Rajasthan is lagging far behind other states of the country like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi NCR, etc in terms of leadership in IT sector. In fact, there is a requirement of a complete ecosystem with all the stakeholders contributing dedicatedly with set goals in mind. To analyze and work out a solution we have to have insight into contributing factors that are withholding the growth.
Following reasons are presented here forth for due consideration:
Language: Companies around the globe involved in IT sector work and communicate with English as the main language. In Rajasthan, the teaching medium in Government schools is Hindi. Thus, with more and more schools/colleges churning out workforce who has limitations in communication/programming in English, the availability of the workforce well equipped with communication skills is very limited. Considering the industry demands, there should be a focus on imparting technical knowledge and communication skills to the interested candidates at the school/college level itself. Hence as a ground-breaking step, the curriculum needs to be reviewed and adjusted to accommodate the needs to an hour and the industry at the school/college level itself.
Government Policies: at present, there is an insignificant effort from the Government to attract investors/customers to invest in the state. With some benevolence for the IT sector, perhaps with some out of the box thinking, which may involve steps as mentioned, IT growth could be accelerated like formulation of clear cut, well-devised IT policy for the growth of the sector in the state. Appropriate Budgeting and funding provision with at least a state-level minister preferably with technical background and exposure to the industry. Establishment of IT Investment Promotion Board – State Nodal Agency dedicatedly focused on augmentation of IT investment in the state. State policy formulation with the contribution of other departments. Identification, Monitoring and honing of state-based IT firms. Expose & update them with latest & in-market technologies, arrange FOC training sessions and arrange business development for them. In order to bridge the gap between academia and industry demands, the Government shall include the finishing schools in Skill Development projects. Arrangement of seminars, trade fairs, events to market & promote the good sense about the sector amongst the prospective buyers and investors. Relaxation/subsidy to IT investors for the establishment of business in the state in terms of tax imposition, electricity subsidy, land revenue, etc. Make arrangements for the sharing of world-class state-owned IT infrastructure with service providers on attractive terms and conditions. Contribute to attract investment in the building of world-class data centers. Establish IT parks with a complete ecosystem, viz., residential apartments in close vicinity of a workplace, markets, educational institutes, hospitals, etc.
Promotion of Entrepreneurship: With a firm policy, ministry, infrastructure in place, there should be efforts on the promotion of entrepreneurship amongst the stakeholders. They should be handheld in setting up their own business right from scratch till attainment of maturity with exposure to all the resources preferably FOC & wherever necessary at a nominal cost. They should be encouraged to work on the evolution of ideas and present them at a state-owned incubation center. Bright ideas should be accepted by a committee and helped/sponsored till they become a product. Thus promotion of entrepreneurship would certainly achieve the promotion of technology, out of the box thinking & employment in the state.
Connectivity: Apart from cyber, Physical connectivity is also an important aspect in the field of IT sector. Frequent interactions and promotion of business require a healthy transportation system. The state aviation ministry should work on a policy for the same. Major Business cities of the country, like state capitals and other business hubs, should be well connected through Trains, flights and road transport with flights operating smoothly and preferably catering business hours. Impetus on creation of at least two international airports in the state should be taken up seriously in the state with flights operating between major IT outsourcing countries like UK, USA, UAE, etc. on a frequent basis. Rajasthan is blessed to have its capital city Jaipur connected well with country capital New Delhi by Rail & Road, this network could further be leveraged in marketing proximity.
Last year has been the election year, be it at the center or the state level. CSL with prime focus verticals as E-Governance projects were impacted by the same. Actually Election Code of Conduct imposes ban on floating of new business opportunities from the Government to minimize corruption. Besides manpower attrition is always a deterrent to a company’s growth. Last year, one of the E-Governance projects completed its cycle and were not given an expected extension due to the crunch of funds at the Govt. Department level. However, there is always a shining side to glum situations, we took the following steps:
Reassessment of strengths: Identification of technical prowess areas, Identification of weaknesses by experience, the study of market demands, efforts estimation to be at par with competitors.
Resources Strengthening & Reallocation: Identified manpower resources with their technical strengths from the discontinued/about to close projects. Sessions on Capacity building on prevalent technologies was carried out for such resources. They were given in-house assignments to hone their technical skills and to stay at par with industry acceptable standards.
Identification of New Trends and verticals: Marketing & Management representatives brainstormed and identified upcoming and latest trends in technology which are in great demand. Several new verticals like “Man Power supplementation” were identified as strong and safe options as a line of business.
Formulation of new policies: To carry our business in new lines/verticals, business policies were formulated and put into practice.
Strengthening of Marketing Efforts: Several steps were taken to strengthen the marketing efforts, namely: Identification & authorization to sharp & strong marketing professionals: In house marketing professionals were given targets & commitments were taken for minimum baseline.
External marketing agencies/professionals were contacted and given assurance of commission base remuneration on the development of business activities for the organization. The company website was completely revamped with all the latest achievements and strengths. Pamphlets, Brochures, Presentations were updated and distributed amongst all the stakeholders. Participation in business fairs, events, seminars by the company’s technical/marketing professionals was ensured to promote the brand name and the line of activities/products.
With actions as mentioned above & through our established credibility, we generated some new business opportunities (worth multi-millions) for ourselves and overcame the setback suffered due to the loss of a few projects earlier.