Microsoft has announced plans to set up base in Gujarat, with a clear focus on rural development. Microsoft officials said that the sphere of activities will include providing vocational and computer knowledge in rural areas of Gujarat.
"We have to focus on rural economy for the development of Gujarat and are working to build business models that will lead to a five-fold increase in income," said Nandu Pradhan, director - public sector, Microsoft Corporation (India) Private Ltd.
He was addressing the inaugural function of Communication and Information Technology 2005 (CIT 2005) that kicked off at the Tagore Hall in Ahmedabad today. He added that Microsoft has been investing in telemedicine in Gujarat and will continue to do so.
Later, Pradhan told Business Standard that Microsoft has made an offer to the state government, to provide vocational computer training in rural areas of Gujarat.
"With such centres being set up, it could also help in telemedicine, since rural people do not have access to medical facilities like the urban people," he said.
Pradhan further said that the IT knowledge industry is growing at the rate of 30 per cent per annum and the future of IT looks great in Gujarat.
He stated that Indian BPO industry is growing at a break-neck speed and there will be a seven-fold increase in the industry in India by 2008.
J N Singh, secretary, department of Science and Technology, said that TCS is setting up a base in Gujarat and 13,000 more IT professionals will get jobs in state. He stressed on the favourable factors present in Gujarat like cheap real estate, web connectivity, power and other infrastructure facilities.
Addressing the CIT, Kishore Chaukar, managing director, Tata Industries said: "Knowledge is power, information is money and timely information is profit. IT and telecom bring better quality of living to the society."
He added that the Indian BPO industry is in an upswing mode in India and we need quality and well qualified people to support the BPO industry and increasing demand.
There is shortage of quality people and the industry have to do something. IT and telecom can improve health, agriculture, animal husbandry, commerce and rural business. It facilitates pace, accuracy and transparency.
"There are challenge to change the mindset and need to learn new things and unlearn old things. We should understand globalisation, technology, development, though globalisaton leads to cut short in jobs but also jobs are generating new jobs in various sectors," Chaukar added.
Chief Minister Narendra Modi said this is the age of transformation and IT is booming sector and our government has doing number of things in IT sector and doing better on IT application.
Modi claimed that Gujarat is the most preferred destination of IT in Asia. "We are building information and communication institutes in Gujarat to future development of IT and telecom sector," he said.