And now, Karnataka to boost electronic hardware growth


Bangalore: As India’s premier IT destination, Karnataka is pitching for rapid growth of the electronic hardware industry to replicate its success in the software sector achieved over the last decade.

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“We will soon have a new electronic hardware policy to attract investments in the manufacturing of electronic products, consumer durables and components for the ICT industry,” state IT Minister K. Subramanya Naidu said at Asia’s primer IT event here Wednesday.

To woo investors in the emerging IT hardware sector, the state government will set up four electronic hardware parks near Bangalore, Hassan, Mysore and Hubli across the state and offer a slew of incentives for prospective investors.

“We have identified about 1,000 acres at each of the four cities for setting up the hardware parks to create the ecosystem required for setting up electronic manufacturing units, start-ups and even incubators,” Naidu told about 800 delegates participating in the 12th edition of Bangalore 2009 trade show.

Noting that about 90 percent of the electronic goods sold worldwide are manufactured in China, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia, Naidu lamented that India remained far behind with a share of mere 1.5 percent of the global market.

“Though India has emerged as a global software major, the hardware sector has not kept pace with the growth of the software sector. There is no dearth of talent or resources to repeat the success achieved in software in hardware,” Naidu asserted.

In spite of consumption of electronic goods and consumer durables growing exponentially, product manufacturing has not scaled up to bridge the demand-supply gap.

“Over the last decade, the software sector in the state has Bangalore on the world map and accounted for about 34 percent of India’s total IT exports the last fiscal, which grew to Rs.75,000 crore from Rs.60,000 crore in fiscal 2008-09,” he said.

“With a resilient domestic market and huge potential for exports, the hardware industry should do the same to leverage the synergies between the two sectors.”

The state government is also planning to set up a huge IT investment region near the Bangalore international airport on the outskirts of the city with central government support for attracting global investments in the ICT sector.

In his address on the occasion, Wipro chairman Azim Premji called upon the central and state governments to appoint chief information officers for the increasing use of ICT in administration, delivery of services and to interface with the citizens.

“The state governments should make education, innovation and ICT as a part of their economic policy agenda. Instead of each state doing its own projects for e-governance and citizen services, they should pool their resources to develop IT products and services that can be shared and replicated instead of duplicating them,” Premji said.