Goa wants to do an 'Amul' in the IT sector. Backed by technocrat Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, the state's leading trade body wants to do to Goa's fledging IT industry what the late Verghese Kurien did to the dairy sector in Gujarat.
"It is possible to achieve in the IT industry what Verghese Kurien did to dairy farming," Girish Bharne, chairman of the Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry's (GCCI) IT committee, told IANS.
Bharne is organising a seminar on Alternative Delivery Models in the IT industry in Goa next month in a bid to attract mid-level IT companies and to promote the idea of IT cooperatives in order to percolate IT processes to the lowest implementable levels.
"IT cooperatives in town, taluka and district levels could bid for projects and execute them. The government could pitch in to make some common infrastructure available to the cooperatives," Bharne said.
He added that the vision should be as grand as Kurien's when he engineered Operation Flood, a landmark dairy development programme in the 1970s.
"What we are looking for are mid-level companies investing in Goa. Bigger companies who require staffing of several thousands will only bring more talent from outside into Goa, something we are not keen on because we are looking to harness our own homegrown talent," Bharne said.
According to him, the 2011-12 budget presented by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led coalition government had identified IT and ITES as major thrust areas.
Bharne said that both the Goa government and GCCI had narrowed down on IT freelancing units and small IT development centres as ideal models, which could be successfully set up in Goa.
"Freelancing is slowly and surely picking up in the IT industry. The number of individuals who want to work on their own terms is increasing. In many cases the requirement is for a small group to give better value to the customer," Bharne said.
"Small IT development centres, with all the necessary infrastructure, can be set up where space can be hired. Such centres would have a database of consultants available, who can be brought on board for a short duration or for a specific task," he added.
GCCI chairman Manguirish Pai Raikar said a survey conducted by the trade body along with a top management institute in Goa had revealed that more than 80 percent of the 1,000-odd IT graduates who pass out of the state's numerous institutions migrated either to IT hubs in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune or Hyderabad or went abroad for employment.
Raikar hoped that mid-sized IT companies setting shop in Goa would help reverse this brain drain.
"Why should our own boys go out for employment? We need to retain home-grown talent as best we can. Therefore the need for alternative IT models," Raikar said.
Goa has barely a handful of IT companies like Tata Consultancy Services Limited, Digisol, D-Link and Persistent Systems.