KARNATAKA

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



Staff Correspondent

State said to account for 33 to 34 p.c. of country's software exports

MYSORE: Software exports from Karnataka during 2005-06 are poised to cross the U.S. $8.5-billion (Rs. 37,800 crores) mark, the 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, had managed to retain the top position in the country's software exports.

Karnataka accounted for 33 to 34 per cent of the country's software exports, which stood at $23 billion this year, he added.

Citing the McKinsey report, Mr. Naidu said India's software exports were expected to cross the $60-billion mark by 2010. Accordingly, exports from the State were expected to cross the $20-billion mark by 2010.

Manpower

Mr. Naidu, however, said a challenge existed 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 worked in Karnataka.

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

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

He said the available manpower was 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.

By developing Mysore as a "captive city," Mr. Naidu said it could be projected as a model tier II city.

Secondary cities such as Mysore were contributing to the software exports from Karnataka, he said. The 38 software companies listed with STPI, Mysore, would generate exports worth over Rs. 500 crores this year.

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 earned $2 billion (about Rs. 9,000 crores) every year. .