IT, BT sectors doing well, despite headwinds: Industry   

 India’s IT sector valued at $200 billion , biotech realm headed towards a future of promise 
Chief Minister Siddarmaiah with DCM D K Shivakumar, Ministers M B Patil and Priyank Kharge, Wipro Executive Chairman Rishad Premji and other delegates at the inauguration of the Bengaluru Tech Summit
Chief Minister Siddarmaiah with DCM D K Shivakumar, Ministers M B Patil and Priyank Kharge, Wipro Executive Chairman Rishad Premji and other delegates at the inauguration of the Bengaluru Tech Summit

BENGALURU: The high-growth sectors of information technology and biotechnology (IT/BT) are looking at a strong future, buoyed by favourable changes on the tech front and a prevailing resilient economic environment.

The country’s IT sector is currently valued at $200 billion and is expected to grow to $350 billion by the end of this decade. Substantiating this, Chairman of Vision Group on IT (Government of Karnataka) Kris Gopalakrishnan said, “In today’s world, technology contributes to increasing productivity and providing customer benefits. The IT sector cuts across everything. Even in the last year, the industry in India grew by 9%. It’s now a $200-billion sector, and is expected to grow to $350 billion by 2030.”

“This (IT) is a high-growth industry, and is continuously growing year after year, and has grown steadily over the last several years,” he said, addressing delegates at the inauguration of the 26th edition of Bengaluru  Tech Summit (BTS) 2023 at Bangalore Palace on Wednesday.

Delving into the latest trends driving the sector, he said technology is ever changing. “It was only in November 2022 that ChatGPT was introduced, emerging as the fastest-growing application tech in the world today. In every sector, applications and how we interact with technology, information and intelligent systems change. What is unique about this round is the ability to interact with AI using a chat interface, which democratises AI,” he explained. 

Mentioning that the global economic slowdown could be cyclical, he said that in the medium to long term, India’s IT industry could breach the $350 billion milestone too, with Karnataka being able to play a crucial role. 

Meanwhile, the biotech realm is also heading towards a future of promise. Highlighting the sector’s journey, Chairperson of Vision Group on BT Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said, “In BT and life sciences, breaking new boundaries in the form of synthetic biology, genomic medicine and personalised medicine are helping us address urgent needs of the planet, for sustainability, healthcare, and nutrition... In all these aspects, BT is playing a stellar role. If you look at the convergence of technologies, we are able to accelerate the pace of growth in BT in a more formidable manner.”

She said, “Biotechnology in India has always aimed to be a $150 billion sector by 2030. We are tracking well to attain this size. At this point in time, Karnataka itself contributes to 40% of India’s BT sector, which is currently  approaching $80 billion in value.”

CONTRIBUTE CSR FUNDS TO IMPROVE RURAL SCHOOLS: DKS
Citing that the state government will come up with a new education system for rural students to strengthen the standards of primary education in their schools, Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar appealed to the heads of tech companies to contribute their CSR funds for the initiative. “We want to provide rural children with facilities so that they can compete on the world stage,” Shivakumar said. He added that several industry captains have come forward to invest CSR funds of Rs 2,000 cr.

PAI MIGHT LACK INFORMATION: PRIYANK KHARGE
IT-BT Minister Priyank Kharge slammed Manipal Global Education Chairman Mohandas Pai for his post on X that Hyderabad will dethrone Bengaluru’s IT status because of the neglect of successive governments over the last 10 years and that the government should show more energy to improve the city. Kharge said, “Mohandas Pai might be lacking information. Not a single company that has come to the negotiation table has left the state. It has become a habit for some to take an anti-Karnataka stand.”

GREEN BTS TO REDUCE 1,350 KG OF WASTE
For the first time, the organisers have come up with a green BTS to adhere to sustainable practices and achieve net zero targets in coming years. BTS has taken novel steps towards this idea, such as replacing plastic water bottles with glass ones, and eliminating plastic ID pouches and printed exhibitor directories. “We are reducing 1,350 kg of waste,” said Ekroop Kaur, Secretary, Department of Electronics, IT/BT and S&T.

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