hebbal Industrial area in Mysore on Saturday, Mr. Naidu said despite the "infrastructure hassles" dogging Bangalore, Karnataka, which has 1,600 IT companies, has managed to retain the top position in the country's software exports. Karnataka accounts for 34 per cent of the country's software exports, which stand at $23 billion this year, he added. Citing the McKinsey report, Mr. Naidu said India's software exports are expected to cross the $60-billion mark by 2010. Accordingly, exports from the State are expected to cross the $20-billion mark by 2010.

Mr. Naidu, however, said a challenge exists in the form of meeting the demand for manpower to support software and allied activities in the State.

Of the nine lakh IT professionals in India, three lakh work in Karnataka.

"India will require 2.5 million qualified professionals and Karnataka alone will require one million," he said.

Mr. Naidu feared that there will be a shortfall of at least half a million IT professionals by 2010.

He said the available manpower is not considered to be up to the mark. "Only 50 per cent of the professionals in India are considered to be usable by the IT industry," he said.

Referring to the infrastructure woes of Bangalore, Mr. Naidu suggested the need to bring Mysore "closer" to Bangalore by improving the connectivity between the two cities. The 38 software companies listed with STPI, Mysore, will generate exports worth over Rs. 500 crores this year, he said.

M.K. Shankarlinge Gowda, Secretary, Government of Karnataka, Department of IT and BT, who inaugurated SPICity earlier, said close to three lakh IT professionals in Bangalore earn $2 billion (about Rs. 9,000 crores) every year.

Earlier, Software Paradigms India (SPI) Chief Executive Officer Sid Mookerji called upon the Government to build brand Mysore independent of its "big brother," apparently referring to Bangalore. He made out a case for holding a, an IT exposition, in Mysore, by the State Government on the lines of