The Government of India through its Make in India, Digital India, Atal Innovation Mission and Startup India initiatives, is focusing on creation of indigenous products and digitally-empowered society. We are confident with these initiatives in place, the IT Industry will also achieve an unprecedented growth in the times to come, says Dr Omkar Rai, Director General, Software Technology Parks of India (STPI), in conversation with Souvik Goswami of Elets News Network (ENN).
“This is the time when we have to reap the benefits and work collaboratively with the Government, Industry and the Academia, so that the country can be transformed from a service-based economy to a product-based nation.”
Give us an overview of STPI.
The Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) was established in 1991 and registered as an autonomous society under the Societies Registration Act 1860, under the then Department of Electronics (the present Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology), Government of India. Created as a nodal agency to promote software development, hardware manufacturing and export of both, STPI has been providing statutory services under a ‘single window clearance’ mechanism from 57 STPI centres spread across the country since its inception.
STPI was also entrusted to provide the IT industry with incubation support and Internet bandwidth support. It was licensed to provide bandwidth services to the IT exporters and the IT industry as a whole.
Basically, apart from being a singlewindow support and clearance authority for IT exports, we are also providing infrastructure and other necessary support to the IT industry. STPI also promotes secondary and tertiary locations in the country by establishing STP facilities in such places to extend the coverage of the STP / EHTP scheme and dispersal of the IT/ITeS/ESDM Industry beyond metros for all inclusive growth of the sector.
Will you shed some light on the IT export scenario in India with the help of STPI?
STPI, through administration of Software Technology Park (STP)/ Electronic Hardware Technology Park (EHTP) scheme, provisioning of High Speed Data Communication and Incubation support to the software exporters, has played a seminal role in the phenomenal growth of IT and ITeS sectors. STPI has come a long way and become highly successful in its mission as a catalyst in positioning India as the most preferred destination for outsourcing IT and ITenabled services. This fact has been aptly proven by the stupendous growth in IT exports, from Rs 52 crore in 1992-93 to a staggering Rs 341,490 crore (tentatively) in 2016- 17, which represents around 50 per cent share in national IT exports.
How do you foresee the growth of Indian IT Industry in future?
IT/ITeS Industry has reached a level where we can be proud of it. This is the time we have to reap the benefits and work collaboratively with the Government, industry and the academia, so that the country can be transformed from a service-based economy to a product-based nation.
I must mention that for all inclusive and stable growth, demographic shifts are required and it is the need of hour. The Government of India, through its Make in India, Digital India, Atal Innovation Mission and Startup India initiatives, is focusing on creation of indigenous products and digitally-empowered society.
Moreover, the initiatives like Smart Cities and Digi Gaon will leverage a host of emerging technologies such as IoT, Big Data, Cloud, Mobility and AI (Artificial Intelligence), which will engage IT and ESDM industries to innovate and prosper in a significant manner. Also, massive adoption of digital payments has encouraged Fintech Industry to explore opportunities in Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies.
I am confident with these initiatives in place, IT Industry will also achieve unprecedented growth in the times to come.
The Government of India has launched India BPO Promotion Scheme (IBPS), how do you perceive its likely impact in near future?
Indian software and BPO industries have earned brand equity globally and are the largest urban job creators in the country. The sector contributed around 7.7 per cent to the GDP. The growth of the sector has been centred around metro cities so far. To create approximately 1.5 lakh job opportunities and further propel the growth of IT-BPO industry, especially MSMEs and startups in smaller cities/muffassil towns, the Ministry of Electronics & IT (MeitY), Government of India, has notified the “India BPO Promotion Scheme (IBPS)” under the Digital India programme. The scheme provides financial support in the form of Viability Gap Funding to eligible companies with the objectives such as:
- Creation of employment opportunities for the youth by promoting the IT/ITES Industry particularly by setting up the BPO/ ITeS operations in Smaller Cities/ Muffassil Towns.
- Promotion of lot of investment in IT/ITeS Sector to expand the base of IT Industry and secure balanced regional growth. This scheme would ensure substantial investment and would have a multiplier effect on the economy in times to come.