The five-day Infocom 2005 conference and exhibition concluded in Kolkata on December 11. The high profile IT event, which was organised by Nasscom and BusinessWorld magazine, attracted 1,280 delegates and 135 exhibitors. Besides, thousands of job seekers thronged the Job Mart at the nearby Salt Lake Stadium with employers like IBM , ICICI, OneSource, Global Vantedge and TCS offering placements.
Inaugurating the event on December 7, West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi said, “The industry should not romanticise the success of IT… we should not forget how it can benefit people, otherwise the software story would be a pyrrhic, fractured victory.” He urged the industry to play an active role in transforming India by connecting with the masses.
Echoing the Governor’s call to bridge the digital divide, Satyam head honcho, Ramalinga Raju, cited the example of shifting the company’s business processes to a village close to Hyderabad.
Meanwhile, admitting that protests disrupted work, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya asserted, “We just cannot allow any dislocation or disruption of work in the IT sector, which has to deliver day and night for 24 hours, seven days a week and 365 days a year.”
Lauding the positive steps taken by the West Bengal government in facilitating the development of the IT industry in the state, Nasscom President Kiran Karnik lauded said that the West Bengal model could well be a role model for other states.
“The IT industry in India needed better infrastructure and not trade unions to maintain its high growth and to protect the interests of IT professionals. Unions and associations are part of a democratic system… IT professionals don’t feel the need for unions,” Karnik maintained.
Karnik, too, disapproved of strikes in the IT industry, saying, “In many ways, this industry is becoming a utility sector like power and water supply. Therefore, no outside intervention should be allowed to disrupt operations.”
Karnik also stressed on the role that IT could play as an engine of overall growth. “It is changing the paradigm worldwide. It is important to know that IT is not replacing other industries but is working hand-in-hand to improve areas like manufacturing,” he pointed out.
Another notable session on the first day of the conference was the panel discussion on ‘Challenges for Indian CIOs’. The role of the CIO / CTO today is no longer restricted to just IT expenditure, but had more to do with business impact.
RFID solutions, 3G technology, and new hardware advantages were some of the other issues that featured prominently in the deliberations and at exhibition venue with the who’s who of the IT industry in attendance.
Meanwhile, it was stated that the National Employment Registry, currently prepared by Nasscom and National Securities Depository Ltd, would be released within three months. To begin with it will contain employment data on the BPO industry. Other sectors in the IT industry would be covered later, Karnik said.